Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in West Virginia
If you’re the type of person who likes solving puzzles and delving into how things work, a career as an automotive technician or mechanic may be perfect for you. The auto industry offers many positions for those who prefer manual labor, such as service technicians, collision repair specialists, auto body workers, auto glass repairers and installers and diesel mechanics.
Requirements for becoming an Automotive Service Technician in West Virginia
Auto mechanics in West Virginia do not have to obtain a professional license in order to work. However, there are a few requirements which must be met in order to work as an automotive service technician in the state. You must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Possess basic reading and math skills
- Possess manual dexterity, good coordination and mechanical aptitude
- Have the physical ability to lift heavy objects, bend and kneel
- Have a valid state driver’s license
- Have a commitment to safety protocols and procedures
Once you meet these requirements, you can begin looking for jobs as an automotive service technician in West Virginia. Many employers prefer applicants who have completed formal training or have experience as an automotive service technician, so attending a trade school or completing an apprenticeship may be beneficial.
Auto Mechanic Schools in West Virginia
There are numerous community colleges and technical schools for those interested in becoming an automotive technician or mechanic. Some of the more notable training programs include:
- Bridge Valley Community and Technical College. This college offers an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology. Students who complete the program can become certified as an Automotive Service Technician (AST) and take the ASE Certification Exam.
- Fred W Eberle Technical Center. This school offers a two-year Automotive Technology Program that provides students with the training and experience needed for entry-level positions in automotive service, repair, and maintenance. Fred W Eberle Technical Center is a NATEF-accredited school.
In order to become certified as an Automotive Service Technician, you must pass the ASE Certification Exam. The exam consists of eight sections covering various aspects of automotive repair. There are over 40 certification tests offered by the ASE, some of which include:
- Parts specialist certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Collision repair and refinish certification tests
- Damage analysis and estimating certification test
- Alternate fuels certification test
- School bus certification tests
- Light truck certification tests
- Engine machinist certification tests
- Auto maintenance and light repair certification test
- Truck equipment certification tests
Upon successful completion of the ASE Certification Exam, you will receive your Automotive Service Technician certification. This certification is accepted by employers in West Virginia and demonstrates to them that you have the knowledge and skills required for automotive service and repair.
Auto Mechanic Jobs and Salary Expectations
Over the next decade, West Virginia is anticipating a growth in employment for auto mechanics. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 0% increase in this field from 2020-2030. Indicating job stability in this field.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021 automotive service technicians in West Virginia earned an average annual salary $30,190. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists made an average $38,640 per year while auto body and related repairers averaged $37,360 per year. Auto glass installers also brought in an annual mean salary of $37,520.
Auto Mechanic Salaries in West Virginia by Region
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Working as an Auto Mechanic in West Virginia
Working as an automotive service technician in West Virginia can be a rewarding and lucrative career. With the right training, you can become an expert in your field and find employment with many different auto repair shops or dealerships throughout the state. You may even choose to open your own shop! In whatever capacity you choose to work, being certified will help make you more attractive to employers and help you to command higher wages.
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm