Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Washington DC

If you have the passion and commitment to excellence, a career as an auto mechanic may be right for you. In Washington DC, most of the highest-paying automotive technician jobs require special educational qualifications and certification in order to stand out from other applicants vying for these roles. Gaining these credentials should give you the upper hand when competing in this competitive job market!

Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Washington DC

Although no licensing is necessary to work as an automotive technician in Washington DC, employers often give preference to mechanics who can prove their competence. Gaining evidence of expertise in the field typically involves enrolling and participating in a comprehensive automotive technology training program.

The following topics may be covered by various auto mechanic programs:

  • Electrical Systems
  • Brake systems
  • Steering systems
  • Auto power trains
  • Automotive electronics
  • Auto alignment
  • Air conditioning
  • Auto repair
  • Engine repair
  • Manual drive train
  • Suspension systems

Auto Mechanic Schools in Washington DC

Washington DC is a great place to begin your career as an auto technician, offering many technical colleges and vocational schools that provide both certification and diploma programs. Best of all, these courses can be finished in under two years with the proper dedication. Consider one of the following institutions if you are interested in an automotive technology program.

  • Lincoln College of Technology. With its campus based in nearby Columbia, MD and its programs accredited by NATEF, the college provides students with a comprehensive curriculum focused on automotive mechanics, service management and technology. Through their partnership with AUDI they are able to equip students for successful career paths within the automotive industry.
  • The Universal Technical Institute. Offers certification in automotive technology. Their certificate programs include entry-level certifications, master technician certifications and other specialized degrees.

ASE Certification

Achieving an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is the gold standard for automotive technicians. This credential, provided by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence – a non-profit organization that tests and verifies technician competency in various fields related to car repair and maintenance – will certainly give you a leg up on the competition come time to apply for jobs; most employers prefer those who have either already attained this distinction or are actively working towards it.

There are more than 40 ASE certification exams available in various areas of automotive repair and maintenance. Some of these tests include:

  • Light truck certification tests
  • Truck equipment certification tests
  • Light repair certification test
  • Alternate fuels certification test
  • Transit bus certification tests
  • Damage analysis and estimating certification test
  • Collision repair and refinish certification tests

To become ASE certified, technicians must first pass each of the required tests for their desired certification. After passing all of the exams, continuing education credits must be earned every five years to maintain certification.

Career Opportunities and Salary Expectations

The job outlook for mechanics in Washington DC is expected to continue growing over the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in this field will increase by 0% between 2020 and 2030, indicating stability in the field.

Automotive service technicians in Washington DC earned a mean annual salary of $60,590 as of May 2021. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists made an average of $48,690 per year. Auto body and related repairers earned $37,920 per year while auto glass installers earned $47,270 per year.

Auto Mechanic Salaries by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV11,340$28,03$60,590

Working as an Auto Mechanic in Washington DC

Washington DC is a great place to work as an auto mechanic. With its bustling economy and numerous employers, you will have ample opportunities to find a job that suits your skillset. Additionally, the city’s vibrant culture provides plenty of activities and community events for you to participate in when you’re not working.


  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2022 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,