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Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Nebraska

If you are looking to become an automotive technician in Nebraska, you will find plenty of career opportunities throughout the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) May 2020 report, more than 5,000 people were working as automotive mechanics at that time, with the largest population working as service technicians. Nebraska offers many different types of jobs for service technicians, diesel and truck mechanics, and automotive body and glass repairers. There are also many post-secondary educational programs for mechanics throughout Nebraska, for those who wish to go to school and further their careers and increase their earning potential. [En Español]

The programs offered will teach students mechanical maintenance and repair skills including:

  • Auto maintenance
  • Engine repair
  • Collision repair
  • Engine performance
  • Air conditioning
  • Damage analysis

Job Outlook in Nebraska

Data from the BLS indicate that there were 5,270 automotive service technicians employed in Nebraska in 2020. Additionally, there were 1,330 automotive body repairers, 200 automotive glass installers, and 2,350 truck and diesel mechanics working throughout the state. Employment opportunities for auto mechanics in the Nebraska are expected to increase by 1 percent through the year 2030.

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Mechanic Salaries in Nebraska

According to the BLS, in 2021 annual salaries for auto technicians were around $47,380. Those in the highest-paid positions earned about $61,820 per year. Truck technicians earned an average of $47,120 a year, and employees in the top 10th percentile averaged $62,800 annually. Mechanics earning the highest salaries were located in and around the cities of Omaha and Lincoln.

Salaries in Nebraska by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics5,270$22.78$47,380$29,780
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers220$17.99$37,420$28,820
Automotive Body and Related Repairers1.440$22.82$47,470$30,220
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists2,670$22.66$47,120$31,510

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Nebraska by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Grand Island, NE200$23,01$47,850
Lincoln, NE760$24,92$51,830
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA1,880$23,85$49,610

Auto Mechanic Schools in Nebraska

Although it isn’t required to have a degree before becoming an auto mechanic, it is helpful when you want to obtain an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certificate. There are no training programs in the state for high school students, but there are half a dozen community colleges and post-secondary auto mechanic training programs.

Those interested in further education can consider the following automotive technology programs:

  • Southeast Community College. Located in Lincoln, Southeast Community College (SCC) offers an 18-month program that is accredited by the National Automotive Technician Educational Foundation (NATEF) and has an associate degree program in applied science. A separate automotive collision technology program is available, as well as three manufacturer-specific programs: Ford ASSET, General Motors and MOPAR-Chrysler/Dodge/Ram/Jeep.
  • Northeast Community College. Another NATEF-accredited school, Northeast Community College offers certification and an associate degree in automotive technology. Students in this automotive training program are required to complete an internship to gain on-the-job experience and to be more prepared for their ASE exam.
  • Metropolitan Community College. Located in Omaha, Metropolitan Community College offers multiple associate degree programs as well as a certification program. Students can choose from programs focusing on auto collision technology, diesel technology or automotive technology. All programs are NATEF-accredited.

ASE Certification

If you want to advance in the automotive industry, you’ll need to obtain an ASE certificate.

There are over forty different ASE tests, each pertaining to a different automotive system or subsystem, some of these tests include:

  • Light truck certification tests
  • Light repair certification test
  • Alternate fuels certification test
  • Parts specialist certification tests
  • Transit bus certification tests
  • Damage analysis and estimating certification test
  • Engine machinist certification tests

Once you’ve passed a certain number of these tests, you can apply to become an ASE-certified Master Mechanic.

A mechanic is required to have completed two years of related work experience or one year of on-the-job work along with an associate’s degree to take ASE certification exams. Certifications must be renewed every five years.

Working as a Mechanic in Nebraska

Qualified mechanics can work for a variety of automotive services, including dealerships and independent repair shops. You can choose from manufacturer-based service stations, smaller, independent service stations or brake, lube and tire franchise-based shops.

Grand Island, Nebraska, and the surrounding suburbs have the most need for auto technicians in the state. You can find dealerships and manufacturers mostly in the cities, like Omaha and Lincoln. Both Omaha and Lincoln offer the highest annual salaries for automotive jobs. For new mechanics, Grand Island offers the highest starting salaries along with Omaha and Lincoln.

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