Becoming an Auto Mechanic or Automotive Technician in New Jersey

A majority of employers in New Jersey prefer that people working in the automotive field have some post-secondary training that leads to an industry specialized certification or degree. At minimum, a high school diploma, or its equivalent, is required for most entry-level positions in this field. [En Español]

While post-secondary training isn’t a requirement to become an auto mechanic or automotive technician, it can help one be more marketable and obtain a higher salary. If that is the path you decide to take, then you want to search for a program that is accredited by National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and will conclude with earning the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

New Jersey has the Heavy Duty Diesel Inspection and Maintenance (HDDVIP) program that requires all heavy-duty diesel powered motor vehicles with a gross weight rating of 18,000 pounds or more to be annually inspected by one of the 300 licensed diesel Private Inspection Facilities (PIFs) spread throughout the state. If a person would like to work at one of these locations, then an Emission Repair Technician license will be needed.

If post-secondary education isn’t for you, there are many options at the secondary level to prepare you for an automotive career upon graduation. Many high schools are a part of the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) Education Foundation, with programs that meet the accreditation criteria. So, if you enjoy getting greasy and inspecting, maintaining and repairing cars and light trucks, then pursuing an automotive career might be for you.

Job Outlook in New Jersey

In May 2017, there were 14,720 people working as automotive service technicians or auto mechanics in New Jersey as detailed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Furthermore, there were approximately 3,650 people working as auto body and glass repairers, as well as an additional 8,200 working as diesel engine specialists. Employment for automotive mechanics in New Jersey is predicted to increase by 6 percent up until 2024. This is on par with the national average of 6-percent growth until 2026. New Jersey has one of the top five average salaries for auto mechanics in the United States.

Mechanic Salaries in New Jersey

In May 2017, the average salary for auto service technicians and mechanics in Pennsylvania was $49,410 (BLS). This is equal to an hourly wage of $23.75. Auto body repairers earned an average annual salary of $50,180, or $24.12 per hour, while bus and truck engine mechanics earned $54,950 per year, or $26.42 per hour. Automotive glass installers and repairers earned on the lower end, with an average annual salary of $38,130, which is equal to an hourly wage of $18.33. Comparing New Jersey’s pay to the rest of the country, the national average is $39,550, or $19.02 per hour.

Salaries in New Jersey by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%Highest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics15,440$22.60$47,010$24,120$73,710
Automotive Body and Related Repairers3,800$23.78$49,460$32,920$68,950
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers**$17.50$36,400$24,840$50,340
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists7,600$26.20$54,500$34,950$75,430

Auto Mechanic Salaries in New Jersey by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Region1,940$19.66$40,890
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ480$22.59$46,980
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ30,130$21.72$45,190
Ocean City, NJ230$20.84$43,350
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD13,130$21.46$44,640
Trenton, NJ630$22.98$47,800
Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ230$20.50$42,640

Popular Programs in New Jersey

While there are many options for automotive training programs in New Jersey, there are some that are more popular than others.

  • Camden County College (CCC): CCC is located in Camden, NJ, and offers programs that lead to an Automotive General Technician certificate, an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology (Apprentice) and an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology (GM ASEP option). These programs take around two years to complete, and the campus is located in a large suburb.
  • Sussex County Community College (SCCC): SCCC is located in Newton, NJ, and offers coursework that can lead to an Automotive Service Technology certificate or an Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Service Technology. The program takes two years to complete and is located at the edge of town. The tuition for these two programs is toward the top of the price range compared to other programs in the state.
  • Mercer County Community College (MCCC): MCCC is located in West Windsor, NJ, and offers a two-year program in Applied Science in Automotive Technology that earns students an associate’s degree. Students can choose one of two paths: The Mopar Career Automotive Program (MCAP) or the Comprehensive Program. Those that choose the MCAP will take Fiat- and Chrysler-specific training that will secure them a position at a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Rap or Fiat dealership as an apprentice technician as part of their required internships. If a student chooses the Comprehensive Program, they will learn general knowledge that can be applied to any vehicle or manufacturer.

Secondary Programs:

  • Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS): This program is a collection of high schools in New Jersey and is based in Toms River. OCVTS offers coursework in Automotive & Diesel Engine Technology, Collision Repair, Automotive Technology and Marine Service Technology. It is a NATEF-accredited curriculum that gives students the opportunity to earn college credit and work toward an associate’s degree through a few of their local post-secondary schools. Each program requires students to complete 900 credit hours over two years.

Where to Find Work in New Jersey

Most auto mechanics in New Jersey work in automobile dealerships and independent repair shops. Those who specialize as bus and truck engine mechanics (also known as diesel technicians) can also work on the road driving trucks, transporting goods or as inspectors at PIFs if they obtain the required licensure. Atlantic City and Camden will be the easiest areas in which to find work, but there are several other small towns that offer various opportunities.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Area

Warren County Community College

475 Route 57 W, Washington, New Jersey 07882-4343
(908) 835-9222
Automotive Technology – Associate Program, Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Warren County Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Washington in Warren County. The majority of of the school’s 2,822 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-district students is generally in the order of $4,590 and are $4,890 and $5,490 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost around $1,200, although this varies from program to program.

Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division Area

Camden County College

200 College Drive, Blackwood, New Jersey 08012
(856) 227-7200
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Camden County College’s Certificate-level Automotive Technology program is taught at their campus in Blackwood in Camden County, NJ. This public college has in the order of 11,263 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-district students is usually in the order of $4,320 and are $4,440 and $4,440 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,600, depending on the program.

Pennco Tech-Blackwood

99 Erial Road, Blackwood, New Jersey 08012
(856) 232-0310
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Pennco Tech offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their Blackwood campus in Blackwood in Camden County, NJ. The college has roughly 1,172 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are, as a rough guide, in the order of $29,495 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,875. Program completion is normally 14 months.

Rowan College at Gloucester County

1400 Tanyard Road, Sewell, New Jersey 08080
(856) 468-5000
Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Rowan College at Gloucester County’s Associate-level Automotive Technology program is based at their campus in Sewell in Gloucester County, NJ. This public college has roughly 6,836 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-district students is usually in the order of $4,445 and are $5,225 and $8,975 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost in the order of $2,000, although this will vary with the program.

Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division Area

Brookdale Community College

765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, New Jersey 07738-1597
(732) 224-2345
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Brookdale Community College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are offered at their campus in Lincroft in Monmouth County, NJ. This public college has around 13,835 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The Automotive Technology program is offered with the option of completing a GM ASEP program. Tuition fees for in-district students are likely to be around $3,861 and are $6,639 and $7,239 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost about $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

Lincoln Technical Institute-South Plainfield

901 Hadley Road, South Plainfield, New Jersey 07080-2424
(800) 305-3487 x46700
Heavy Equipment and Truck Technology – Certificate Program

The Heavy Equipment and Truck Technology Certificate program in Heavy Equipment and Truck Technology at Lincoln Technical Institute is based at their South Plainfield campus in South Plainfield in Middlesex County, NJ. This private, for-profit college has round 313 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for the Heavy Equipment and Truck Technology program are, as a rough guide, in the order of $29,172 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,115. Program completion is normally 14 months.

Ocean County Vocational-Technical School

137 Bey Lea Rd, Toms River, New Jersey 08753
(732) 473-3100 x3139
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Ocean County Vocational-Technical School is taught at their campus in Toms River in Ocean County, New Jersey. Most of the school’s 519 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are, as a rough guide, around $6,550 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $300. Program completion is normally 10 months.

Raritan Valley Community College

118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, New Jersey 08876
(908) 526-1200
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Raritan Valley Community College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are offered at their campus in Branchburg in Somerset County. The majority of of the school’s 8,099 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $4,224 and are $5,064 and $5,064 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost roughly $2,400, depending on the program chosen.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division Area

Lincoln Technical Institute-Mahwah

70 McKee Dr, Mahwah, New Jersey 07430
(201) 529-1414 x41400
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Lincoln Technical Institute is based at their Mahwah campus in Mahwah in Bergen County, NJ. Most of the school’s 822 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The Automotive Technology program, with a duration of 60 credit hours, is the college’s largest program. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are around $13,722 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $960. Program completion is normally 7 months.

Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division Area

Lincoln Technical Institute-Union

2299 Vauxhall Rd, Union, New Jersey 07083
(908) 964-7800 x40500
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Lincoln Technical Institute is based at their Union campus in Union in Union County. The majority of of the school’s 1,157 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The Automotive Technology program, with a duration of 61 credit hours, is the college’s largest program. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are about $13,446 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $939. The typical program completion time is 7 months.

Union County College

1033 Springfield Avenue, Cranford, New Jersey 07016-1528
(908) 709-7000
Automotive Technology – Associate Program, Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Union County College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and two Certificate programs. All programs are taught at their campus in Cranford in Union County. The college has round 11,220 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-district students is likely to be in the order of $4,620 and are $9,240 and $9,240 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost about $1,200, although this varies from program to 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.

Neighbor States

See options in the neighboring states of New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

NATEF Accredited Secondary School Programs

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 New Jersey. 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.

BrickBridgewaterDenvilleEast BrunswickEdisonFlemingtonJacksonMatawanMays LandingMedfordMillvilleNewarkParamusPenningtonPennsaukenPerth AmboyPiscatawaySewellSicklervilleSpartaTeterboroTrentonWaretownWashingtonWayneWesthamptonWillingboro

City: Brick

Ocean County Vo-Tech School

350 Chambers Bridge Rd., Brick, NJ 8723
(732) 286-5670

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jay Houle
Tel: (732) 286-5670
Programs: Automobile Service Technology, Language/Arts, Mathematics

City: Bridgewater

Somerset County Vocational &Technical School

14 Vogt Dr, Bridgewater, NJ 8807
(908) 526-8900

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Mario Peluso
Tel: (908) 526-8900
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Denville

Morris Co. School of Technology

400 E. Main St., Denville, NJ 7834
(973) 627-4600

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jeffrey Chase
Tel: (973) 627-4600
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: East Brunswick

Middlesex County Vo-Tech High School

112 Rues Ln., East Brunswick, NJ 8816
(732) 257-3300

Automotive Program

Contact: Sean McDonald
Tel: (732) 257-3300
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering,

AYES,
Program Contact: Todd Bonsall, (732) 257-3300
Certification Expiration: December, 2017

Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Edison

UAW-LETC Advanced Automotive Training Program

500 Plainfield Ave., Edison, NJ 8817
(270) 389-5309

Automotive Program

Contact: Wayne Duke
Tel: (270) 389-5309
Programs: Master Automobile Service Technology

City: Flemington

Hunterdon County Polytech, Central Campus

10 Junction Rd., Flemington, NJ 8822
(908) 735-6774

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Chris Scheuerman
Tel: (908) 735-6774
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Jackson

Ocean County Vo-Tech School

850 Toms River Rd., Jackson, NJ 8527
(732) 240-6414

Automotive Program

Contact: Frank Storholm
Tel: (732) 240-6414
Programs: Automobile Service Technology, Language/Arts, Mathematics

Ocean County Vo-Tech School

850 Toms River Rd., Jackson, NJ 7719
(732) 928-3830

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: George Hurley
Tel: (732) 928-3830
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Language/Arts, Mathematics, Painting and Refinishing, Science

City: Matawan

Old Bridge High School

4209 Rte. 516, Matawan, NJ 7747
(732) 290-3900

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Karen Hicks
Tel: (732) 290-3900
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Mays Landing

Atlantic County Institute of Technology

5080 Atlantic Ave., Mays Landing, NJ 8330
(609) 625-2249

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Curtis Silver
Tel: (609) 625-2249
Programs: Master Automobile Service Technology

City: Medford

Burlington County Institute of Tech.

10 Hawkin Rd., Medford, NJ 8055
(609) 654-0200

Automotive Program

Contact: Anthony Mariano
Tel: (609) 654-0200
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Millville

Millville Senior High School

200 N Wade Blvd., Millville, NJ 8332
(856) 293-7632

Automotive Program

Contact: Barbara Blahut
Tel: (856) 293-7632
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Newark

Essex County Vocational School

91 W. Market St., Newark, NJ 7103
(972) 412-2204

Automotive Program

Contact: Edward Finnis
Tel: (972) 412-2204
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Paramus

Bergen County Technical Schools

View School’s Web Site, Paramus, NJ 7442
(201) 343-6000

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: John Colaneri
Tel: (201) 343-6000
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: Joseph Pantano
Tel: (201) 343-6000
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair, Painting and Refinishing

