Becoming an Auto Service Technician or Mechanic in Missouri
If you live in Missouri and your passion is servicing and repairing automobiles, there are some great career options available to you. Missouri offers two-year automotive service technology programs at community colleges and technical institutions. Some courses are general studies in auto mechanics, while others focus on a specialty, such as chassis, electronics and transmissions. Programs feature both academic work and on-the-job-training. All alumni are eligible to continue their education through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). [En Español]
How to become ASE Certified
To be considered for further education through the ASE and take the national certification exam, a candidate must have two years of work experience or one year of work experience plus a certificate or degree.
Some of these exams provided by ASE include:
- Truck equipment certification tests
- Light repair certification test
- Engine machinist certification tests
- Light truck certification tests
- Transit bus certification tests
- School bus certification tests
- Alternate fuels certification test
- Damage analyses and estimating certification test
Although one is not required to be licensed or certified to work as an automobile mechanic in the state of Missouri, a degree or certificate may be preferred by certain employers.
There are many technical institutions to choose from throughout Missouri. A student will learn all aspects of mechanical maintenance and repair in these programs, including:
- Engine and fuel systems
- Transmission, brakes and suspension systems
- Safety systems
- Electrical systems, wiring and in-vehicle electronics
- Emissions control systems
- Auto maintenance
These programs also offer instruction in shop safety, customer interaction and environmental regulations. There will be hands-on training exercises on automotive systems to get students ready for the field.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average earnings for mechanics nationwide was approximately $37,000 a year in 2021, but in the state of Missouri the average annual salary was slighter higher at $37,500. Some employers may pay higher wages, but they also may require higher education. If you have certification through ASE, you can land positions earning up to $60 an hour.
Salaries in Missouri by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary||Lowest 10%|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||17,140||$18.03||$37,500||$27,180|
|Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers||220||$22.45||$46,700||$37,060|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||3,830||$22.88||$47,590||$29,860|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||6,260||$22.66||$47,120||$32,580|
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Missouri by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Cape Girardeau, MO-IL||310||$18,58||$38,650|
|Jefferson City, MO||350||$19,89||$41,360|
|Kansas City, MO-KS||4,920||$21,80||$45,340|
|St. Joseph, MO-KS||280||$21,26||$44,220|
|St. Louis, MO-IL||7,290||$21,78||$45,310|
Auto Mechanic Schools in Missouri
If you are thinking of working as an automobile mechanic, be sure to find the right school for you.
There are automotive programs available all over the state, and here are a few that may fit what you are looking for:
- State Technical College of Missouri: Located in Linn, Missouri STCM offers students four different degrees and two certificate programs. Degree options include general automotive technology, electric and hybrid vehicles, high-performance vehicles, and light-duty diesel vehicles. The two certificate programs are general automotive tech and maintenance and light repair.
- Franklin Technology Center: FTC is located in Joplin Missouri, and offers programs in general automotive technology. It offers an ASE accredited program that deals in both in-class and hands-on experience in an auto tech laboratory.
- Ranken Technical College: RTC is located in St. Louis and offers a variety of degrees in the automotive field. Programs include general automotive technology, diesel technology, collision repair and fleet maintenance. There is also a Professional Technician program that offers both on-campus and off-campus instructions and internships that provide a hands-on experience.
- Vatterott College: Also located in Joplin, Vatterott College offers one program in general automotive technology and another that prepares students for the field as an auto body technician.
Career opportunities in Missouri as a Mechanic
There is work available all over the state of Missouri for automotive service technicians and mechanics. With either a certificate or degree with hands-on training it would be easy to find a job in any major city. If you live in one of the smaller towns located in the Ozarks, it may not be necessary to have either a degree or certifications, and you could start out as an entry-level employee.