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Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Mississippi

In Mississippi, the choice to work in the auto mechanic industry could be a great career move for anyone who likes to maintain and repair vehicles. Like many other fields, the automotive industry has different areas of interest to choose from. The specialty area in which you decide to work may be influenced by career requirements or personal preferences, but the most common variety of auto mechanics include service technicians, collision repair and auto body workers, diesel mechanics, and auto glass installers and repairers. [En Español]

Mississippi has auto mechanic jobs available at every level and in every automotive specialty. Specialized jobs often require certifications or degrees in automotive technology from post-secondary programs along with licensing, particularly manufacturer-specific jobs like those at car dealerships.

If higher education isn’t for you, however, there are entry-level positions available that have a minimum education requirement of either a high school diploma or its equivalent. If you want to go this route, you can enter the workforce now and work your way up using talent and hard work as your professional foundation while you acquire useful auto mechanic skills and job experience. You can always enroll in a technical college if you change your mind down the road.

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While auto mechanics and service technicians in Mississippi are not required to have a license to work on vehicles, a degree or certificate from an accredited automotive technology program can help show future employers that an auto mechanic has been vetted and meets industry standards. Depending on your professional goals, you should consider an automotive education as an investment in your future.

The Job Outlook in Mississippi

In May 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a total of 6,470 automotive employees working in Mississippi. The BLS also stated that the overall U.S. job growth rate for auto mechanics will be minus 5 percent over the next several years.

Mechanic Salaries in Mississippi

The BLS report from May 2021 showed that mechanic salaries in Mississippi were a little lower than the national average. Salaries for mechanics in Mississippi were reported at an average annual rate of $36,760 or $17.68 per hour for auto mechanics and service technicians, and $46,420 per year or $22.32 per hour for diesel mechanics.

Salaries in Mississippi by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics6,470$17.68$36,760$21,800
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers180$17.12$35,610$22,440
Automotive Body and Related Repairers1,370$17.88$37,200$23,160
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists3,050$22.32$46,420$29,230

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Mississippi by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS770$20,71$43,070
Hattiesburg, MS360$21,04$43,760
Jackson, MS1,320$22,97$47,780

Auto Mechanic Schools in Mississippi

Mississippi offers several college campuses where students can earn degrees or certificates in Automotive Technology. The following institutions are some great places to start or extend your automotive education and bring it to the next level. All offer diesel mechanic programs in addition to automotive technology programs, and each one gives students the chance to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real vehicles in their labs and shops.

  • Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Located in Wesson, Co-Lin CC offers students training in the maintenance and repair of key automotive vehicle systems.
  • Hinds Community College. HCC has three options available for students enrolled in its automotive technology program. Students can acquire a career certificate, a technical certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree, and all three programs include basic instruction of the main aspects of repairing and servicing today’s most common vehicular systems.
  • Itawamba Community College. ICC has a small college campus located in the rural area of Fulton. ICC has both a one-year and two-year Auto Tech program for students to choose from. Upon completion of the program, students will have a thorough knowledge of the operations of the modern automobiles and will have the core skills to diagnose, repair and service them.

ASE Certification

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a certification credential that auto mechanics can use to prove to potential employers that they have met a certain level in the automotive field. Auto mechanics who choose to earn their ASE certificate need to fulfill one of two qualifications in order to be eligible to take the ASE exams: at least two years of related work experience or one year of work experience plus a post-secondary certificate or degree.

There are over 40 different ASE certification exams available, and mechanics can choose to earn credentials in specific areas such as brakes, electrical systems, or engine repair.

Some of these tests include:

  • Truck equipment certification tests
  • Light repair certification test
  • Light truck certification tests
  • Alternate fuels certification test
  • Transit bus certification tests

The ASE certificate confirms that the mechanic is trained and proficient in all areas of automotive technology and can accurately detect, diagnose, repair and maintain vehicles, including automobiles, light and heavy trucks and busses, as well as perform collision repair and auto body work.

Working as an Auto Mechanic in Mississippi

Auto mechanic jobs can be found all over the state of Mississippi, but the highest number of jobs are usually found in and around the Jackson, Gulfport and Hattiesburg areas. Car dealerships, body shops, tire stores and diesel fleet companies are all good places to find work. In smaller towns and rural areas, the job market is smaller, but independently owned shops are usually in need of talented auto mechanics with good customer service skills, and they are often willing to train mechanics at their shops.

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