Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in South Carolina

If you enjoy working with your hands and working with cars and trucks, you may be interested in a career as an automotive technician or mechanic. There are many jobs available for those who like this type of work. Some of the most popular jobs in the automotive technology field include auto service technicians and mechanics, auto body workers, auto glass repairers and installers, bus and truck service technicians and diesel mechanics. [En Español]

Finding an entry-level position in the automotive service industry in South Carolina is not difficult. No license is required to diagnose or fix automobiles in South Carolina. You do stand a better chance of finding employment in the automotive technology field if you have Automobile Service Excellence (ASE) certification. There are high schools throughout the state, technical schools and colleges that offer additional training to help you further your career.

The Job Outlook in South Carolina

There are many job opportunities in South Carolina for those interested in working in the auto technology industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2017 that there were a total of 10,740 auto service technicians, 1,540 auto body repairers, 450 auto glass installers and repairers, and 3,800 bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists employed throughout the state. These numbers are expected to expand by 5.6 percent by 2024.

Mechanic Salaries in South Carolina

The BLS report from May 2017 shows that the highest paid specialty in automotive technology was bus and truck mechanics and diesel specialists, earning an average of $21.41 hourly or $44,530 annually, though with experience auto body repairers could expect to earn as much as $64,300 per year. Auto service techs and mechanics earned an average of $18.66 hourly or $38,810 annually.

Salaries in South Carolina by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%Highest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics10,360$18.03$37,500$19,700$58,200
Automotive Body and Related Repairers1,640$18.68$38,860$19,080$59,910
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers410$16.97$35,300$24,920$48,360
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists3,650$19.44$40,430$26,490$59,290

Auto Mechanic Salaries in South Carolina by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Region1,200$20.71$43,070
Charleston-North Charleston, SC1,830$19.96$41,510
Charleston-North Charleston, SC7,040$21.41$44,530
Columbia, SC1,640$19.09$39,720
Florence, SC560$16.19$33,670
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC1,930$17.11$35,590
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC450$21.82$45,380
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC750$17.45$36,310
Spartanburg, SC890$17.86$37,140
Sumter, SC190$17.21$35,800

Auto Mechanic Programs in South Carolina

There are many secondary schools, trade schools and colleges that offer further education for those interested in a career in auto technology. Two schools in South Carolina that offer certification are:

  • Spartanburg Community College. In addition to an auto technician certificate program and an auto technician associate degree program, Spartanburg Community College is one of the only schools in South Carolina to offer the prestigious Ford Automotive Student Service Education Training (ASSET). ASSET is a two-year Ford Technical Career Entry program with a paid internship.
  • Midlands Technical College. Located in Columbia, South Carolina, Midlands offers an Auto Technician certificate program and an Auto Technology degree option, with students receiving an associate’s degree upon completion. Midlands Technical College has NATEF accreditation.

Numerous high school programs throughout South Carolina are NATEF-accredited. These programs specialize in automotive technology, auto body and collision repair and diesel mechanics.

ASE Certification

ASE Certification is provided by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and designates those mechanics who have the required experience and knowledge to meet quality standards in auto technology. Mechanics who receive ASE certification have received additional training to diagnose and service automobiles.

Working as an Auto Mechanic in South Carolina

There are numerous jobs available throughout South Carolina for those interested in automotive technology. Most jobs are found in the areas of Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia where the BLS reported there were 7,040 auto service technicians, 2,030 auto body repairers and 2,540 bus and truck mechanics and diesel mechanics. The highest paying positions for auto service technicians were found in the resort town of Hilton Head, where the average salary was $21.82 hourly and $45,390 annually. Hilton Head employed just 470 auto service technicians.

Jobs in the auto service technology field can be found at car dealerships, service stations and lube and brake shops. A driver’s license is required, and most employers like to see a clean driving record.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Anderson, SC Area

Tri-County Technical College

7900 U.S. Hwy 76, Pendleton, South Carolina 29670
(864) 646-1500
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Tri-County Technical College is based at their campus in Pendleton in Anderson County. This public college has about 6,128 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $4,050 and are $5,322 and $9,042 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost roughly $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC Area

Trident Technical College

7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29423-8067
(843) 574-6111
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Trident Technical College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. The majority of of the school’s 15,043 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-district students is likely to be in the order of $4,155 and are $4,607 and $7,837 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost roughly $2,000, depending on the program chosen.

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC Area

York Technical College

452 S Anderson Rd, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730
(803) 327-8000
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

York Technical College’s Certificate-level Automotive Technology program is taught at their campus in the city of Rock Hill. The majority of of the school’s 4,753 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $4,464 and are $4,824 and $9,648 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost around $1,800, depending on the program chosen.

Columbia, SC Area

Midlands Technical College

1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, South Carolina 29170-2176
(803) 738-8324
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Midlands Technical College’s Certificate program in Automotive Technician is offered at their campus in West Columbia in Lexington County, SC. The college has in the order of 10,946 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-district students is likely to be in the order of $4,064 and are $5,024 and $11,744 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost about $1,564, depending on the program.

Florence, SC Area

Florence-Darlington Technical College

2715 W. Lucas Street, Florence, South Carolina 29501-0548
(843) 661-8324
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Florence-Darlington Technical College is based at their campus in Florence in Florence County. The college has round 6,007 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-district students is roughly in the order of $4,174 and are $4,438 and $6,262 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,248, although this will depend on the program.

Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC Area

Greenville Technical College

506 S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, South Carolina 29606
(864) 250-8000
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Greenville Technical College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Greenville. The college has round 12,280 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-district students is roughly in the order of $4,326 and are $4,686 and $8,550 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,157, although this will depend on the program.

