The Truth About Salaries For Auto Mechanics

One of the most commonly asked questions an aspiring auto mechanic has is if it is feasible to live well AND support a family on an auto mechanic salary. To be direct… it sure is! Just like any career where there is room for advancement, your years of experience and knowledge will determine how much income you will be making while living out your passion fixing cars. With that being said, don’t expect to be making enough to buy a brand new car (or even a house) right off the bat.

The novice mechanic, just out of school can be guaranteed a starting pay of roughly $10-$13 an hour. Though, this starting pay is not always ideal, it allows you to earn a paycheck as you learn about the specific automobiles you’ll see everyday. This assures that newcomers can take their time learning and building their skills up. When just starting out, if your shop is open on Saturdays, be expected to work. Your willingness to work hard will help you advance quicker.

As stated above, the more you work the better you become and with that, the better your pay becomes. The median yearly auto mechanic salary is roughly $35,000 a year. Some find that number ideal, but most want to max out their earning potential. You will not be stuck making around that amount, it is just an average. That number takes into account several factors; mainly the salaries of several different experience levels. The ability for mechanics to make two or even three times that figure is not uncommon, in fact it is commonplace.

So how does one boost their salary? As mentioned above, years of experience is the biggest factor when getting a raise. It’s not so bad because normally after working for a year, you will get that pay raise. To be eligible for this first raise you must show that you have gained further knowledge of the vehicles you are working on, the majority of your first year learning will be done while working, you may receive training pamphlets and CD’s from time to time or (if you’re lucky) your boss might enroll you in training programs. This is normally done at dealerships for factory training, but some companies have started to offer dealership specific classes to specialty shops and independent repair shops. Also be expected to repair a vehicle correctly the first time in a good amount of time.