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Auto Mechanic training in St. Louis, Auto Mechanic certification in St. Louis

Automotive Service Technician Career Profile in St. Louis, MO

If you have an interest in auto repair, automotive service technician may be the career for you. Automobile ownership continues to rise, and new automotive technology is making its appearance. Because of this, automotive technology is becoming increasingly complex, and an entry-level position in the auto repair field may require more education and training than it has in the past.

Job Outlook and Salary for Auto Repair Technicians

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has good things to say for those considering a career as an automotive service technician or mechanic in St. Louis. Gathering data from across the country, the BLS offers a number of statistics and projections about most major careers.
Some of this information includes:

  • Projected employment growth of 9% from 2012 through 2022 – what the BLS considers average for occupations in the U.S.
  • A rise in the number of vehicles in need of repairs, requiring more entry-level technicians to service.
  • Increased longevity in late-model automobiles, which will need qualified repair people to service.
  • Reports by employers of difficulties finding qualified workers with the right education.
  • Median annual pay across the country in 2013 was $36,700; median hourly pay was $17.65.
  • Median annual pay for auto technicians in Joplin, MO in 2013 was $36,200; hourly was $17.40.

According to the BLS, the median pay in Joplin is about the same rate as the national average.

Outline of Career Path

In the career of auto repair technology, there is substantial room for growth and advancement. Every auto repair tech will most likely begin their career at the ground level and move up from there through education and specialization. Usually, the career trajectory will look something like this:

  • Mechanic's Assistant – Works under supervision of one more experienced, learns the ins and outs of the particular company and the basics of working as an auto repair technician.
  • General Mechanic – Works unsupervised on most projects. Understands the basics of working on automobiles.
  • Senior Mechanic – Trusted with the most important and complex repair jobs. Provides guidance to younger, less experienced mechanics.
  • Shop Floor Leader – A senior mechanic with the responsibility of managing other mechanics in the shop.

This specific career path isn’t set in stone. Many will choose to become specialized in certain areas, or open their own body shop. There are other related industries that auto repair can lead to. Some areas of specialization may include:

  • Brakes
  • Transmissions – Automatic or Manual
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Engine Performance
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Technical Mathematics
  • Computer Concepts

Education and Training for Auto Repair Technicians

Becoming a successful automotive service technician requires experience and training. There are two accepted ways of acquiring these:

  • Apprenticeship – Many auto mechanics will offer an apprenticeship to people looking to learn the basics of automotive tech. There are places in Missouri that offers such programs, but this route is starting to become the outdated way to enter the field. The technology in automotive vehicles is becoming more and more complex and training is recommended.
  • Schooling – Official schooling in automotive technology is becoming more popular today. The technology behind today’s vehicles has become so advanced that it requires training for repairs and service.

People will always need help caring for their cars and trucks. This kind of service can only be offered once someone possesses the requisite knowledge and experience. According to the BLS, “Completing a vocational or other postsecondary training program in automotive service technology is considered the best preparation for entry-level positions.”
Resources for Auto Repair Technicians

  • BLS site for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
  • Automotive Service Association
  • Career One Stop (Sponsored by the BLS)