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Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Iowa

If you’re looking for a job where you can apply your problem-solving skills and spend your days working with cars and trucks, you should look into becoming an automotive technician or mechanic. Auto technicians can work in the field as mechanics, auto body repairers, auto glass installers, diesel mechanics, and bus and truck mechanics. [En Español]

In Iowa, there are no special licensing requirements to work as a mechanic, however additional education and experience in the field will offer more opportunities for employment. Many high schools offer classes, and there are a wide variety of college and technical schools that have programs for those who are interested in pursuing a career in automotive technology.

The following topics may be covered in an automotive technology program:

  • Auto mechanics
  • Engine repair
  • Auto maintenance
  • Electrical systems
  • Engine performance
  • Air conditioning
  • Fuel systems
  • Brake systems

The Job Outlook in Iowa

Iowa had a total of 13,950 automotive technology specialists working in the state, according to the May 2020 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. This represents 8,210 auto service technicians and mechanics, 2,060 auto body and related repairers, 260 auto glass installers and repairers, and 4,680 bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists. These numbers are expected to increase by 8.4 percent in the next decade to 2030.

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Mechanic Salaries in Iowa

This includes information for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers, Automotive Body and Related Repairers, and Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists. The salary data is categorized by percentile and region, revealing significant variations based on experience and geographic location.

In Iowa, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics earn between $25,000 and $61,000 annually. Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers have salaries ranging from $23,000 to $59,000. Automotive Body and Related Repairers earn between $28,000 and $70,000, while Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Specialists earn between $30,000 and $75,000.

Salaries in Iowa by Occupation

Occupation 10th Percentile 25th Percentile Median 75th Percentile 90th Percentile
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics $12.00 / $25,000 $15.00 / $31,200 $19.00 / $39,520 $24.00 / $49,920 $29.00 / $60,320
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers $11.00 / $23,000 $14.00 / $29,120 $18.00 / $37,440 $23.00 / $47,840 $28.00 / $58,240
Automotive Body and Related Repairers $13.00 / $28,000 $16.00 / $33,280 $21.00 / $43,680 $27.00 / $56,160 $33.00 / $68,640
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Specialists $14.00 / $30,000 $18.00 / $37,440 $23.00 / $47,840 $29.00 / $60,320 $35.00 / $72,800

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Iowa by Region

Region Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers Automotive Body and Related Repairers Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Specialists
Des Moines $26,000 – $56,000 $24,000 – $52,000 $28,000 – $62,000 $32,000 – $68,000
Cedar Rapids $25,000 – $55,000 $23,000 – $50,000 $27,000 – $60,000 $31,000 – $66,000
Davenport $26,000 – $57,000 $24,000 – $53,000 $28,000 – $63,000 $32,000 – $69,000
Sioux City $27,000 – $58,000 $25,000 – $54,000 $29,000 – $64,000 $33,000 – $70,000

Auto Mechanic Schools in Iowa

There are several colleges throughout the state of Iowa that offer both certificate programs and degree options for students interested in pursuing additional education.

  • Kirkwood Community College. Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this community college offers a certificate program in auto collision repair and an associate degree program in automotive technology, with an option for students to complete the Toyota T-TEN program, a specialized program offered by Toyota that offers internship opportunities at local dealerships.
  • Des Moines Area Community College. This school offers both a certificate program and an associate degree program in auto technology. They also offer participation in GM ASEP, where students get real-world work experience with participating dealerships through General Motors.

There is one high school in Des Moines that offers additional educational opportunities for students. Des Moines Central Campus High School is a NATEF-accredited school.

ASE Certification

ASE Certification is available for auto technicians who have a minimum of two years of experience and can pass a test demonstrating their knowledge and skills. This test is offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Having an ASE certificate shows potential employers and customers that you are a highly-trained and skilled auto technician.

Working as an Auto Mechanic in Iowa

Job opportunities in Iowa are plentiful, especially in the areas of Omaha and Council Bluffs, as well as the Davenport, Moline and Rock Island region. Des Moines is another area that is rich with job opportunities, especially for auto service technicians and mechanics. The BLS report from May 2020 showed 2,110 auto service technicians in Omaha, 1,610 in Des Moines and 1,170 in the Davenport region. Most bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists were concentrated in the Omaha area, with a total of 1,300 jobs reported. The highest earners in this industry worked in the Omaha area.

Entry-level jobs in auto technology require a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.

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