Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Wisconsin

The market for auto mechanics and diesel and truck specialists is growing all the time. There are plenty of opportunities in Wisconsin and around the country for anyone willing to learn and to put in the hours to train. In Wisconsin there are no educational requirements for becoming a mechanic, but most people choose to complete a diploma, certificate or two-year degree program before landing a job and continuing with training under more experienced mechanics. [En Español]

The Job Outlook in Wisconsin

Growth in the industry is strong, at six percent, and adding thousands of jobs between now and 2026. This is true for the entire country as well as the state of Wisconsin. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Wisconsin had 12,020 employed automotive service technicians in 2017 as well as 6,210 diesel and truck mechanics. The highest employment for mechanics is in the Chicago metropolitan area, which extends into Wisconsin.

Salary Expectations for Mechanics in Wisconsin

Average salaries for auto mechanics and diesel truck mechanics are recorded by the BLS. In 2017, the average salary for mechanics in Wisconsin was $40,890 per year. For diesel mechanics it was $47,060, reflecting more specialized skills and training. The top 10 percent of earners for each category made an average of $60,730 and $62,230, respectively. This reflects the possibility of earning more for experience and specialization as well as by location. Higher salaries can be expected in the Chicago area, Green Bay, Bloomington, Madison, Milwaukee and Eau Claire.

Salaries in Wisconsin by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%Highest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics11,970$18.98$39,480$22,870$59,440
Automotive Body and Related Repairers3,580$19.04$39,600$25,510$58,980
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers120$18.95$39,410$28,140$50,280
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists6,130$21.81$45,360$31,240$61,280

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Wisconsin by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Appleton, WI470$19.23$39,990
Appleton, WI19,380$22.11$45,980
Appleton, WI790$17.87$37,160
Eau Claire, WI410$21.41$44,530
Fond du Lac, WI200$18.85$39,200
Green Bay, WI670$20.20$42,020
Janesville-Beloit, WI370$19.16$39,860
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN390$16.02$33,310
Madison, WI1,410$20.34$42,300
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI3,530$20.04$41,680
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI6,030$20.25$42,120
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI310$19.17$39,870
Racine, WI460$17.29$35,960
Sheboygan, WI290$19.09$39,710
Wausau, WI320$17.19$35,750

Automotive Technology Programs in Wisconsin

While getting a degree or diploma is not required, it is a smart move to gain skills and knowledge and to be more hirable. Look for programs certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). For secondary programs for high school students, the curriculum should follow the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES).

  • Milwaukee Area Technical College. With campuses in Milwaukee, Mequon, Oak Cree and West Allis, this school is able to reach many students with several options for automotive programs. There is a certificate program for learning to be an express lube technician, an automotive technology maintenance and light repair technical diploma program, and an automotive maintenance technician diploma program. The Mequon campus offers a comprehensive automotive technology associate degree as well as degrees from the Ford ASSET and Mopar CAP programs.
  • Fox Valley Technical College. In Appleton, students at Fox Valley can choose from a large number of automotive programs, including those that confer associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates. Some examples of the programs are maintenance and light repair, collision repair and refinishing, diesel engine service, diesel equipment technology and automotive service management. The school also offers GM ASEP training, which prepares students to become certified General Motors technicians.
  • Waukesha County Technical College. Waukesha offers area students several choices for automotive training, including certificates in automotive basics and automotive leaders. Technical diplomas and degree programs are available in general automotive technology, maintenance and light repair, maintenance technician, diesel equipment mechanic and diesel equipment technology. Waukesha students can also choose the GM ASEP program.

Wisconsin is also home to several AYES programs for high school students who want to get their automotive careers started. Some programs are offered at post-secondary schools, such as Gateway Technical College in Kenosha. Other programs are offered at the high school. Some of the schools that have secondary automotive tech programs are Madison Memorial High School in Madison, Portage High School in Portage, Washington Park High School in Racine and Beloit Memorial High School in Beloit.

ASE Certification

Mechanics working in Wisconsin can work toward ASE certification. Offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, this certification can be achieved for general automotive and truck repair and for several other specialties. It helps to prove skills and knowledge and can lead to a better income and more job opportunities. To qualify for an ASE certification exam, a mechanic must have either two years of work experience or one year of work experience as well as a certificate or degree.

