Becoming an Automotive Technician or Mechanic in Nebraska
If you are looking to become an automotive technician in Nebraska, you will find plenty of employment opportunities throughout the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) May 2017 report, more than 10,000 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]
Data from the BLS indicate that there were 4,670 automotive service technicians employed in Nebraska in 2017. 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 5.2 percent through the year 2024.
According to the BLS, in 2017 annual salaries for auto technicians were around $42,590. Those in the highest-paid positions earned about $62,530 per year. Truck technicians earned an average of $43,360 a year, and employees in the top 10th percentile averaged $61,230 annually. Mechanics earning the highest salaries were located in and around the cities of Omaha and Lincoln.
Salaries in Nebraska by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary||Lowest 10%||Highest 10%|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||4,440||$19.26||$40,060||$21,780||$61,350|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||1,410||$20.62||$42,890||$22,140||$67,720|
|Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers||**||$16.71||$34,750||$26,520||$46,110|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||2,550||$20.84||$43,350||$27,700||$61,330|
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Nebraska by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Grand Island, NE||230||$17.70||$36,810|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||2,200||$20.75||$43,150|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||460||$17.68||$36,760|
Mechanic Programs 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 programs in the state for high school students, but there are half a dozen post-secondary automotive programs, including:
- 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 the 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.
If you want to advance in the automotive industry, you’ll need to obtain an ASE certificate. 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.
- Central Nebraska nonmetropolitan area
- Lincoln, NE
- Northeastern Nebraska nonmetropolitan area
- Western Nebraska nonmetropolitan area
Central Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Grand Island. Most of the school’s 6,227 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $2,880 and for students from outside the state approximately $4,140 annually, while study materials may cost around $1,500, depending on the program.
301 South 68th Street Place, Lincoln, Nebraska 68510-2449
Automotive Technology – Associate Program
Southeast Community College Area’s Associate-level Automotive Technology program is offered at their campus in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska. Most of the school’s 9,248 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The Automotive Technology program is offered with the option of completing a GM ASEP program. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $3,214 and for students from outside the state in the order of $3,929 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,650, depending on the program chosen.
801 E Benjamin, Norfolk, Nebraska 68702-0469
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program
The Automotive Technology Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Northeast Community College is based at their campus in the town of Norfolk, NE. The majority of of the school’s 5,051 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $3,285 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $4,365 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,554, depending on the program.
30 & Fort Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68111-1610
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program
Metropolitan Community College Area offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Omaha, NE. Most of the school’s 14,812 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $2,880 and for students from other states around $4,208 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,350, although this varies from program to program.
Mid-Plains Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of North Platte, NE. This public college has about 2,235 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $2,970 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $3,720 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,600, although this will depend on the program.
1601 East 27th Street, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69361-1899
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program
Western Nebraska Community College’s Certificate-level Automotive Technology program is taught at their campus in the town of Scottsbluff, NE. The college has about 1,534 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $2,700 and for students from outside the state in the order of $2,928 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,500, although this will vary with the program.
* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.
Below is a list of NATEF accredited high school programs, offering training in automotive technology, autobody and collision repair and diesel mechanic programs in the state of Nebraska. Please note that accreditation status is correct at the time of writing and may have since changed. Please check with the school and with NATEF before making any commitment.
Metropolitan Community College
2909 Ed. Babe Gomez Ave, Omaha, NE 68111
Contact: Al Cox
Tel: (531) 622-4691
Programs: Master Automobile Service Technology
Auto Body/Collision Program
Contact: Pat McKibbin
Tel: (402) 738-4035
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair, Painting and Refinishing