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Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in North Carolina

Becoming a successful auto mechanic, service technician, collision repairer, auto glass worker or diesel technician is all up to you-your choices and efforts will determine your future earning potential. North Carolina has some great high school and post-secondary training available to anyone who wants to have an advantage over the competition. [En Español]

If you are looking for work in an entry-level job in an auto repair shop or service department, you do not need a mechanic’s license in order to work in the state of North Carolina. Learning basic auto mechanics while on the job can help you move up the ladder as you add automotive skills to your professional toolbox.

If you do choose to take advantage of an automotive technology degree or certificate program, you will find more opportunities in the job market. Start by enrolling in an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited program at your high school or vocational school if such a program is available there.

the following topics may be covered in auto mechanic training programs:

  • Auto maintenance
  • Collision repair
  • Damage analysis
  • Electrical systems
  • Engines
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Hydraulic systems
  • Inspection procedures
  • Mechanical systems

If you’ve already earned your high school diploma or an equivalent, you can expand your education with an automotive technology certificate or degree from one of North Carolina’s colleges. At some of those colleges you can even train in specific brands of vehicles. These courses can be your guide when starting out on your automotive career path.

Featured School

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.

Job Outlook

The auto mechanic job outlook in North Carolina is stable and is expected to grow steadily over the next decade. The information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the total number of automotive workers in North Carolina was 36,730 as of May 2020. Of that total there were 26,010 auto mechanics and service technicians, which is about 60 percent of the automotive workforce. Diesel mechanics made up 24 percent of the auto jobs, with a total of 9,280 diesel mechanics working on heavy trucks, buses and other industrial automotive equipment. Auto body and collision specialist totaled 14 percent of the market, with 5,450 employees working throughout the state. Auto glass installers and repair workers had the lowest total number of employees, with 2 percent of the automotive sector.

Auto Mechanic Salaries

Auto mechanic salaries in North Carolina vary by specialty and are based on the amount of education, training, licensing, certifications and experience each individual mechanic possesses. For an idea of what the typical auto mechanic can earn by category, the BLS has provided the following salary information. As of May 2021, the median annual pay for automotive workers in North Carolina was reported as:

  • $39,610 for automotive service technicians and mechanics
  • $47,200 for automotive body and related repairers
  • $47,600 for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
  • $36,740 for automotive glass installers and repairers

Salaries in North Carolina by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics26,010$19.04$39,610$26,900
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers950$18.14$37,740$29,930
Automotive Body and Related Repairers5,450$22.69$47,200$29,080
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists9,280$22.89$47,600$35,430

Auto Mechanic Salaries in North Carolina by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Asheville, NC980$20,91$43,490
Burlington, NC290$20,78$43,220
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC6,270$23,76$49,420
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC940$23,74$49,370
Fayetteville, NC780$19,70$40,980
Goldsboro, NC260$19,43$40,410
Greensboro-High Point, NC1,770$21,01$43,700
Greenville, NC400$20,08$41,760
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC740$21,69$45,100
Jacksonville, NC390$21,25$44,210
New Bern, NC260$19,32$40,180
Raleigh, NC3,360$22,91$47,650
Rocky Mount, NC230$19,87$41,330
Wilmington, NC870$20,06$41,730
Winston-Salem, NC1,430$21,64$45,020

ASE Certification

As of January 1, 2018, the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) have merged and are now known as the Automotive Service Excellence Education Foundation (ASE). ASE Certification is the cornerstone of the automotive service industry’s education and is recognized for its role in creating the automotive industry standards for mechanics. The ASE certification ensures that all automotive workers who have met the requirements and passed the exams have a basic working knowledge in automotive technology.

There are over 40 exams offered by ASE in various major automotive systems and service areas, some of these exams include:

  • Truck equipment certification tests
  • Engine machinist certification tests
  • School bus certification tests
  • Light truck certification tests
  • Light repair certification test
  • Transit bus certification tests
  • Parts specialist certification tests
  • Alternate fuels certification test

Applicants who want to earn the ASE certificate need at least two years of related work experience or a post-secondary degree in the automotive field with at least one year of work history in order to qualify for the ASE exam. As vehicles get more technologically sophisticated, the need for ASE certification will grow among the automotive industry.

Auto Mechanic Schools in North Carolina

North Carolina has a long list of programs for both secondary and post-secondary automotive technology, but here are a couple of institutions with core automotive coursework and a hands-on education with both a certificate and degree program available.

  • NASCAR U, Mooresville. There is only one vocational program that has an official relationship with NASCAR: the NASCAR Technical Institute. NTI’s campus is spread over 50,000 square feet of lab space. NTI students are taught by instructors with top industry experience in the basics of engine repair, diagnostics and electrical maintenance. Once the basic courses are completed, students will have the opportunity to continue their NASCAR education by applying to the NASCAR Tech advanced training program.
  • Guilford Technical Community College. GTCC offers several programs that prepare students in automotive technical knowledge and skills to repair and maintain all kinds of automobiles. GTCC has degree program options and certificate options available. The school offers two manufacturer-specific programs: the Ford ASSET and the General Motors ASEP.

Where to Work as a Mechanic

North Carolina has lots of different areas to choose from when it comes to auto mechanic work. The cities with the most jobs are the more densely populated areas like Charlotte and Raleigh, but there are always positions opening up at dealerships and small shops throughout the state. Another great thing about North Carolina’s auto mechanic job market is that it includes the coveted auto mechanic positions at NASCAR. NASCAR employs auto mechanics of every kind and at every level. However, in order to be considered at NASCAR you must be educated, trained, licensed and certified.

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