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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 2030. 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 13,490 employed automotive service technicians in 2020 as well as 5,880 diesel and truck mechanics. The highest employment for mechanics is in the Chicago metropolitan area, which extends into Wisconsin.

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Salary Expectations for Mechanics in Wisconsin

Average salaries for auto mechanics and diesel truck mechanics are recorded by the BLS. In 2021, the average salary for mechanics in Wisconsin was $45,700 per year. For diesel mechanics it was $49,380, reflecting more specialized skills and training. The top 10 percent of earners for each category made an average of $61,860 and $63,080, 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%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics13,490$21.97$45,700$29,100
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers290$16.84$35,030$32,640
Automotive Body and Related Repairers3,200$22.08$45,920$29,780
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists5,880$23.74$49,380$37,190

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Wisconsin by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Appleton, Wi680$21,39$44,480
Eau Claire, WI490$21,87$45,490
Fond du Lac, WI290$21,39$44,480
0Green Bay, WI800$21,94$45,630
Janesville-Beloit, WI370$22,00$45,760
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN370$21,95$45,660
Madison, WI1,510$22,03$45,820
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI3,610$22,19$46,150
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI340$21,36$44,430
Racine, WI450$22,87$47,560
Sheboygan, WI290$21,95$45,660
Wausau, WI400$21,88$45,500

Auto Mechanic Schools 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.

There are over 40 ASE exams. Some of these include:Truck equipment certification tests:

  • Truck equipment certification tests
  • Light truck certification tests
  • School bus certification tests
  • Engine machinist certification tests
  • Light repair certification test
  • Transit bus certification tests
  • Parts specialist certification tests
  • Alternate fuels certification test
  • Damage analysis and estimating certification test

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.

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