Your car probably has at least 30 microprocessors that control everything from your stereo entertainment system to your cruise control. Mechanics that service cars must constantly update their training and knowledge base to keep up the advances in automotive technology, and employers might prefer to hire candidates who have formal training and industry certification. Wages for car mechanics vary based on their location and type of employment.
The national average annual income for car mechanics was $38,560 as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of car mechanics earned at least $59,600 per year, while the bottom 10 percent made $20,620 or less. The middle 50 percent earned annual wages of between $26,850 and $47,540.
More than 9 percent of the nation's 589,750 car mechanics worked in California, where they earned average annual wages of $45,050 as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Car mechanics in Alaska earned the highest average salaries at $52,090 per year, while those who worked in West Virginia were among the lowest earners at $28,040 per year.
Approximately 34.7 percent of car mechanics worked in the automotive repair and maintenance industry where they earned average annual salaries of $35,090 as of May 2011, according to the statistics bureau. Car mechanics who worked for couriers and express delivery services earned among the highest average wages in the industry at $60,900. Those employed by auto dealerships made $42,910 per year.
New job opportunities for car mechanics should grow by approximately 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, about the same rate as the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Candidates with formal training and certification should have the best employment opportunities, while those with little formal training will find stiff competition for entry-level positions.