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Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Minnesota

If you enjoy working with your hands, working with people, and you love cars and trucks, becoming an automotive service technician or diesel mechanic may be a great option for your career. In Minnesota you can become a mechanic by apprenticing with a master mechanic or by completing a certificate or degree program and continuing training with an entry-level job. [En Español]

Those who intend on going forward with an apprenticeship or automotive technician program can expect some of the following topics to be included:

  • Electrical systems
  • Electrical and emission systems
  • Hands on car repair
  • Collision repair
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Fuel systems
  • Fuel injection
  • Auto maintenance and light repair
  • Air Conditioners

The Job Outlook for Automotive Mechanics in Minnesota

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industry for mechanics is growing all the time. There is strong, six-percent growth across the country and new positions being added all the time in Minnesota and other states. BLS statistics show that there were 14,270 auto mechanics in 2020, so this is a state with a lot of opportunities for qualified workers. The greatest number of jobs are in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

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Salaries for Auto Mechanics in Minnesota

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, highlighting significant variations based on experience and geographic location.

In Minnesota, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics earn between $28,000 and $70,000 annually. Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers have salaries ranging from $26,000 to $66,000. Automotive Body and Related Repairers earn between $30,000 and $76,000, while Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Specialists earn between $32,000 and $80,000.

Salaries in Minnesota by Occupation

Occupation 10th Percentile 25th Percentile Median 75th Percentile 90th Percentile
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics $14.00 / $29,120 $17.50 / $36,400 $21.50 / $44,720 $28.00 / $58,240 $34.00 / $70,720
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers $13.00 / $27,040 $16.50 / $34,320 $20.00 / $41,600 $25.00 / $52,000 $31.00 / $64,480
Automotive Body and Related Repairers $14.50 / $30,160 $18.00 / $37,440 $23.50 / $48,880 $30.50 / $63,440 $37.50 / $78,000
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Specialists $15.50 / $32,240 $19.50 / $40,560 $25.00 / $52,000 $32.50 / $67,600 $38.50 / $80,080

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Minnesota 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
Minneapolis $30,000 – $65,000 $28,000 – $62,000 $33,000 – $72,000 $36,000 – $78,000
St. Paul $29,000 – $63,000 $27,000 – $60,000 $32,000 – $70,000 $35,000 – $76,000
Duluth $28,000 – $62,000 $26,000 – $58,000 $31,000 – $68,000 $34,000 – $74,000
Rochester $30,000 – $64,000 $28,000 – $61,000 $33,000 – $71,000 $36,000 – $77,000

Auto Mechanic Schools in Minnesota

Minnesota is home to a number of educational degree and certificate programs for future auto mechanics. There are programs for adult students and many also for high school students who want to be prepared for work upon graduation. Look for programs accredited by National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) or Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), including:

  • Hennepin Technical College. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, Hennepin students have options for learning to become a mechanic. Students can choose from four different two-year degree programs. These include automotive technology, auto body collision technology, medium/heavy truck technology and Ford ASSET. The latter is a program in cooperation with Ford that trains students to become certified Ford and Lincoln technicians.
  • Dakota County Technical College. The campus in Rosemount, Minnesota, offers students several options for learning to become a mechanic. For two-year associate degree programs, students can choose auto body collision technology, automotive technology or heavy duty truck technology. Each of these is available as a 74-credit degree program and a 64-credit diploma program. There are also 20- to 35-credit certificate programs in subjects like body technician, paint preparation, electronics and HVAC, engine performance, powertrain and more. Dakota also offers students the General Motors ASEP program to train to become certified GM mechanics and technicians.
  • South Central College. At two campuses, in Faribault and North Mankato, South Central offers students two options. The school has an automotive service degree and a diploma program. The diploma program includes 28 technical courses, six credits of liberal arts courses and at least one elective credit. For the degree, students complete 24 technical courses, four credits of auto lab, 15 liberal arts credits and two credits in technical electives.

Minnesota also has several programs that help high school students prepare to begin work immediately after graduating. These are offered throughout the state, including programs at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Detroit Lakes, Anoka-Hennepin S.T.E.P. in Anoka, Denfeld High School in Duluth and Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, among many others.

Achieving ASE Certification

Students who have trained to become automotive service technicians or truck mechanics are prepared to begin working, but in order to be certified they also have to get some real work experience. ASE certifies mechanics in a range of specialty areas by specific examinations.

Such examinations include tests such as:

Light repair certification test

Light truck certification tests

Transit bus certification tests

These are just a few of the various tests available from ASE.

Requirements to take the exams are to have either two years of work experience or to have one year of work experience after completing a degree or certificate program.

Job Opportunities for Mechanics in Minnesota

With an education in automotive technology, you are well placed to find many job opportunities in the state. Although a degree or certificate is not required, employers prefer to hire graduates. You will be prepared upon completion of a program to work for a dealership, in a service station, in a body shop, at an oil change service station or in a mechanic shop or garage. With the completion of a training program that takes two years or less and a willingness to continue learning on the job, you will be ready to become a paid, professional mechanic in the state of Minnesota.

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