Becoming an Auto Mechanic or Automotive Technician in New Mexico
Someone looking to begin a career in the automotive industry in New Mexico will find many opportunities available to them. Jobs include automotive technicians, auto body and glass installers and repairers, and bus, truck and diesel specialists. [En Español]
Educational achievements provide additional opportunities for mechanics to advance in their careers.
The following topics may be covered in automotive programs:
- Suspension systems
- Air conditioning
- Fuel systems
- Steering systems
- Drum brakes
New Mexico offers plenty of ways mechanics can improve their job skills. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications allow mechanics to advance to the highest positions in their field. To become ASE certified a mechanic must pass an exam and have experience related to the job.
The success of a mechanic in New Mexico depends on a number of factors, including education, location and experience. Salaries increase across the board when the mechanic gains more on-the-job experience or earns ASE certifications. Depending on the demographics of the location, the competition and average salary vary for each specialty.
In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 4,930 automotive service technicians and mechanics employed throughout New Mexico. There were 690 automotive body repairers, 110 automotive glass installers and repairers, and an additional 1,940 bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists. According to the BLS, employment in these areas is expected to increase in the state of New Mexico by 3 percent overall by 2030.
In New Mexico, according to BLS statistics, automotive mechanics earned an average salary of $37,920 annually, or $18,23 per hour, in 2021. Entry-level positions averaged $23,870 annually, or $11,47 per hour. Automotive technicians and mechanics earned as much as $60,590 per year, or $29,13 an hour, in 2021
The highest paying mechanic jobs in New Mexico in 2021, automotive body and related repairers made an average of $47,550 per year, or $22,86 per hour. Entry-level mechanics could expect $27,200 per year, or $13,08 an hour. The highest paying positions for auto body and related repairers earned $76,340 annually as of May 2021.
Automotive glass installers and repairers had the smallest population of employees in New Mexico, as well as the lowest salaries. The average salary for auto glass installers and repairers was $35,030 as of May 2021, or $16,84 an hour. Salaries for entry-level positions averaged $21,840, while the most advanced positions earned $43,770 annually.
Salaries in New Mexico by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary||Lowest 10%|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||4,930||$18.23||$37,920||$23,870|
|Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers||110||$16.84||$35,030||$21,840|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||750||$22.86||$47,550||$27,200|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||1,940||$22.75||$47,310||$30,430|
Auto Mechanic Salaries in New Mexico by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Las Cruces, NM||360||$19,20||$39,930|
|Santa Fe, NM||370||$21,04||$43,760|
In New Mexico, truck and bus mechanics and diesel specialists earned $47,310 a year, or around $22,75 an hour. Entry-level positions started around $30,430 per year, or an hourly wage of $14,63, up to $40,150 a year with additional experience. Truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists could expect to earn around $76,220 per year, or $36,65 an hour.
Auto Mechanic Schools in New Mexico
For younger individuals looking to begin their career as a mechanic, New Mexico offers a few Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) programs. Albuquerque has four programs at their career enrichment center for high school students, as well as an automotive service program at West Mesa High School. Both New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs and Roswell Job Corps center in Roswell offer maintenance and light repair programs.
Although there are many college programs in New Mexico, not all are accredited by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF). Near Albuquerque, Central New Mexico Community College offers a NATEF-accredited certification for mechanics. Students can earn a certificate of completion in automotive service fundamentals and automotive technology, which will prepare them for any jobs in the industry. The community college also offers an associate degree in transportation technology for students working on certificate programs.
Clovis Community College, another NATEF-accredited school, offers certificate and associate programs in Clovis, NM. The programs focus on curriculum that will best prepare mechanics for the ASE exams, which will allow them to advance in their careers.
San Juan College offers associate and certificate programs in auto body, automotive technology, and diesel technology. All programs for automotive technology at San Juan College are ASE accredited.
Where to Find Work in New Mexico
New automotive mechanics in New Mexico will find the highest entry-level salaries in the Santa Fe area. Santa Fe also reports the highest annual salaries as well as the least competition, with only 300 employed automotive technicians in 2017. On the other hand, mechanics looking for jobs in New Mexico as auto body repairers or truck, bus or diesel specialists will have to choose between the least competitive areas or the highest paying, since they are not one and the same. Santa Fe has the least competition for all types of auto mechanics, with only 30 bus and truck and diesel specialists employed and 30 glass installers and repairers.