Working as an Auto Mechanic in Wisconsin

There are plenty of job opportunities for qualified mechanics in Wisconsin. Recent graduates can expect to get entry-level positions with ongoing training while working toward certification. Potential employers include independent and chain garages, service stations, car dealerships, trucking companies and tire or oil change centers. Some of the greatest opportunities for employment and variety in jobs are in the big population areas of Chicago, Bloomington and Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Waukesha, and Madison.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Appleton, WI Area

Fox Valley Technical College

1825 N Bluemound Dr, Appleton, Wisconsin 54912-2277
(920) 735-5600
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Fox Valley Technical College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in Appleton in Outagamie County. The college has round 10,901 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $4,436 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $6,391 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,820, depending on the program.

Eastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area Area

Lakeshore Technical College

1290 North Avenue, Cleveland, Wisconsin 53015-1414
(920) 693-1000 x1192
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

The Automotive Technician Certificate program in Automotive Technician at Lakeshore Technical College is based at their campus in Cleveland in Manitowoc County. The college has roughly 2,837 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $4,125 and for students from other states in the order of $6,081 per year. Study materials can cost about $1,820, depending on the program chosen.

Eau Claire, WI Area

Chippewa Valley Technical College

620 W Clairemont Ave, Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701-6162
(715) 833-6200
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Certificate-level Automotive Technician program is offered at their campus in the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The college has in the region of 6,017 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $4,238 and for students from other states around $6,218 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,819, although this varies from program to program.

Fond du Lac, WI Area

Moraine Park Technical College

235 N National Avenue, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 54936-1940
(920) 929-2483
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Moraine Park Technical College’s Certificate program in Automotive Technician is taught at their campus in the city of Fond du Lac, WI. The majority of of the school’s 6,294 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally in the order of $4,340 and for students from outside the state approximately $6,295 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,819, although this varies from program to program.

Green Bay, WI Area

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54307-9042
(920) 498-5400
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Green Bay. The majority of of the school’s 10,096 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are in the order of $4,355 and for students from outside the state approximately $6,310 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,819, although this varies from program to program.

Janesville, WI Area

Blackhawk Technical College

6004 County Road G, Janesville, Wisconsin 53546-6458
(608) 758-6900
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Blackhawk Technical College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in Janesville in Rock County, Wisconsin. Most of the school’s 2,249 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $4,107 and for students from outside the state in the order of $6,062 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,665, although this varies from program to program.

La Crosse, WI-MN Area

Western Technical College

400 Seventh St. North, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
(608) 785-9200
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

The Automotive Technician Certificate program in Automotive Technician at Western Technical College can be taken at their campus in the city of La Crosse. Most of the school’s 4,044 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $3,776 and for students from other states in the order of $6,166 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,616, although this will vary with the program.

Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division Area

Gateway Technical College

3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53144-1690
(262) 564-2200
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Gateway Technical College’s Certificate program in Automotive Technology is taught at their campus in Kenosha in Kenosha County. This public college has approximately 8,740 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is around $4,152 and for out-of-state students around $6,106 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,819, depending on the program chosen.

Madison, WI Area

Madison Area Technical College

1701 Wright St, Madison, Wisconsin 53704-2599
(608) 246-6100
Automotive Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Automotive Technology at Madison Area Technical College is offered at their campus in the city of Madison, WI. This is a full, 4-year public college with 16,520 students, of which 100% are undergraduates. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $4,281 and for out-of-state students around $6,236 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,820, depending on the program chosen.

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Area

Milwaukee Area Technical College

700 W State St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233-1443
(414) 297-6370
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Milwaukee Area Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program, an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Milwaukee. Most of the school’s 15,186 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The Automotive Technician program is offered with the option of completing a Ford ASSET program. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $4,426 and for out-of-state students around $6,381 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,819, depending on the program chosen.

Waukesha County Technical College

800 Main Street, Pewaukee, Wisconsin 53072-4601
(262) 691-5566
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

The Automotive Technician Certificate program in Automotive Technician at Waukesha County Technical College is taught at their campus in Pewaukee in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. This public college has about 7,928 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The Automotive Technician program is offered with the option of completing a GM ASEP program. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $4,340 and for out-of-state students approximately $6,206 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,820, although this varies from program to program.

Northern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area Area

Nicolet Area Technical College

5364 College Drive, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501-0518
(715) 365-4410
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

The Automotive Technician Certificate program in Automotive Technician at Nicolet Area Technical College is offered at their campus in Rhinelander in Oneida County, WI. The college has about 1,048 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $4,642 and for students from other states around $6,963 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost around $1,818, although this varies from program to program.

South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area Area

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, Wisconsin 53809-9778
(608) 822-3262
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College’s Certificate-level Automotive Technician program is taught at their campus in Fennimore in Grant County. Most of the school’s 2,114 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $4,340 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $6,204 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,820, although this varies from program to program.

Wausau, WI Area

Northcentral Technical College

1000 Campus Dr, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401-1899
(715) 675-3331
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Northcentral Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program, an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Wausau, WI. The majority of of the school’s 4,580 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $4,313 and for students from other states around $6,208 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,819, depending on the program.

West Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area Area

Mid-State Technical College

500 32nd St N, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin 54494
(715) 422-5300
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Mid-State Technical College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are offered at their campus in Wisconsin Rapids in Wood County. Most of the school’s 2,636 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $4,321 and for students from outside the state in the order of $6,276 per year. Books and supplies can cost in the order of $1,820, although this will depend on the program.

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

505 Pine Ridge Drive, Shell Lake, Wisconsin 54871-8727
(715) 468-2815
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s Certificate-level Automotive Technician program is taught at their campus in Shell Lake in Washburn County. Most of the school’s 2,894 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $4,598 and for out-of-state students approximately $6,684 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,820, although this will depend 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 Wisconsin may also wish to review their options in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois.

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 Wisconsin. 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.

BeloitGraftonGreen BayJeffersonKenoshaMadisonMcFarlandMukwonagoOregonPortageRacineShawanoSun Prairie

City: Beloit

Beloit Memorial High School

1225 Fourth Street, Beloit, WI 53511
(608) 361-3380

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: John Hayes
Tel: (608) 361-3380
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Grafton

Grafton High School

1950 Washington St., Grafton, WI 53024
(262) 376-5640

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Carl Hader
Tel: (262) 376-5640
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Green Bay

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

2740 W. Mason St., Box 19042, Green Bay, WI 54307
(920) 498-5630

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Walter Remic
Tel: (920) 498-5630
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Jefferson

Jefferson High School

700 W. Milwaukee St., Jefferson, WI 53549
(920) 210-1129

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Cynthia Sandberg
Tel: (920) 210-1129
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Kenosha

Gateway Technical College

3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53143
(262) 564-3920

Truck Program

Contact: Roderick Gordon
Tel: (262) 564-3920
Programs: Brakes, Diesel Engines, Drive Train, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Heating and Air Conditioning, Hydraulics, Preventive Maintenance Inspection, Suspension & Steering

City: Madison

LaFollette High School

702 Pflaum Rd., Madison, WI 53716
(608) 663-5229

Automotive Program

Contact: Jennifer Wegner
Tel: (608) 663-5229
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

Madison Memorial High School

201 S. Gammon Rd., Madison, WI 53717
(608) 663-5229

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jen Wegner
Tel: (608) 663-5229
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: McFarland

McFarland High School

5103 Farwell St., McFarland, WI 53558
(608) 838-4500

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Nick Pellmann
Tel: (608) 838-4500
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Mukwonago

Mukwonago High School

605 W. School Rd., Mukwonago, WI 53149
(262) 363-6200

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Patrick Grady
Tel: (262) 363-6200
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Oregon

Oregon High School

456 N. Perry Pkwy., Oregon, WI 53575
(608) 835-4427

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Gregory Granberg
Tel: (608) 835-4427
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Portage

Portage High School

301 E. Collins St., Portage, WI 53901
(608) 742-8545

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Dustan Garrigan
Tel: (608) 742-8545
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Racine

Washington Park High School

1901 12th St., Racine, WI 53403
(262) 619-4474

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jerome Kobriger
Tel: (262) 619-4474
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Shawano

Shawano High School

220 County Highway B, Shawano, WI 54166
(715) 526-2175

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jeremy Hodkiewicz
Tel: (715) 526-2175
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Sun Prairie

Sun Prairie High School

888 Grove St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590
(608) 834-6734

Automotive Program

Contact: Nancy Everson
Tel: (608) 834-6734
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair