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What Factors Affect an Auto Mechanic Salary?

Factors that determine an auto mechanic's salary include years on the job, certifications and the kind of shop at which the mechanic works.
Mechanics who specialize in complex systems can often command higher wages.
A mechanic's employer is a major factor in their salary.
Modern mechanics should be familiar with both manual diagnostics and the use of computerized systems.
Article Details
  • Written By: YaShekia King
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Auto mechanics are people who diagnose technical problems with vehicles and then fix these issues using a variety of trade tools. They must have solid manual dexterity, should be good at making decisions, and can complete two-year associate degree programs to get into this career area. An auto mechanic salary is dependent on the type of company for which a person works along with his or her number of years in the field. Wages also are based on a professional’s region of residence and on whether he or she has obtained certification in this line of work.

The type of employer for which a person works affects an auto mechanic salary. An individual who labors for a private automotive repair shop tends to earn less money than those who work for vehicle dealerships. This is because dealers, the ones who manufacture certain vehicle makes and models, often emphasize their mechanics’ high levels of specialized expertise and thus charge more for labor or parts, resulting in more revenue for the companies and subsequently higher employee wages.

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The amount of time that an individual has spent in this career area directly impacts his or her wage as well. Someone who has labored in this vocational area for at least 20 years can easily earn more than four times the auto mechanic salary that a person with less than a year of experience in the field receives. An employer often pays a higher amount to a person who has more experience because he or she is perceived as being better able to help the organization to achieve its sales goals by offering high-quality service.

A professional’s area of residence additionally influences his or her income level. Companies in urban areas usually provide higher pay levels to individuals because they service a larger number of vehicles and thus have more money to spend. Meanwhile, an auto mechanic salary can be expected to be lower in the country because he or she typically works on fewer customers’ cars, bringing in less profit. The cost of living is usually lower in a rural area, however, so a smaller salary still might be sufficient in this type of region.

Although certification is not mandatory in this field, it can have a positive effect on someone’s pay in this vocational area. A mechanic can become certified by taking and passing tests in various specialty areas of the industry such as brake systems and engines. This is permitted after the individual has earned a couple of years of experience in the workforce. Being certified can increase an auto mechanic salary because it demonstrates to hiring managers that the professional is highly qualified to work in this industry.

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