City: Pennington

Hopewell Valley Central High School- Mercer Co. Technical

259 Pennington-Titusville Rd, Pennington, NJ 8534
(609) 737-1411

Automotive Program

Contact: Louis Carnation
Tel: (609) 737-1411
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

Mercer County Technical School

129 Bull Run Rd., Pennington, NJ 8534
(609) 737-9785

Automotive Program

Contact: Michael Cramer
Tel: (609) 737-9785
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair,

Mercer County Technical School,
Program Contact: William Park, (609) 737-9785
Certification Expiration: May, 2022

Maintenance and Light Repair

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: Robert Gonier
Tel: (609) 737-9785
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair, Painting and Refinishing, Structural Analysis and Damage Repair

City: Pennsauken

Camden County Technical School

6008 Browning Rd., Pennsauken, NJ 8109
(609) 663-1040

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Bruce Berger
Tel: (609) 663-1040
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Perth Amboy

Middlesex County Vo-Tech High School

457 High St., Perth Amboy, NJ 8861
(732) 376-6300

Automotive Program

Contact: Michael Marino
Tel: (732) 376-6300
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Piscataway

Middlesex County Vo-Tech H.S.

21 Suttons Ln., Piscataway, NJ 8854
(732) 257-3300

Automotive Program

Contact: Todd Bonsall
Tel: (732) 257-3300
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Sewell

Gloucester County Institute of Technology

1360 Tanyard Rd., Sewell, NJ 8080
(856) 468-1445

Automotive Program

Contact: Glenn Hubert
Tel: (856) 468-1445
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Sicklerville

Camden County Technical School

343 Berlin-Cross Keys Rd., Sicklerville, NJ 8081
(856) 767-7000

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Brian Bakota
Tel: (856) 767-7000
Programs: Automatic Transmission & Transaxle, Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Engine Repair, Heating and Air Conditioning, Manual Drive Train & Axles, Suspension & Steering

City: Sparta

Sussex County Technical School

105 N. Church Rd., Sparta, NJ 7871
(973) 383-6700

Automotive Program

Contact: Stacy Crosson
Tel: (973) 383-6700
Programs: Master Automobile Service Technology

Truck Program

Contact: Augustus Mudla
Tel: (973) 383-6700
Programs: Brakes, Diesel Engines, Drive Train, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Heating and Air Conditioning, Preventive Maintenance Inspection, Suspension & Steering

City: Teterboro

Bergen County Technical High School

504 Rte. 46 W. and Central Ave., Teterboro, NJ 7608
(201) 343-6000

Automotive Program

Contact: Bob Magee
Tel: (201) 343-6000
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Trenton

Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf

320 Sullivan Way, Trenton, NJ 8625
(609) 530-8002

Automotive Program

Contact: Lisa Gerstacker
Tel: (609) 530-8002
Programs: General Service Technician

Mercer County Technical School

1085 Old Trenton Rd., Trenton, NJ 8690
(609) 586-5144

Truck Program

Contact: Patrick Schroeder
Tel: (609) 586-5144
Programs: Brakes, Diesel Engines, Drive Train, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Heating and Air Conditioning, Preventive Maintenance Inspection, Suspension & Steering

City: Waretown

Ocean County Vo-Tech School

423 Wells Mills Rd., Waretown, NJ 8758
(732) 286-5670

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: John Biscardi
Tel: (732) 286-5670
Programs: Automobile Service Technology, Language/Arts, Mathematics

City: Washington

Warren County Technical High School

1500 Rte. 57, Washington, NJ 7882
(908) 835-2848

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Tim Longacre
Tel: (908) 835-2848
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Wayne

Passaic County Technical Institute

45 Reinhardt Rd., Wayne, NJ 7470
(973) 389-4271

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Joseph Gravino
Tel: (973) 389-4271
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Westhampton

Burlington Co. Institute of Tech.

695 Woodlane Rd., Westhampton, NJ 8060
(609) 267-4226

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: David Sitchler
Tel: (609) 267-4226
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension & Steering

City: Willingboro

Garfield Park Academy

24 Glenolden Ln., Willingboro, NJ 8046
(856) 982-2779

Automotive Program

Contact: Dan Riley
Tel: (856) 982-2779
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair