Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Colorado
Many people choose to pursue a career as an automotive service technician, a body work or collision repairer, or a diesel or heavy truck mechanic because these careers are hands-on, and skilled professionals are always in demand. In Colorado, there are no specific education requirements, but most people choose to complete a secondary program to learn the basic skills of auto repair and maintenance. With those skills you can then land an entry-level position, continue your training on the job and eventually become certified. [En Español]
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) records that there were 12,350 auto mechanics working in Colorado in 2020. There were also 4,750 bus and truck diesel mechanics and 3,490 automotive body repair workers. The expected growth in all of these industries is positive in Colorado and other states. The statistics show that between now and 2030 there will be thousands of new jobs available for qualified workers.
In Colorado, the salaries for mechanics and other auto workers reflect the amount of training and specialized knowledge required to do the jobs. Mechanics made an average annual salary of $48,040 in 2021, according to the BLS. The highest-earning workers in the field made an average of $76,710, reflecting the room for advancement with experience and extra training.
Workers in the state who specialize in diesel engines and heavy trucks earned even more in 2021, with an average annual income of $59,770, with top earners making $78,260. Body and collision workers earned $48,900 on average and a high income of $98,719 The highest average salaries in the state are for auto body and collision workers in the Fort Collins area.
Salaries in Colorado by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary||Lowest 10%|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||12,350||$23,09||$48,040||$29,780|
|Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers||210||$21,88||$45,510||$29,490|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||3,490||$23,51||$48,900||$29,400|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||4,750||$28,73||$59,770||$38,250|
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Colorado by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Colorado Springs, CO||1,430||$24,49||$50,950|
|Fort Collins, CO||870||$25,13||$52,260|
|Grand Junction, CO||430||$23,62||$49,130|
Auto Mechanic Schools in Colorado
For those interested in working with cars and trucks in Colorado, there are several educational opportunities, including general programs and those specific to a manufacturer:
- Arapahoe Community College. This school in Littleton offers an automotive technology training program, which prepares students for jobs and to become certified through ASA, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. The program is two years long and culminates in an associate’s degree. Students also have the chance to earn manufacturer-specific training through GM ASEP, Mopar CAP, Honda PACT, and Nissan’s Denver Technician Apprenticeship Program.
- Pikes Peak Community College. At this Colorado Springs campus, students can choose to earn a certificate or a two-year degree in automotive technology. The certificate programs allow students to specialize in areas like brakes, electronics, air conditioning and heating, drivetrain, and automotive parts.
- Colorado Mesa University. The Grand Junction campus of this school also offers students the option of a certificate or an associate’s degree in automotive technology and service repair. The degree program includes 70 credit hours of coursework, while the certificate program includes just 25 credits. Students can specialize in diesel mechanics or light duty automotive mechanics. The programs are offered in conjunction with Western Colorado Community College.
High school students in Colorado can often complete a program before graduating. These vocational programs are offered in several districts and schools including Overland High School in Aurora, Brighton High School in Brighton and Doherty High School in Colorado Springs. Several community college programs are also open to high school students.
To become a mechanic in Colorado does not require a specific educational path or certification, but most employers want to hire people who have completed a secondary program and are on the path to becoming ASE certified. ASE provides exams that mechanics can qualify for by either having two years of work experience or by having one year or experience as well as a certificate or degree.
Other related certification tests include:
- Light truck certification tests
- Light repair certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Parts specialist certification tests
- Engine machinist certification tests
- School bus certification tests
- Truck equipment certification tests
Working as a Mechanic in Colorado
Mechanics are needed in Colorado to work in dealerships, service repair shops, service stations and collision, body and paint shops. The greatest numbers of job opportunities are in the larger population settings, including Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder. There are also jobs available in dealerships and smaller repair facilities in Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction.
If you are interested in a career in auto mechanics, diesel repair or auto body work, Colorado is a great choice. There are plenty of schools for training and many opportunities for jobs for those who are trained, educated and ready to get to work.