Last Updated: 29.10.2021

Love cars and DIY repairs? Looking for an attractive career? Consider being a mechanic! It is a lucrative opportunity, but your income will depend on various factors, such as location and the company where you will work. Your skills and experience also impact employability and wage. 

If you are wondering how much car mechanics make, you are at the right place! This article talks about the realities of the job, including the average salary. 

Plus, we’ll also share some tips to help you earn more. 

How Much Do Car Mechanics Make?

mechanic checking the underchassis part of a car

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, car mechanics have a median pay of $44,050 in 2020. It translates to an average hourly pay of $21.18. More so, there can also be additional compensation, such as overtime fees, which can reach up to $5,731 annually. 

The highest 10% of the mechanics in the U.S. earn as much as $71,940 annually. On the other hand, the average annual pay for the lowest 10% is $25,790. 

Aside from their salary, car mechanics also receive several benefits, which will make their job higher-paying and more attractive. The latter, however, depends on the company’s policies. Among others, some of the most common benefits include employee discounts, health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, paid time off, paid sick time, and 401(k). 

Highest Paying Cities and States for Car Mechanics 

Those who are curious about how much do car mechanics make should know one thing-it depends on location. The wage differs from one state to another. With that, let’s get a quick look at the state and city data about car mechanics. 

Highest Paying Cities

mechanic holding stacks of money with tires in background

Based on a report from Indeed, below is a list of the cities in the U.S. where mechanics are paid the most. While it will give you an idea of the salaries in these cities, take note that they are only based on the job listings available on the website. 

  1. New York: $38.86 per hour, $98,429 per year 
  2. New Haven: $32.43 per hour, $82,140 per year 
  3. Denver: $27.18 per hour, $68,838 per year 
  4. Philadelphia: $25.41 per hour, $64,370 per year 
  5. Henderson: $24.26 per hour, $61,449 per year 

Highest Paying States 

According to the Occupational Employment Wage and Statistics, there are more than 620,110 mechanics in the U.S. The report noted that the following are the top five states with the highest salary for car mechanics: 

  1. District of Columbia: $31.08 per hour, $64,640 per year 
  2. California: $26.22 per hour, $54,540 per year 
  3. Washington: $25.25 per hour, $52,530 per year 
  4. Alaska: $25.24 per hour, $52,490 per year 
  5. Hawaii: $24.96 per hour, $51,920 per year 

Factors That Affect a Car Mechanic’s Salary 

Like other jobs, the salary of a car mechanic isn’t fixed. Different factors come into play, including those we’ll talk about below. 

Location 

The location is one of the most significant factors that affect a car mechanic’s earnings. Those in large cities with reputable employers can earn a lot. At the same time, there is also attractive pay in states where there is high demand but low supply. 

Skills and Competencies

mechanic doing car engine diagnostics

The more skilled and competent you are, the higher the potential salary. That’s why you should invest in education, training, and certifications for upskilling to make yourself more capable than others. 

Experience 

Having extensive experience as a mechanic helps in making you more employable, resulting in a higher salary. If it is going to be your first job, however, prepare to start at the bottom. Eventually, as you gain more knowledge and experience, your pay will go up. 

Employer 

A car mechanic’s salary is also highly dependent on the employer. Larger companies can offer higher pay because they are more popular, and hence, they have a big customer pool. Meanwhile, smaller businesses can have a more limited reach, making them unable to offer an attractive salary to their mechanics. 

Type of Job 

Whether you work as a full-time or part-time mechanic will impact how much you earn. More so, your pay will also depend on whether you are working for someone else or you are an independent contractor who does not have to report to someone. 

Job Growth Trends for Auto Mechanics 

No one knows what exactly will happen in the future, but based on the current trends, the following are some of the things that we can expect in the coming years. 

Showing Little or No Change

From 2020 to 2030, it is expected that there is little or no change in the employment of automotive mechanics. One of the reasons for the latter is the advances in technology, which will lessen the demand for mechanics. For instance, the prevalence of electric vehicles means that cars are being more reliable, requiring lesser repair and maintenance. 

Nonetheless, even with these advancements, it does not mean that mechanics will be out of the picture. Their skills are still necessary, but the growth might be minimal. 

Embracing Technology 

We are expecting mechanics to be more advanced in the years to come. They will embrace innovative approaches to improve the quality of their work. It will make them more effective and efficient. Investing in new equipment will make mechanics more capable of handling even complicated jobs.

Increasing Opportunities for Dealerships 

In the years to come, we expect that automobile dealerships will be providing the bulk of the jobs for mechanics. Car owners have shown a growing preference for dealerships over independent shops when having their vehicles repaired. One of the driving forces behind this is the rise in the number of leased cars from dealerships. 

How to Earn More as a Car Mechanic 

If you wish to increase your earning potential as a car mechanic, keep in mind the tips we’ll share below and uncover new possibilities. 

Work on Your Core Competencies 

Like in any other job, it is crucial to improve your core competencies. Look for opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills, which will make you more in-demand. 

Depending on your location, the job market can be saturated, so you need to find ways to stand out. While you do not need a four-year college education, consider attending training and workshops. Such will keep you updated with the latest techniques and technologies that will make you better.

Some of the skills that you have to work on include attention to detail, communication, hand-eye coordination, teamwork, resourcefulness, technical aptitude, and concentration.

Build Your Own Business 

Rather than working for someone else, why not work for yourself instead? It might be a good idea to start your car repair shop instead of working in a dealership or company. This way, you will have complete control of your time and the earning potential is limitless. 

However, the challenge is that growing your customer base can be difficult. Not to mention, equipment and tools can be expensive. 

Most of the mechanics today work in automotive dealers, which accounts for up to 33% of all the jobs. Only around 11% are self-employed. With this, while the idea of building your own business may seem tempting, it is one thing that you should tread with caution. 

Grow Your Network 

Networking will help increase your earning potential as a car mechanic. The more people you know, the more clients you can have. Whether you are working as an independent contractor or under a dealership, your network is beneficial. A lot of people prefer someone they know to handle their car repair and maintenance needs. 

If you work by yourself, one of the best ways to network is to use social media to gain a loyal following. Build Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google My Business pages for your business. Then, request your clients to leave positive reviews on your social media pages if they are satisfied with your work. More likely, they will be prompted to review your business when they visit your shop, so make sure to always provide the best service. 

It also helps to attend car-related events where you can meet potential clients. 

A lot of car mechanics work independently. This means that they are not under any employer. If you are one of those, then you should focus on advertising your services. Take advantage of cheap but effective tools to reach your target market. 

Email and social media platforms can help build awareness and bring people to your business. It is also a good idea to build a website and use search engine optimization to improve your online visibility. 

Invest in Equipment and Tools 

This is another thing that can help if you are working as an independent mechanic. It might seem expensive, but you need the most advanced tools and equipment. This will let you carry out any task more effectively and efficiently. Best of all, you can provide top-notch services to deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction. 

Final Thoughts 

As a car mechanic, you can earn $21.18 per hour or $44,050 per year. The specific figure, however, will depend on several factors. Location, skills, experience, and employer are some of the things that will impact your earnings. Increase your earning potential by working on your core competencies, growing your network, advertising your services, and investing in advanced equipment.