Becoming an Auto Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Rhode Island
Get a head start on a rewarding career in Rhode Island by choosing to work in the automotive service industry. Some of the benefits include being able to repair one’s own car and other people’s vehicles while getting paid to do so. [En Español]
In the Ocean State, there are many schools, community colleges and universities that provide the foundational knowledge and practical experience needed to start a career in the automotive industry. Although a high school diploma can gain a person entry-level employment as an auto service technician, auto body repairer or truck mechanic, one must have post-secondary education, more experience and plenty of training to be able to take one’s career a notch higher. By pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree and getting an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, one has a better chance of being hired as a manager with a higher salary rate.
Becoming an auto-mechanic is for anyone who enjoys getting their hands dirty, loves to solve problems, gets excited breaking down and building up cars and wants to earn a substantial pay doing all of these.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) May 2017 data, there were a total of 2,370 automotive service technicians, 690 automotive body and related repairers, and 550 truck mechanics employed throughout the state of Rhode Island. Providence and Warwick, RI, employed more people than nearby Norwich-New London-Westenby, CT, with 2,810 and 530 persons working as auto mechanics in those areas, respectively. There is more demand for truck mechanics with 690 and 110 employed. However, all job categories in the automotive industry are expected to see an increase in demand, as BLS estimates an employment growth of 4 percent until 2024 as more vehicles hit the road and will need repair and maintenance.
In May 2017, BLS stated an average salary of $48,790 per year, or $2,346 per hour, for auto body and related repairers, the highest among all automotive job categories on the list. Next were bus mechanics at an average annual salary of $46,780 or $22.49 per hour, followed by automotive mechanics who made an average of $40,040 annually or $19.25 hourly. Last but not least were automotive glass installers and repairers averaging $34,800 annually or $16.73 hourly.
At the entry level, auto mechanics earned an average of $24,010 per year or $11.54 per hour. Diesel mechanics and automotive body repairers made a little more at a yearly average of $26,730 or $12.85 hourly, and $25,830 annually or $12.42 hourly, respectively. The salary more than doubled for those with further experience and training: auto mechanics at an average of $60,230 annually or $28.96 per hour, diesel mechanics at $63,560 annually or $30.56 per hour and automotive body repairers at $64,530 annually or $31.03 per hour.
Salaries in Rhode Island by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary||Lowest 10%||Highest 10%|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||2,250||$20.06||$41,720||$26,270||$60,340|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||680||$22.25||$46,280||$25,660||$63,090|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||530||$22.05||$45,870||$26,720||$61,650|
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Rhode Island by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
Popular Programs in Rhode Island
Rhode Island and neighboring states have a steady list of secondary schools, community colleges and universities that prepare students for a rewarding career in the automotive field. Though the following information is current at the time of this writing, parents and students are advised to contact NATEF and their chosen school or university for any updates.
Where to Find Work in Rhode Island
High school students who are graduates of AYES-certified automotive technology programs can easily gain entry-level employment in Rhode Island. Automotive tech graduates could work as parts store managers, service writers or auto mechanics. Auto body technology graduates could choose to be auto insurance adjusters, auto body painters or auto body technicians. Others could also become high performance parts salespersons or performance auto tuners.
Various work opportunities can be found in automobile dealerships and repair businesses, car rental companies and fleet service and repair centers. With just 110 diesel mechanics and 530 automotive service technicians employed in Westerly, RI, and nearby Norwich and New London, CT, it would be a good place to start one’s career. The area also offers a higher average salary rate compared to Providence and Warwick, RI.
One New England Tech Boulevard, East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818-1205
Automotive Technology – Associate Program
The Associate’s program in Automotive Technology at New England Institute of Technology is offered at their campus in East Greenwich in Kent County. Of the 2,919 students, about 4% are postgraduates. The college is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Fees for tuition are usually about $26,151 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,521, depending on the program chosen.
* 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 Rhode Island. 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.
William M. Davies Career & Technical High School
50 Jenckes Hill Rd., Lincoln, RI 2865
Automotive Program: AYES
Contact: Michael Strojny
Tel: (401) 725-1500
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair
Auto Body/Collision Program
Contact: Michael Strojny
Tel: (401) 725-1500
Programs: Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair, Painting and Refinishing