Low Country South Carolina nonmetropolitan area Area

Williamsburg Technical College

601 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Kingstree, South Carolina 29556-4197
(843) 355-4110
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Williamsburg Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Kingstree. The majority of of the school’s 693 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-district students are likely to be about $4,080 and are $4,200 and $7,752 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost about $1,000, although this will depend on the program.

Lower Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area Area

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, South Carolina 29118-8299
(803) 536-0311
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Automotive Technology Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College can be taken at their campus in Orangeburg in Orangeburg County. This public college has about 2,774 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-district students is likely to be in the order of $4,130 and are $5,114 and $6,890 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost about $1,400, depending on the program.

Spartanburg, SC Area

Spartanburg Community College

107 Community College Drive, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29303
(864) 592-4500
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Spartanburg Community College is taught at their campus in Spartanburg in Spartanburg County, SC. Most of the school’s 4,928 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The Automotive Technology program is offered with the option of completing a Ford ASSET program. Tuition fees for in-district students are usually around $4,300 and are $5,332 and $8,692 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,000, although this will vary with the program.

Sumter, SC Area

Central Carolina Technical College

506 N Guignard Dr, Sumter, South Carolina 29150-2499
(803) 778-1961
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Central Carolina Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Sumter, SC. The majority of of the school’s 3,662 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $4,639 and are $5,449 and $7,958 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,076, although this will vary with the program.

Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area Area

Piedmont Technical College

620 North Emerald Road, Greenwood, South Carolina 29646
(864) 941-8324
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Piedmont Technical College’s Certificate program in Automotive Technology is based at their campus in the town of Greenwood, South Carolina. This public college has about 5,216 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $4,193 and are $4,913 and $6,113 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost roughly $2,000, depending on 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.

Neighbor States

Residents of South Carolina may also wish to review their options in North Carolina and Georgia.

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 South Carolina. 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.

ChapinCloverColumbiaConwayCopeDillonGreerInmanLaurensLexingtonLibertyMoorePamplicoSanteeSenecaSwanseaWalterboroYork

City: Chapin

Center for Advanced Technical Studies

916 Mount Vernon Church Rd, Chapin, SC 29036
(803) 476-8642

Automotive Program

Contact: Wes Watts
Tel: (803) 476-8642
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: William Faulk
Tel: (803) 476-3169
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Painting and Refinishing

City: Clover

Clover High School

1625 Hwy. 55 E., Clover, SC 29710
(803) 810-8213

Automotive Program

Contact: Jeffery Sigmon
Tel: (803) 810-8213
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Columbia

Heyward Career & Technology Center

3560 Lynhaven Dr., Columbia, SC 29204
(803) 735-3343

Truck Program: AYES

Contact: John Muldoon
Tel: (803) 735-3343
Programs: Brakes, Diesel Engines, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Suspension & Steering

Spring Valley High School

120 Sparkleberry Ln., Columbia, SC 29229
(803) 699-3500

Automotive Program

Contact: Doug Guthrie
Tel: (803) 699-3500
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Conway

Academy for Technology & Academics

5639 US Hwy. 701 N., Conway, SC 29526
(843) 325-3957

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Randy Elliott
Tel: (843) 325-3957
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Cope

Cope Area Career Center

6052 Slab Landing Rd., Cope, SC 29038
(803) 534-7661

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: John Coleman
Tel: (803) 534-7661
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems

City: Dillon

Dillon County Technology Center

1630 E Main St, Dillon, SC 29536
(843) 774-5143

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Ronnie Webster
Tel: (843) 774-5143
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Greer

J. Harley Bonds Career Center

505 N. Main St., Greer, SC 29650
(864) 355-8263

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: John Romano
Tel: (864) 355-8263
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Inman

Swofford Career Center

5620 S Carolina 11, Inman, SC 29349
(864) 592-2790

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Skee Tenney
Tel: (864) 592-2790
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Laurens

Laurens District 55 High School

5058 Hwy. 76 W., Laurens, SC 29360
(864) 554-6111

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Thomas Chandler
Tel: (864) 554-6111
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Lexington

Lexington Technology Center

2421 Augusta Hwy., Lexington, SC 29072
(803) 821-3036

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Ray Roland
Tel: (803) 821-3011
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: Ronnie Swygert
Tel: (803) 821-3036
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair, Painting and Refinishing

City: Liberty

Pickens County Career & Technology Center

990 Chastain Road, Liberty, SC 29657
(864) 855-8195

Automotive Program

Contact: Phillip Smith
Tel: (864) 855-8195
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Moore

R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center

1151 Moore-Duncan Hwy, Moore, SC 29369
(864) 576-5020

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Mark Hendricks
Tel: (864) 576-5020
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Pamplico

Hannah-Pamplico High School

2055 S. Pamplico Hwy., Pamplico, SC 29583
(843) 493-5781

Automotive Program

Contact: Brad Drawdy
Tel: (843) 493-5781
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Santee

Lake Marion High School & Technology Center

1556 Tee Vee Rd., Santee, SC 29142
(803) 854-9213

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: David Dees
Tel: (803) 854-9213
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Seneca

Hamilton Career Center

100 Vocational Dr., Seneca, SC 29672
(864) 886-4425

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jeremy Davis
Tel: (864) 886-4425
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: Keith Crocker
Tel: (864) 886-4425
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Painting and Refinishing

City: Swansea

Swansea High School

500 East First St., Swansea, SC 29160
(803) 490-7007

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jon Hardy
Tel: (803) 490-7007
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Walterboro

Thunderbolt Career & Technology Center

1069 Thunderbolt Dr., Walterboro, SC 29488
(843) 782-4514

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Daniel Vaughan
Tel: (843) 782-4514
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: York

Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center

275 E Alexander Love Hwy, York, SC 29745
(803) 684-1910

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: David Griffin
Tel: (803) 684-1910
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair