Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in West Virginia

If you are mechanically inclined and enjoy figuring out how things work, you may want to consider becoming an automotive technician or mechanic. The auto industry has many jobs available for those who like to work with their hands, including service technicians, collision repair specialists, auto body workers, auto glass repairers and installers and diesel mechanics. [En Español]

There are no special licenses required to become a mechanic in West Virginia; however, many auto repair shops will not hire you unless you have Automobile Service Excellence (ASE) certification. There are many opportunities to get certified in community colleges and technical schools throughout the state. There are also a select number of high schools that offer the NATEF certification in West Virginia.

The Job Outlook in West Virginia

In May 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a total of 4,080 auto service technicians and mechanics, 730 auto body and repair specialists, 110 auto glass installers and repairers, and 1930 bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists employed throughout the state. The outlook for jobs through 2024 shows that those numbers are expected to fall slightly, by 1.9 percent.

Mechanic Salaries in West Virginia

Auto mechanics in West Virginia earn an average of $33,230 annually, or $15.97 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report from May 2017. Highly experienced mechanics can earn as much as $53,010 per year based on these same reports. Of the four categories of auto technicians that are included in the BLS report, auto service technicians and mechanics are the lowest paid of the different specialties within the auto technology field. The highest wages are paid to diesel engine specialists and bus and truck mechanics, who earn an average of $38,390 annually or $18.46 hourly. Auto body and repair specialists earn the second highest salaries, with an average of $37,520 annually or $18.04 hourly.

Salaries in West Virginia by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%Highest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics3,900$15.23$31,670$19,210$50,280
Automotive Body and Related Repairers800$18.27$38,010$19,230$61,800
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers150$15.88$33,020$21,890$40,440
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists1,990$18.58$38,640$25,110$52,950

Auto Mechanic Salaries in West Virginia by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Beckley, WV300$16.11$33,510
Charleston, WV560$16.33$33,970
Charleston, WV260$17.83$37,080
Charleston, WV690$17.73$36,890
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH650$16.39$34,100
Morgantown, WV370$14.01$29,150
Parkersburg-Vienna, WV350$14.39$29,920
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV12,730$23.51$48,900
Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH260$14.36$29,870
Wheeling, WV-OH370$16.16$33,610
Wheeling, WV-OH320$19.24$40,010

Auto Mechanic Programs in West Virginia

If you want to pursue certification for an auto mechanic career, there are a number of programs throughout West Virginia that offer certification. Some of the most notable include:

  • Fred W Eberle Technical Center. Located in Buckhannon, West Virginia, this school offers several certification programs for mechanics, including automotive technology, collision repair and diesel technology. Fred W Eberle Technical Center is a NATEF-accredited school.
  • BridgeValley Community and Technical College. BridgeValley offers multiple programs, including certification programs and an associate degree program in Diesel Technology. BridgeValley is located in South Charleston, West Virginia.

NATEF-accredited high school programs are also available in West Virginia for training in automotive technology and diesel mechanics.

ASE Certification

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers a certification for auto mechanics who have acquired the necessary experience and knowledge to meet the quality standards in automotive technology. This is known as ASE certification and verifies that the mechanic has received additional training and can diagnose, repair and service all vehicles.

Working as an Auto Mechanic in West Virginia

Most jobs for auto service technicians in the state of West Virginia are found in the Huntington area, which borders the Kentucky and Ohio state lines. There were 700 reported auto technicians in this area in the 2017 BLS report. Many of the most lucrative jobs are available just over the state lines in Maryland and Virginia. The Hagerstown, Maryland, and Martinsburg, West Virginia, area has a higher concentration of auto service technicians, with a total of 630 auto mechanics according to BLS. The Hagerstown and Martinsburg area also has the highest concentration of auto body repairers. Charleston, West Virginia, the state capital, has the third largest number of auto mechanics. For the best pay, Winchester, Virginia, reports an average annual salary for auto mechanics of $42,340.

Most car dealerships, service stations and auto body repair shops hire for entry-level positions. A driver’s license and clean driving record are required for most jobs.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Charleston, WV Area

Ben Franklin Career Center

500 28th St, Dunbar, West Virginia 25064
(304) 766-0369
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Ben Franklin Career Center is based at their campus in Dunbar in Kanawha County. This public college has round 399 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $4,166 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $900, although this will vary with the program.

Carver Career Center

4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, West Virginia 25306-6397
(304) 348-1968
Automotive Repair Technology – Certificate Program

Carver Career Center’s Certificate-level Automotive Repair Technology program is taught at their campus in Charleston in Kanawha County, WV. This public college has in the order of 223 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Fees for tuition are about $5,310 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $2,000, although this will vary with the program.

Garnet Career Center

422 Dickinson St, Charleston, West Virginia 25301
(304) 348-6195
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Garnet Career Center offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Charleston. This public college has round 108 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are about $4,433 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $3,245. Program completion is usually 12 months.

Putnam Career and Technical Center

300 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, West Virginia 25070-0640
(304) 586-3494 x4421
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Putnam Career and Technical Center’s Certificate program in Automotive Technology is based at their campus in Eleanor in Putnam County. This public college has approximately 108 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are usually around $3,635 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $30. Typically, the program is completed in 22 months.

Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Area

James Rumsey Technical Institute

3274 Hedgesville Road, Martinsburg, West Virginia 25403-0259
(304) 754-7925
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

James Rumsey Technical Institute offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in Martinsburg in Berkeley County. The majority of of the school’s 128 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are broadly about $3,466 annually, while study materials may cost around $1,880. Usually, the program is completed in 12 months.

Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Area

Cabell County Career Technology Center

1035 Norway Ave, Huntington, West Virginia 25705-2827
(304) 528-5106
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Cabell County Career Technology Center’s Certificate-level Automotive Technology program is offered at their campus in Huntington in Cabell County, WV. This public college has approximately 96 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 88%. Tuition fees are around $3,500 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $900, depending on the program chosen.

North Central West Virginia nonmetropolitan area Area

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College

316 Eastern Drive, Moorefield, West Virginia 26836-0000
(304) 434-8000
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College is offered at their campus in Moorefield in Hardy County. This public college has about 913 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. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually about $3,420 and for students from other states in the order of $6,876 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,357, depending on the program chosen.

Fred W Eberle Technical Center

Rte 5 Box 2, Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201
(304) 472-1259
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Fred W Eberle Technical Center’s Certificate program in Automotive Technology is based at their campus in the town of Buckhannon. This public college has approximately 168 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are around $1,755 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $275. Typically, the program is completed in 9 months.

South Branch Career and Technical Center

401 Pierpont St, Petersburg, West Virginia 26847
(304) 257-1331 x12
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

South Branch Career and Technical Center offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are taught at their campus in the town of Petersburg, WV. The majority of of the school’s 3 students are on diploma programs of under two years. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation.

Southern West Virginia nonmetropolitan area Area

Academy of Careers and Technology

390 Stanaford Rd, Beckley, West Virginia 25801
(304) 256-4615 x302
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Academy of Careers and Technology can be taken at their campus in the city of Beckley, WV. The college has approximately 192 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are about $7,685 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,050, depending on the program chosen.

BridgeValley Community & Technical College

2001 Union Carbide Dr, South Charleston, West Virginia 25136
(304) 734-6600
Diesel Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Diesel Technology at BridgeValley Community & Technical College is based at their campus in South Charleston in Fayette County. The majority of of the school’s 2,503 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $4,570 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $10,262 annually, while study materials may cost around $1,350, depending on the program.

New River Community and Technical College

280 University Drive, Beaver, West Virginia 25813-8987
(304) 929-5450
Automobile Technology – Associate Program, Collision Repair Technology – Certificate Program

New River Community and Technical College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Beaver in Raleigh County, WV. This public college has about 1,624 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. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $3,966 and for students from other states around $4,834 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,350, depending on the program.

Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center

144 Vocational Road, Three Mile Curve, Stollings, West Virginia 25646
(304) 752-4687 x2207
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center’s Certificate-level Automotive Technology program is based at their campus in Stollings in Logan County, WV. The majority of of the school’s 37 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are in the order of $1,650 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $654. Program completion is normally 10 months.

* 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 West Virginia may also wish to review their options in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky.

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 West Virginia. 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.

BuckhannonClarksburgFosterKeyserMartinsburgPetersburgPrinceton

City: Buckhannon

Fred W. Eberle Technical Center

View School’s Web Site, Buckhannon, WV 26201
(304) 457-1156

Automotive Program

Contact: James Turner
Tel: (304) 472-1259
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension & Steering

Truck Program

Contact: Robert Johnson
Tel: (304) 457-1156
Programs: Brakes, Diesel Engines, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Preventive Maintenance Inspection, Suspension & Steering

City: Clarksburg

United Technical Center

251 Marietta St, Clarksburg, WV 26301
(304) 624-3280

Automotive Program

Contact: Steve Shaffer
Tel: (304) 624-3280
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Foster

Boone Career & Technical Center

3505 Daniel Boone Pkwy., Foster, WV 25081
(304) 369-4585

Automotive Program

Contact: Guy Branham
Tel: (304) 369-4585
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Keyser

Mineral Co. Tech Center

600 Harley O. Staggers Sr. Dr., Keyser, WV 26726
(304) 788-4240

Automotive Program

Contact: Ian Saville
Tel: (304) 788-4240
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Engine Repair, Suspension & Steering

City: Martinsburg

James Rumsey Technical Institute

3274 Hedgesville Rd., Martinsburg, WV 25401
(304) 754-7925

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Brian Zeger
Tel: (304) 754-7925
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Petersburg

South Branch Career & Technical Center

401 Pierpont St., Petersburg, WV 26847
(304) 257-1331

Automotive Program

Contact: Jed Metzler
Tel: (304) 257-1331
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Princeton

Mercer County Technical Ed. Center

1397 Stafford Dr., Princeton, WV 24740
(304) 425-9551

Automotive Program

Contact: Bobby Poore
Tel: (304) 425-9551
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair