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Becoming an Auto Mechanic or Automotive Technician in New York

Most employers in New York prefer people working in the automotive field to have some post-secondary schooling. They also usually require industry specialized certification once a person is hired. 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 a person 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 accredited by National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) that will end with earning the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

Those interested in an automotive technology program can expect the following topics to be covered:

  • Electrical and electronic systems
  • Suspension systems
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating systems
  • Automotive steering
  • Basic maintenance

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 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.

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Job Opportunities in New York

In May 2020, there were 38,720 people working as automotive service technicians or auto mechanics in the state of New York as detailed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Furthermore, there were 6,720 people working as auto body and glass repairers, as well as an additional 12,510 working as diesel engine specialists. Employment for automotive mechanics in New York is predicted to increase by 29 percent until 2030, which is about average across all occupations. New York is one of the top five employers of auto mechanics in the United States.

Mechanic Salaries in New York

Mechanic Salaries in New YorkIn May 2021, the average salary for auto service technicians and mechanics in New York was $47,270 (BLS). This is equal to an hourly wage of $22.73. Auto body repairers earned an average annual salary of $48,120, or $23.14 per hour, while bus and truck engine mechanics earned $59,770 per year or $28.74 per hour. Automotive glass installers and repairers earned on the lower end, with an average annual salary of $45,330, which is equal to an hourly wage of $21.79. All of these fields are above the national average of $37,920, or $18.23 per hour, except for automotive glass installers and repairers.

Salaries in New York by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics38,720$22.73$47,270$29,830
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers1,440$21.79$45,330$30,840
Automotive Body and Related Repairers6,720$23.14$48,120$29,400
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists12,510$28.74$59,770$37,650

Auto Mechanic Salaries in New York by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY1,830$22,92$47,670
Binghamton, NY470$21,07$43,820
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY2,640$21,80$45,340
Elmira, NY180$21,67$45,070
Glens Falls, NY310$21,70$45,130
Ithaca, NY180$22,10$45,970
Kingston, NY420$24,28$50,490
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA23,780$26,14$54,370
Rochester, NY2,500$22,65$47,110
Syracuse, NY1,530$22,33$46,440
Utica-Rome, NY580$21,16$44,010
Watertown-Fort Drum, NY260$21,75$45,250

Auto Mechanic Schools in New York

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

Post-Secondary Programs:

  • Erie Community College (ECC): ECC is located in Buffalo, NY, and is a two-year public school in a large city. They offer a variety of automotive programs such as an Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology, Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology (MOPAR Chrysler College Automotive Program Option) and an Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology (Ford Asset Option). The general associate program consists of 67 credit hours. The cooperative programs with Ford and Chrysler provide hands-on experience with those respective dealerships.
  • CUNY Bronx Community College (BCC): BCC is located in New York City and is also a two-year public school in the largest city in New York. They offer an Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology and a Certificate in Automotive Mechanics. Students at this school take coursework in brake systems, engine repair and diesel technology, along with other related topics.
  • Corning Community College (CCC): CCC is a two-year public program located in rural Corning, NY, near the Pennsylvania border. They offer a Certificate in Automotive Mechanics, Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Technology and an Associate in Occupational Studies in Automotive Technology. Students in the applied science program prepare students for entry-level careers as service technicians or shop supervisors. The occupational studies program is for people interested in specializing in specific areas of automotive maintenance.

Secondary Programs:

  • Capital Region Career & Technical School: This program is part of the Capital Region BOCES and is located in Albany, NY. They also have a program in Schoharie, NY. This AYES Automotive Technician program is a national auto industry curriculum supported by BMW, GM, Toyota, Audi, Honda, Subaru and more. It is a NATEF-accredited program that gives students the opportunity to earn college credit and work toward an associate’s degree through the University in High School Program.

Where to Find Work in New York

Most auto mechanics in New York work in automobile dealerships and independent repair shops. Those that specialized as bus and truck engine mechanics (also known as diesel technicians) can also work on the road driving trucks and transporting goods. While working in the automotive field does not require post-secondary schooling, it is highly recommended to give an individual a step up as the technologies continue to advance. Those without some form of training will find it harder and harder to obtain work in this field.

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