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]

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 11,460 auto mechanics and 5,960 truck mechanics working in Minnesota in 2017, so this is a state with a lot of opportunities for qualified workers. The greatest number of jobs are in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Salaries for Auto Mechanics in Minnesota

Mechanics earn great salaries because they do work that requires special knowledge and skills. In 2017, according to the BLS, auto mechanics earned an average annual salary of $42,540 in Minnesota. Mechanics in the top 10 percent made an average of $61,890 in the state. Diesel mechanics earned even more, having extra skills, with $49,770 for an average salary in 2017 and $68,680 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

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%Highest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics10,770$19.32$40,180$22,390$59,290
Automotive Body and Related Repairers2,360$23.06$47,960$28,590$75,320
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers300$19.33$40,200$28,140$50,730
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists5,970$23.39$48,640$32,530$66,350

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Minnesota by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Duluth, MN-WI790$17.87$37,160
Duluth, MN-WI610$19.20$39,930
Duluth, MN-WI270$18.44$38,350
Duluth, MN-WI390$16.02$33,310
Mankato-North Mankato, MN250$21.21$44,110
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI6,030$20.25$42,120
Rochester, MN460$17.70$36,820
St. Cloud, MN640$17.17$35,710

Automotive Technology Programs 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. 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.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Duluth, MN-WI Area

Hibbing Community College

1515 E 25th St, Hibbing, Minnesota 55746
(218) 262-7200
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Hibbing Community College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are offered at their campus in the town of Hibbing, Minnesota. The majority of of the school’s 1,344 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is in the order of $5,262 and for students from outside the state around $6,433 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,050, although this varies from program to program.

Lake Superior College

2101 Trinity Rd, Duluth, Minnesota 55811-3399
(800) 432-2884
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Lake Superior College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program, an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Duluth. Most of the school’s 4,862 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $5,096 and for out-of-state students in the order of $9,470 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Mankato-North Mankato, MN Area

South Central College

1920 Lee Blvd, North Mankato, Minnesota 56003-1920
(507) 389-7200
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Automotive Technology Certificate program in Automotive Technology at South Central College is based at their campus in the city of North Mankato, Minnesota. The majority of of the school’s 2,960 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees are broadly around $5,369 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost about $1,250, although this varies from program to program.

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Area

Anoka Technical College

1355 Highway 10 West, Anoka, Minnesota 55303
(763) 433-1100
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technician at Anoka Technical College can be taken at their campus in Anoka in Anoka County, Minnesota. The majority of of the school’s 2,027 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees are broadly around $5,534 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program.

Century College

3300 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110
(651) 770-3200
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Century College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in White Bear Lake in Ramsey County. Most of the school’s 8,996 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition is in the order of $5,360 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,200, although this will vary with the program.

Dakota County Technical College

1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, Minnesota 55068-2999
(651) 423-8301
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Dakota County Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Rosemount in Dakota County. The majority of of the school’s 2,783 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition is in the order of $5,662 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program chosen.

Dunwoody College of Technology

818 Dunwoody Blvd, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403-1192
(612) 374-5800
Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Dunwoody College of Technology’s Associate program is taught at their campus in the city of Minneapolis, MN. The majority of of the school’s 1,094 students are on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition is in the order of $20,428 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,011, depending on the program.

Hennepin Technical College

9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55445
(952) 995-1300
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Hennepin Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Brooklyn Park in Hennepin County. The college has in the order of 5,676 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The Automotive Technician program is offered with the option of completing a Ford ASSET program. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $5,130 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $2,000, depending on the program chosen.

Saint Paul College

235 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102-9808
(651) 846-1600
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program, Auto Body Repair – Associate Program

Saint Paul College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Saint Paul. Most of the school’s 6,428 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $5,458 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,200, although this will vary with the program.

Northeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area Area

Pine Technical & Community College

900 4th St SE, Pine City, Minnesota 55063
(320) 629-5100
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technician at Pine Technical & Community College can be taken at their campus in the town of Pine City. Most of the school’s 1,310 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is around $4,029 and for out-of-state students around $7,668 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $2,000, depending on the program chosen.

Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area Area

Alexandria Technical & Community College

1601 Jefferson Streeet, Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
(320) 762-0221
Diesel Mechanics – Certificate Program

Alexandria Technical & Community College’s Certificate-level Diesel Mechanics program is offered at their campus in Alexandria in Douglas County. This public college has about 2,702 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees are likely to be around $5,358 annually. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,200, although this will vary with the program.

Central Lakes College-Brainerd

501 West College Drive, Brainerd, Minnesota 56401-3900
(218) 855-8000
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Central Lakes College’s Certificate-level Automotive Technology program is based at their Brainerd campus in the town of Brainerd, Minnesota. The college has round 4,274 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees are generally around $5,384 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,000, depending on the program.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

1414 College Way, Fergus Falls, Minnesota 56537-1000
(218) 736-1500
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Fergus Falls, MN. The college has around 6,391 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees are generally about $5,338 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,960, depending on the program.

Northland Community and Technical College

1101 Hwy One East, Thief River Falls, Minnesota 56701
(218) 683-8800
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Northland Community and Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Thief River Falls, MN. This public college has in the order of 3,573 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees are likely to be in the order of $5,484 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,000, although this will vary with the program.

Northwest Technical College

905 Grant Avenue SE, Bemidji, Minnesota 56601-4907
(218) 333-6600
Automotive Service – Certificate Program, Automotive Service – Associate Program

Northwest Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the town of Bemidji. This public college has in the order of 1,128 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees are usually around $5,428 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,600, although this will depend on the program.

Rochester, MN Area

Rochester Community and Technical College

851 30th Ave SE, Rochester, Minnesota 55904-4999
(507) 285-7210
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Rochester Community and Technical College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Rochester, Minnesota. Most of the school’s 5,584 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition are broadly about $5,588 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,600, depending on the program.

Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area Area

Minnesota State College Southeast

1250 Homer Rd, Winona, Minnesota 55987
(507) 453-2700
Undercar Specialist – Certificate Program

Minnesota State College Southeast offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Winona, MN. The majority of of the school’s 2,059 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees are around $5,590 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,000, although this varies from program to program.

Riverland Community College

1900 8th Ave NW, Austin, Minnesota 55912-1473
(507) 433-0600
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Riverland Community College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Austin, Minnesota. Most of the school’s 3,068 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition is in the order of $5,507 annually. Learning materials may cost around $600, although this will vary with the program.

Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area Area

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

1593 11th Ave, Granite Falls, Minnesota 56241
(800) 658-2330
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Minnesota West Community and Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the town of Granite Falls. The college has about 3,026 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $5,640 and for out-of-state students approximately $10,736 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,200, although this will depend on the program.

Ridgewater College

2101 15th Ave NW, Willmar, Minnesota 56201
(800) 722-1151
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Ridgewater College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Willmar, Minnesota. Most of the school’s 3,563 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees are generally around $5,370 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,200, although this will depend on the program.

St. Cloud, MN Area

St Cloud Technical and Community College

1540 Northway Drive, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56303-1240
(320) 308-5000
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

St Cloud Technical and Community College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are based at their campus in the city of Saint Cloud, MN. The majority of of the school’s 4,701 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Fees for tuition are usually about $5,295 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program chosen.

* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.

Neighbor States

See options in the neighboring states of Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

NATEF Accredited Secondary School Programs

Below is a list of NATEF accredited high school programs, offering training in automotive technology, autobody and collision repair and diesel mechanic programs in the state of Minnesota. Please note that accreditation status is correct at the time of writing and may have since changed. Please check with the school and with NATEF before making any commitment.

AnokaChaskaDetroit LakesDuluthFaribaultFergus FallsJacksonMinneapolisMoorheadOsseoSt. CloudSt. PaulWhite Bear Lake

City: Anoka

Anoka-Hennepin S.T.E.P.

1353 W. Hwy. 10, Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 576-4861

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Chuck Edstrom
Tel: (763) 576-4861
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Chaska

South West Metro Educational Cooperative

401 E. 4th St., Chaska, MN 55318
(952) 368-8837

Automotive Program

Contact: Lee Berger
Tel: (952) 368-8837
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Detroit Lakes

Minnesota State Community & Technical College

900 Hwy. 34 E., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
(218) 846-3790

Automotive Program

Contact: Joe Griffin
Tel: (218) 846-3790
Programs: Master Automobile Service Technology

City: Duluth

Denfeld High School

401 N 44th Ave West, Duluth, MN 55807
(218) 336-8830

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Phil Rannila
Tel: (218) 336-8830
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Faribault

Faribault High School

330 SW 9th Ave., Faribault, MN 55021
(507) 333-6239

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Mark Lessman
Tel: (507) 333-6239
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Fergus Falls

Fergus Falls High School

601 Randolph Ave., Fergus Falls, MN 56537
(218) 998-0544

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Ben Johnson
Tel: (218) 998-0544
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Jackson

Minnesota West Community & Technical College

401 W. St., Jackson, MN 56143
(507) 847-7948

Automotive Program

Contact: Doug Kleeberger
Tel: (507) 847-7948
Programs: Master Automobile Service Technology

City: Minneapolis

Roosevelt High School

4029 28th Ave., S., Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 668-4832

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Barry Lampi
Tel: (612) 668-4800
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: Curtis Franks
Tel: (612) 668-4832
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair, Painting and Refinishing

City: Moorhead

Moorhead High School

2300 4th Ave., S., Moorhead, MN 56560
(218) 354-2805

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Loran Rood
Tel: (218) 354-2805
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Osseo

Osseo Senior High School-Independent School District 279

317 2nd Ave NW, Osseo, MN 55369
(763) 391-8500

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Andrew Kavanagh
Tel: (763) 391-8500
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: St. Cloud

St. Cloud Technical & Community College

1000 N 44th Ave., St. Cloud, MN 56303
(320) 308-1593

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Byron Byker
Tel: (320) 308-1593
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: St. Paul

Saint Paul High School

810 Palace Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 744-1312

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Kathy Kittel
Tel: (651) 744-1312
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: White Bear Lake

Northeast Metro 916 Career & Technical Center

3300 Century Ave. N., White Bear Lake, MN 55110
(651) 415-5590

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Pete Tennant
Tel: (651) 415-5590
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair