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Becoming an Auto Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Montana

There is an abundance of opportunities for individuals looking to begin or relocate their work as automotive technicians or mechanics in the state of Montana. Available employment includes jobs as automotive technicians and mechanics, automotive body and related repairers, automotive glass installers and repairers, bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists. [En Español]

Although there are currently no Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) programs available in Montana, there are plenty of auto technology degree and certificate programs offered throughout the state that will improve knowledge and experience.

To begin a career as a mechanic, it’s not required to have post-secondary educational training before beginning an entry-level position. Advancement in automotive careers and salary increases can come with experience and more skills in the industry. It’s highly suggested, however, to obtain the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification to advance in the industry, which is easily obtained with proper training.

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Penn Foster College – Online Auto Repair Technician Career Diploma

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Job Outlook in Montana

According to the May 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2,940 automotive service technicians and mechanics were employed in Montana. An additional 530 people were employed as automotive body and related repairers, 180 as automotive glass installers and repairers and 1,060 as heavy vehicle mechanics. There is a projected employment increase of 9.7 percent in the automotive industry in Montana until the year 2024.

Mechanic Salaries in Montana

Per the BLS, automotive mechanics earned an average salary of $47,120 annually, or $22,66 per hour, in 2021. Entry-level positions for the job averaged $23,310 annually, or $11,21 per hour. The average salary increased to $61,270 annually, or $29,46 per hour, as experience grew. Automotive technicians and mechanics could earn up to $75,100 per year, or $36,11 an hour.

Automotive body and related repairers in Montana earn an average of $47,100 per year, or $22,64 an hour. Entry-level jobs begin with an average salary of $29,070 per year, or $17,96 an hour. Similarly, automotive glass installers and repairers earn an average of $37,350 a year in Montana. Entry-level positions begin with an average salary of $34,980 a year, or $16,82 an hour.

Truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists received the highest annual salary of $47,410, or $22,79 per hour. Entry-level truck mechanics or diesel specialists made an average of $22,680 annually, or $10,91 hourly, and up to an average of $62,530 yearly, or $30.06 hourly, with additional experience. Truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists could earn around $76,150 per year, or $36,61 an hour.

Salaries in Montana by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics3,310$22.66$47,120$23,310
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers170$17.96$37,350$34,980
Automotive Body and Related Repairers800$22.64$47,100$29,070
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists990$22.79$47,410$22,680

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Montana by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Billings, MT440$23,60$49,090
Great Falls, MT170$21,66$45,050
Missoula, MT210$21,46$44,640

Popular Auto Mechanic Schools in Montana

Although it is not required to have formal training to become a mechanic in Montana, those who want to advance in their career would benefit from training and obtaining certifications. Montana State University has locations in Billings and Havre that have Associate and Bachelor degree programs in automotive technology. For those living in northern Montana, Havre does not offer any certification programs.

Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, MT, offers Associate and certification programs for automotive technology. The certification program is typically a year-long program consisting of 30 credits to enhance entry-level job performance and increase the chances of advancing in the industry. Fort Peck Community College’s Associate degree program in automotive technology is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and adheres to the curriculum needed to advance in the automotive industry. Completing the associate degree program involves the same requirements as the certification program and an additional year of advanced classes.

Where to Find Work in Montana

For a new career as an automotive mechanic, Great Falls, MT, offers the highest entry-level salary in Montana at $23,830 per year. Great Falls also offers the least competition in the field with only 220 employed according to BLS. For bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists, the highest entry-level salary is in Missoula, MT, at $29,990 per year. The least competition is in Great Falls with only 50 employed bus, truck and diesel mechanics. Overall, Billings is the city with the most employed and therefore the least need of mechanics of all types. Technicians can find jobs with dealerships, independent or franchise repair shops and other related shops.

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