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.
Penn Foster College – Online Auto Repair Technician Career Diploma
Earn your Career Diploma online through Penn Foster College’s Regionally and nationally accredited school. The Automotive Repair Technician Program, developed by ASE Master Technicians and leading experts in the field of auto repair, will teach you relevant skills and subject matter. You’ll even get preparation for the ASE certification exams on major systems such as brakes, suspension and steering, manual drive train and axles, and more! Call 1-800-851-1819 today.
Salaries for Auto Mechanics in Minnesota
Mechanics earn great salaries because they do work that requires special knowledge and skills. In 2021, according to the BLS, auto mechanics earned an average annual salary of $47,560 in Minnesota. Mechanics in the top 10 percent made an average of $76,620 in the state. Diesel mechanics earned even more, having extra skills, with $59,250 for an average salary in 2021 and $76,150 for the top earners. The highest salaries were found in Minneapolis and St. Paul, followed by Mankato, Fargo and Rochester.
Salaries in Minnesota by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary||Lowest 10%|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||14,270||$22.87||$47,560||$29,830|
|Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers||460||$22.64||$47,090||$36,950|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||3,000||$22.88||$47,590||$37,010|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||7,090||$28.49||$59,250||$38,420|
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Minnesota by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Mankato-North Mankato, MN||300||$23,72||$49,350|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||7,760||$26,18||$54,440|
|St. Cloud, MN||650||$23,88||$49,670|
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.