Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Tennessee

If you’re excited to work hard and learn something new, consider becoming a mechanic in Tennessee. Although there are no formal educational requirements, most employers would rather hire entry-level mechanics who have gone through some sort of post-secondary program. By learning on the job, you’ll develop great career security and earn a good income.

Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Tennessee

Auto mechanics do not need to apply for a professional license in this state. However, there are certain educational requirements that may be necessary depending on the type of job you’re applying for. For example, in order to work as a general automotive technician or mechanic in Tennessee, you must have completed at least one year of post-secondary training from an accredited program. This can include a certificate or degree from a community college, technical school, or automotive trade school.

An automotive technology training program may cover the following topics:

  • Steering
  • Brake systems
  • Proper use of equipment and tools
  • Manual drive train
  • Current methods of service and repair
  • Engine repair and maintenance
  • Electrical and electronic systems
  • Emissions control
  • Diagnostics and troubleshooting

Employers also typically prefer to hire technicians who have some experience in a related field, such as auto repair or general mechanic work. If you’re willing to gain some on-the-job experience through an apprenticeship or internship, it could give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

Auto Mechanic Schools in Tennessee

In Tennessee, many schools offer post-secondary education programs in automotive and diesel technology. It’s imperative that you choose a program accredited or certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). You can find some of these programs at:

  • Lincoln College of Technology. Lincoln’s campus in Nashville provides students with a program that specializes in collision repair and refinishing. Unlike auto mechanics, auto body workers are specialists in making repairs and painting the bodies of cars, often after an accident. Instructors in the program are ASE certified (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence), and the program follows standards set by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair.
  • Tennessee College of Applied TechnologyThis school offers students several different options for earning a certificate or diploma in automotive technology, including light maintenance and repair, automotive technician assistant, automotive technician apprentice and master automotive technician. Programs are available on campuses in Nashville, Dickson, Hartsville, Murfreesboro, Crossville, Jacksboro, Livingston, Athens, Harriman, Elizabethton, Knoxville and Covington.
  • Southern Adventist University. Located in Collegedale, Southern Adventist offers students the opportunity to earn a two-year associate degree or four-year bachelor’s degree in automotive service. Students can also gain work experience through an internship program at a local repair shop.

ASE Certification

If you’re interested in becoming an auto service technician, diesel mechanic, or body repair worker in Tennessee, remember that ASE certification can help distinguish you from the competition. Through ASE certification exams covering topics like damage analysis and engine machinist maintenance, ASE will certify your expertise to potential employers.

Obtaining ASE certification is a way to validate that you have the requisite skills and knowledge for mechanic work. There are two ways you can become eligible to take the exams: by completing an educational program as well as having one year of related experience, or if you have two years’ experience in the field without any sort of diploma or degree.

Job Outlook and Earning Potential

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth in jobs for automotive service technicians and truck and diesel mechanics is strong. Growth continues at six percent, opening up thousands more jobs for qualified workers in all states. The BLS also records that, in 2020 in the state of Tennessee, there were 17,790 mechanics employed as well as 6,330 bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists. The area of the state with the highest number of employed mechanics was the region of Nashville, Davidson, Murfreesboro and Franklin.

The job outlook for automotive service technicians in Tennessee is projected to be positive through 2022, especially as more cars require complex repairs and maintenance. Auto service technicians in Tennessee earn $42,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2021). The average salary for diesel mechanics was $47,310. The top 10 percent of earners in the state for each profession took home an average of $63,890 and $66,310, respectively.

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Tennessee by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA1,350$21,96$45,670
Clarksville, TN-KY530$19,52$40,590
Cleveland, TN260$20,72$43,110
Jackson, TN370$20,82$43,310
Johnson City, TN400$20,30$42,210
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA630$20,04$41,680
Knoxville, TN2,190$21,82$45,390
Memphis, TN-MS-AR3,250$22,88$47,590
Morristown, TN210$19,49$40,540
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN4,900$22,61$47,030

Working as an Auto Mechanic in Tennessee

Tennessee is an exciting state to pursue a career as a mechanic, diesel mechanic or body repair worker. With the right education and certifications, you can find yourself in high demand for these skilled positions. In addition to the opportunity of earning competitive wages, there are many other benefits associated with pursuing a career in mechanics in Tennessee.


  • Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2022 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
  • School pages: Automotive Technology, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Memphis,; Automotive Technology, Chattanooga State Community College,; Automotive Technology, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Elizabethton,;