Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Arkansas
A career in automotive repair or body work is both interesting and lucrative. These are hands-on careers that are different every day and that pay well because they require skills and specific knowledge. In Arkansas there are plenty of opportunities for qualified mechanics, and there are no specific education requirements. [En Español]
Most employers like to see job candidates that have completed some type of secondary program in automotive technician studies, but they also typically continue training new workers on the job. High school student in Arkansas can also jumpstart their automotive tech careers by completing a vocational program.
In 2020, there were about 10,000 people working in automotive tech careers in Arkansas: 5,380 automotive service technicians and mechanics, 3,880 diesel and heavy truck mechanics, 1,470 auto body and collision repairers, and 100 automotive glass repairers and installers. All of these jobs are on the rise across all states, including Arkansas. The growth is expected to continue, opening up thousands of additional jobs between now and 2030.
The specialized skills and knowledge required to be a mechanic or to make auto body repairs demand comparable salaries. In Arkansas, the average salary for a mechanic is $19.08 per hour and $39,680 annually. With experience on the job and certification or specializations, mechanics in the state can earn even more. The top earners in the field in Arkansas make $61,210 yearly.
Salaries in Arkansas by Occupation
|Average Hourly Wage
|Average Annual Salary
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
|Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Arkansas by Region
|Mean Hourly Wage
|Mean Annual Salary
|Fort Smith, AR-OK
|Hot Springs, AR
|Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR
|Pine Bluff, AR
Auto Mechanic Schools in Arkansas
High school students and graduates have a few options for learning to become a mechanic or other type of automotive worker in Arkansas. For those who are interested in attending an auto mechanic school in Arkansas, Consider the following options:
- University of Arkansas. The U of A campus at Monticello offers both a certificate program and a two-year associate degree program in automotive service technology. The certificate program includes 45 credits of coursework, which includes the option to get real-world work experience by participating in an internship.
- South Arkansas Community College. The automotive maintenance certificate program at the El Dorado campus is just 16 credit hours and teaches students the basics of engine repair, automotive electronics, steering, suspension and drivetrain. The program has been certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and prepares students for entry-level jobs.
- Pulaski Technical College. In North Little Rock, students at Pulaski can complete a four-semester NATEF-certified automotive technology program to become mechanics. The total cost of the course, including tuition and books, is $13,101. The school also offers a few specialized certificate programs, like engine machinist certificate and tire center operator certificate.
- Northwest Technical Institute. The automotive programs at this Springdale campus include two regular semesters, plus a summer semester, and in total cost about $4,793 to complete. They are NATEF-certified and prepare students for certification and entry-level positions. The programs include automotive service technology, diesel and truck technology, and electronics technology.
High school students may be able to attend a college-level program to become a mechanic, but there are also several schools that offer a vocational course of study. These are run through AYES, the Automotive Youth Education Systems, part of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which certifies mechanics and other automotive techs. One example is the Southern Arkansas University Tech High School Career Academy in Camden, which offers students an automotive service technology program.
There are no real requirements for landing a job in the automotive service industry, but most auto mechanics choose to further their careers by getting certified through ASE. This independent organization offers testing for several types of automotive professionals, including collision repair and automobile service and tech. To qualify for a certifying exam requires either the completion of a secondary program with one year of work experience or two years of work experience.
Where to Work as a Mechanic in Arkansas
One of the great things about this career is that trained mechanics are needed everywhere. In Arkansas, the most opportunities for jobs are in higher population areas, like Fayetteville, Springdale and Little Rock. Mechanics are always needed in service stations, at dealerships and at independent repair and body shops. Arkansas offers a lot of great opportunities for individuals interested in learning how to become a mechanic and then finding a great job within the state.