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Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Alabama

An automotive mechanic or technician is a great career choice for someone interested in working hands-on with automobiles. There are many job options in this career field including automotive service technicians (or auto mechanics), diesel mechanics, auto body and collision repair workers, and glass installers and repairers. [En Español]

In Alabama, there are no specific education requirements to work as an auto mechanic. For most entry-level positions, a high school diploma or GED is preferred but not required. Most training in this field can be self-taught or learned by working with another mechanic. There are a few high schools in Alabama that teach automotive technology; however, attending a post-secondary program and getting either a certificate or associate degree can help as far as job and salary advancement.

The Job Outlook in Alabama

In 2020, there were a total of 9,880 automotive service technicians employed in the state of Alabama, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There were also 4,690 diesel mechanics, 2,690 body and collision repair workers, and 490 glass installers and repairers. In the state of Alabama the number of auto mechanics is expected to grow by six percent in the ten years to 2030. Additionally, the number of body and collision repair workers is expected to increase by 3 percent, and the number of diesel mechanics is expected to increase by 7 percent. With that expected growth rate, a career in automotive mechanics is an excellent choice.

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Mechanic Salaries in Alabama

A career as an automotive service technician is also a career that often pays well, as it depends on particular skills and specific knowledge. In Alabama, diesel mechanics are the highest paid workers in this field. According to the data reported by the BLS in May 2021, diesel mechanics in Alabama make an average of $30.28 hourly, or $37,840 annually. Potentially, they can earn up to $62,970 nationally.

The second highest earners in this field are body and collision repair workers, making an average of $22.49 hourly, or $46,770 annually.

Salaries in Alabama by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics9,880$18,19$37,840$24,360
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers490$17.35$36,090$23,760
Automotive Body and Related Repairers2,690$22,49$46,770$27,400
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists4,690$22,32$46,420$30,280

Auto Mechanic Salaries by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL 240 $20,38$42,400
Auburn-Opelika, AL 310$19,80 $41,180
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 2,510 $21,95 $45,660
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL 470$20,50 $42,640
Decatur, AL 250 $19,66$40,890
Dothan, AL 330 $19,02 $39,570
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL 280 $19,05 $39,610
Gadsden, AL 180$19,45$40,460
Huntsville, AL 790 $21,49 $44,710
Mobile, AL 810 $21,15 $44,000
Montgomery, AL 700 $20,19 $41,980
Tuscaloosa, AL 500 $22,37 $46,530

Auto Mechanic Schools in Alabama

There are several auto mechanic schools, career technical center, and colleges for students in Alabama to explore a career in automotive repair. For those who wish to attend a mechanic school in Alabama, consider the following options:

  • The Escambia Career Readiness Center in Brewton offers an Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Program for high school students in the Escambia County school district that is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and approved by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF). This program trains students to apply communication, mathematics, science and social studies to make decisions and solve problems. They are also instructed in the proper use and maintenance of automotive tools and equipment.
  • At Bevill State Community College in Sumiton, students can focus on either an Associate in Applied Science Degree or certification in Auto Body Repair (ABR) or Diesel Technician (DEM). The Vehicle Technology and Repair Program at BSCC is ASE-based and certified through NATEF.

Students are prepared through classwork and labs to work in a variety of auto repair settings including dealerships, independent establishments and body repair shops.

  • Located in Birmingham, Lawson State Community College has an Automotive Mechanics program where students can earn a certificate in Automotive Mechanics. After completing the Automotive Mechanics certificate, along with some general ed classes and the Medium/Heavy Truck Short certificate, students can also earn an Associate degree. This program is ASE accredited.

ASE Certification

While it is not required, ASE certification is an option for auto mechanics wishing to advance their careers or boost their earning potential. There are more than 50 ASE exams that can be taken, including automobile, collision repair, medium/heavy truck and school bus. To become ASE certified, one must pass the exam as well as have two years work experience. To remain ASE certified, certified individuals need to retake the exam every five years.

Working as a Mechanic in Alabama

Whether you are an entry-level or master-level auto mechanic, diesel mechanic or body repair worker, there are plenty of opportunities for employment in Alabama. Dealerships, parts stores, repair shops, tire ships and gas stations are just a few places to work.

The highest number of auto mechanics and diesel mechanics can be found working in the Birmingham-Hoover area of Alabama. There are approximately 2,460 auto mechanics employed in this area and 1,240 diesel mechanics. The highest number of body and collision repair workers can be found in Mobile, with a total of 440 working there.

If you are interested in a career in automotive mechanics in Alabama, you will be pleased to not only find many options for training to become an auto mechanic, but you will find many employment options as well.

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