Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Washington

If you possess the skill and dedication to craftsmanship, auto mechanics may be a perfect fit for you. In Washington state, most of the lucrative automotive technician jobs necessitate specialized educational training as well as certification in order to have an edge over other competitors vying for such roles. Therefore, gaining these qualifications should provide immense assistance when competing in this bustling job market!

Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in Washington

In Washington, an automotive technician is not legally required to have a license; nevertheless, employers frequently favor mechanics who can demonstrate their proficiency through certification. Such evidence of competency in the field is typically achieved when enrolling in an automotive technology training program.

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

  • Electrical Systems
  • Brake systems
  • Steering systems
  • Air conditioning
  • Auto repair
  • Engine repair
  • Manual drive train

Auto Mechanic Schools in Washington

In addition to traditional auto mechanic training programs, many technical colleges and vocational schools in Washington offer certifications and diploma programs. These programs can often be completed in less than two years, providing an ideal way to get started on your career path as a certified auto technician! Consider one of the following institutions if you are interested in an automotive technology program.

  • Clover Park Technical College: offers several degree and certificate programs that provide the skills needed for a successful career in a wide number of technical fields.
  • Washington Bates Technical College: offers an associate of applied science degree program in automotive technology that prepares students to work as technicians, service advisors, and shop foremen.
  • Universal Technical InstituteUTI provides a wide range of courses in auto and diesel technology, equipping students with the knowledge they need to comprehend the physical and electrical mechanics used in modern automobiles. Moreover, those enrolled at UTI have access to first-hand experience working with advanced vehicles such as heavy trucks and buses.

ASE Certification

ASE certification is the most widely recognized industry standard for automotive technicians. ASE stands for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, which is a non-profit organization that tests and certifies technicians in various areas of auto repair and maintenance. Most employers prefer to hire technicians who have ASE certification or are working towards getting certified.

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.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

The job outlook for mechanics in Washington is expected to continue growing over the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in this field will increase by 12% between 2020 and 2030.

Automotive service technicians in Washington earned a mean annual salary of $48,370 as of May 2021. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists made an average of $60,780 per year. Auto body and related repairers earned $45,850 per year while auto glass installers earned $47,640 per year.

Auto Mechanic Salaries by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA290$25,16$52,330
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA400$24,35$50,640
Kennewick-Richland, WA540$24,62$51,210
Longview, WA160$24,57$51,110
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA250$24,99$51,970
Olympia-Tumwater, WA350$24,87$51,720
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA5,470$27,19$56,560
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA1,030$23,64$49,180
Walla Walla, WA40$22,84$47,500
Wenatchee, WA180$23,98$49,880
Yakima, WA340$23,79$49,480

Working as an Auto Mechanic in Washington

Washington is home to a variety of automotive service centers and repair shops, providing ample opportunities for those who have an interest in auto mechanics. Many of these companies offer competitive wages and benefits packages, making it a great place to start or continue your career in the field. From small repair shops to large dealership service departments, there are many options available for those who want to work as an auto mechanic in Washington.


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