Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Repair Technician in Georgia
If you are mechanically inclined and not afraid to get your hands dirty, automotive mechanics may be a field to explore. In Georgia, most of the better paying auto technician jobs will require specialized training and certification. Obtaining this should allow you to have an edge and be competitive. [En Español]
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that, in 2020, Georgia had 22,320 automotive service technicians and mechanics gainfully employed throughout the state. Georgia had 8,240 people working as heavy vehicle mechanics, making this a high-demand choice. Unfortunately, accidents happen and you might decide to be the one who handles the cosmetic damage. The 2020 BLS report shows Georgia had 5,560 people working in auto body repair and 340 auto glass workers at the time.
Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow at a rate of 7 percent between 2020 and 2030, adding 45,900 jobs in the field.
Salary is paramount for everyone. The BLS 2021 report shows that mechanics in Georgia averaged $43,750 per year, with salaries reaching a high of $75,240. If you are looking for more money you cannot go wrong with heavy diesel mechanics, which averages $47,310 per year. Truck and bus mechanics who prove to be talented and have experience can reach yearly salaries of $67,960 or more. The current job market in Georgia also places high value on automotive body repairers. Annual salaries for the auto body field are averaging $47,140, with high-end, experienced repairers receiving over $80,510.
Salaries in Georgia by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary||Lowest 10%|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||22,320||$21,03||$43,750||$23,830|
|Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers||340||$17,03||$35,420||$26,780|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||5,560||$22,67||$47,140||$29,400|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||8,240||$22,75||$47,310||$29,830|
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Georgia by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Athens-Clarke County, GA||420||$20,99||$43,650|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||13,280||$22,85||$47,530|
|Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC||1,160||$21,32||$44,350|
|Warner Robins, GA||370||$20,57||$42,780|
Auto Mechanic Schools in Georgia
Almost every reputable employer in the automobile repair industry will prefer that you have a degree or a certificate. There are numerous post-secondary school choices in Georgia that will prepare you to become a competent and marketable automotive repair technician. High school students often will have access to automotive mechanic programs at vocational technical schools that will give them a head start when they graduate. Here are just a few of the auto mechanic training options available:
- Augusta Technical College. A diploma program in automotive technology can be pursued at the Augusta and Waynesboro campuses, requiring 55 credit hours. The curriculum focuses on a combination of automotive mechanical and electrical/electronic theory, which prepares students for entry-level jobs. Other certifications can be obtained that require fewer credit hours, including automotive transmission/transaxle, climate control, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance and chassis technician programs.
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College. A five-semester Associate in Applied Science degree in automotive technology is available at the DeKalb campus. If you are looking for something that takes less time, consider one of their diploma programs including automotive technology, bus maintenance technician, mobility/light vehicle technician, automotive fundamentals and motorcycle service technology. An even faster solution to getting into the workforce is their Technical Certificate of Credit (TCC) programs in automotive chassis, climate control, engine performance, engine repair, transmission/transaxle and electrical/electronic systems.
- Chattahoochee Technical College. An associate degree program and a diploma program in automotive technology are available at the Appalachian, Marietta and North Metro campuses. These give you everything you need to start as a mechanic with an entry-level position. This college also offers six certification programs in automotive transmission/transaxle, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, climate control and chassis. Another option available at the Appalachian campus is a diploma program in automotive collision repair, along with several related certificate programs. Nationally-recognized Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) training certificates are received upon graduation. The program is also industry-recognized by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF).
- Coastal Pines Technical College. This college has all three of the major automotive repair technician programs: automotive technology, diesel equipment technology and automotive collision repair diplomas or certifications. The diesel equipment technology program combines truck, heavy equipment, marine systems and emergency power generator repair theory and practical application. This program is NATEF certified and qualifies graduates to be major collision repair technicians, painting and refinishing technicians or mechanical and electrical helpers. Automotive technology at Coastal Pines is similar to the aforementioned colleges, except they have an additional Motorsports Fabrication Technician certificate available.
Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications make the difference when looking for potential employment in auto repair. There are more than 40 ASE tests you can pursue in the following categories:
- Light truck certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- Medium-Heavy Truck
- Alternate fuels certification test
- School & Transit Buses
- Auto & Truck Parts
- Estimating certification test
- Light repair certification test
In order to qualify to take these tests you will first need to have one to three years of work and education experience. Once you pass a test, you will receive the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence in that area.
Working in the Auto Repair Field in Georgia
By successfully completing a program and continuing to obtain certifications through ASE, more doors will open for you. Some places that hire automobile repair technicians include dealerships, private garages, oil and tire change locations, and auto body shops. Those who choose to pursue the heavy diesel mechanic route can expect to find jobs with businesses that have fleets of delivery and moving trucks, as well as government agencies and tractor shops.
Population density means more open positions in this field and higher wages. When looking for a job, consider searching in the Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Roswell areas. Savannah and the Augusta/Richmond County, SC, vicinities are also hotspots for mechanic jobs. A close look at the BLS 2017 information reveals that East Georgia’s nonmetropolitan area is the place to be if you are considering an automotive body repair career. The average salary there exceeds $53,180 per year.