Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the auto mechanic field. Texas is a huge state with lots of industries to support in the automotive services field. It is ranked as the second leading state for automotive jobs in the country. Job openings are plentiful for anyone interested in starting a career as an auto mechanic, service technician, diesel mechanic or automotive glass installer/repair worker. [En Español]
Texas’s range of available auto mechanic jobs is due to the plethora of industries operating within the state. If you are interested in becoming a mechanic in Texas you should consider attending one of the many college programs offered and obtain certification in the area you are most interested in, or enrolling in a high school program accredited by the national organization known as the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE programs are part of a secondary training students can receive in high school and will help on any of the automotive career paths. However, if you want to enter the workforce immediately, there are many entry-level jobs to start with, and most shops require only a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Another piece of good news is that a license to diagnose and repair vehicles is not required in the state of Texas, but earning a mechanic’s license is important if you want to get ahead in the automotive job market, especially if you want to work on a specific brand of vehicles.
In addition to training and education, a valuable asset of any auto specialist worth his or her salt is that one possesses the ability to accurately diagnose physical, electrical and wear-and-tear-related problems occurring in vehicles. Learning to identify and fix automotive issues typically comes with training that is learned while on the job, giving you real-world experience.
Auto mechanic jobs are everywhere in Texas and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state holds the number two position in the country for total number of auto mechanics employed. Whether you want to work as regular auto mechanic, service technician, diesel mechanic, collision specialist, motorcycle mechanic or an auto glass installer, Texas likely has a job that is right for you.
In May 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a total of employed auto mechanics and related workers at 189,960. The leading occupations within the automotive field were everyday auto mechanics and service technicians, claiming 61,38 of those jobs. The second highest number of auto mechanic jobs was in diesel mechanics, with a total of 26,250 employed. The third highest was the auto body and collision repair mechanics, with a total of 11,410 employees. Lastly, the auto glass installers and repair workers reported 1,700 jobs within the automotive industry.
Based on the information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from May 2021, the annual salaries were $37,920 for an auto glass worker, $46,680 for auto mechanics and service technicians, $46,390 for auto body mechanics and $47,850 for diesel mechanics. It is important to remember that more skills, training and certifications equal more pay.
Salaries in Texas by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary||Lowest 10%|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||55,580||$22.44||$46,680||$25,480|
|Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers||1,700||$18.23||$37,920||$28,470|
|Automotive Body and Related Repairers||11,410||$22.31||$46,390||$29,670|
|Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists||26,250||$23.01||$47,850||$30,260|
Auto Mechanic Salaries in Texas by Region
|Region||Total Employed||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||3,720||$26,03||$54,140|
|Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX||670||$22,97||$47,780|
|College Station-Bryan, TX||490||$20,97||$43,630|
|Corpus Christi, TX||730||$24,11||$50,160|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||13,170||$24,34||$50,620|
|El Paso, TX||1,380||$18,34||$38,150|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||11,820||$24,19||$50,310|
|San Angelo, TX||220||$22,76||$47,340|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||4,590||$22,72||$47,250|
|Wichita Falls, TX||310||$21,86||$45,460|
Successful auto mechanics can tell you that if you want to be a top-earning mechanic in Texas, you must earn your ASE certificate. ASE is an organization that certifies automotive workers in all the basics of automotive mechanics. Applicants pursuing the ASE certificate must have two years of related work experience or a post-secondary degree plus one year of work history in order to be allowed to take the certification exam.
High schools and vocational schools participating in an ASE accredited program are striving to prepare the future auto mechanics as vehicles get more and more sophisticated.
Auto Mechanic Schools in Texas
Texas has a lot more options available when it comes to both secondary and post-secondary automotive technology programs. The more popular institutions offer degrees and the option to earn manufacturer-specific certificates. Graduates who complete the manufacturer-specific advance training programs are more likely to be hired in their desired area of interest, and they often receive a larger starting salary too. Here are a couple of the most popular programs:
- Universal Technical Institute: The UTI campus is located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and offers both auto and diesel technician programs. The comprehensive training courses in automotive mechanics and diesel mechanics empower students with the understanding of the physical and electrical mechanics in today’s automotive vehicles. UTI trains students to be able to diagnose, repair and maintain modern sophisticated automotive vehicles. It boasts a 95,000-square-foot facility that includes 17 classrooms and 15 labs where UTI students get real-world experience with state-of-the-industry automobiles and equipment, including heavy truck and bus mechanics. Another benefit of UTI is that high school juniors can take part in the “Ignite Summer Program”. It’s a fun and free program that teaches career skills that are in demand and relevant to current industry standards, which can give students a head-start on the path to becoming the best auto mechanic they can be.
- Lincoln Tech: Lincoln Tech is located in the Grand Prairie area of Texas and offers students the opportunity to learn industry-best practices with ASE-certified instructors. LT campuses offering the automotive technology program have partnerships with well know companies like Audi, BMW and Volkswagen. Students also benefit from hands-on training that will prepare them for a career at auto mechanic shops, car dealerships, diesel, bus, heavy truck mechanics in fleet maintenance departments and more.
Where to Work as a Mechanic
Texas has an enormous amount of auto mechanic jobs open right now. With such a broad range of places to work throughout the state, anyone in this field can find the right fit for his or her skills and background. As far as where the more concentrated auto mechanic and diesel mechanic jobs, those are found in the more populated areas like Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.
Entry-level service technicians can find work at any of the maintenance or oil and lube shops throughout the state. Diesel mechanics will find a surplus of jobs available for immediate hires in fleet maintenance departments of major transportation firms.
Talent, education, training and certification coupled with relevant experience will get you far in the automotive field, but learning a specific trade within that field as a specialist will get you even further. Explore all of your options before settling on one and then start on your path in the auto mechanic industry today.