For most people, the desire to become a mechanic was a childhood dream. The nostalgic memories of watching their relatives work on cars created the desire to get under the hood. Other people may have developed the passion for cars in their teen years after they became old enough to drive. Others are just curious about how engines work. No matter how you came across your love of cars and how they work, you might be among the people who are destined to become mechanics.
Working as a Mechanic in Virginia
Mechanics in Virginia can work in automotive and accessories stores, gasoline stations or tire stores. However, most of them work in the automotive repair and maintenance field or for automobile dealers. Unlike diesel service technicians, automotive mechanics can inspect and repair different types of vehicles, and they aren’t limited to only those that use diesel engines.
From basic routine tasks such as swapping air filters to changing a car’s oil to more complex tasks such as testing systems to ensure that they are working efficiently, mechanics play an important role in ensuring that drivers remain on the road. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Automotive mechanics in the year 2016 held 20,380 jobs in the state of Virginia.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that employment in the industry will expand by 6 percent between the year 2016 and 2026. The increasing number of vehicles, especially late-model cars and trucks with longer lifespans, and the need for entry-level professionals who are capable of providing maintenance and repair services has led to this employment growth rate.
How much do Auto Mechanics in Virginia Make?
The BLS reports the median wage for professional automotive mechanics in the state of Virginia is $43,700. Your salary will depend on your level of education, certifications, and any specializations you have. You might have to start from the bottom rung when you first begin working, but with a solid education under your belt and a good work ethic, you could be successful as a mechanic.
How Formal Education Benefits Your Mechanic Career
Today, automotive education programs have become more popular than ever before. From vocational training schools to four-year degree courses to online degree automotive technology programs, it’s now easier to pursue an automotive degree. Unlike other careers, you won’t need a bachelor’s degree to start your career as a mechanic.
An associate’s degree is enough to get you an entry-level job as a mechanic. There are several reasons why an automotive technology college degree can benefit you if you want to have a successful career as a mechanic.
Benefits of Having a College Degree in this Field
You will be more qualified for a job
According to the BLS, mechanics with formal training find work more easily and they have better work opportunities. When there are job applicants competing for the same position, the one with the strongest education background will most likely be chosen because they are more appealing to potential employers.
Pick your employment
Mechanics with automotive degrees are in high demand, and finding work might be easy if you have an automotive degree. Therefore, if you want to become a mobile mechanic or a specialist for automakers, you will have the ability to chase your dream automotive technician job. Additionally, once you are trained and have experience, you can also find work in other parts of the country, should you decide to move away from Virginia.
Find a better starting job
As a mechanic with a degree, you can choose to skip entry-level positions to a technician career because you don’t need on-the-job training. Employers will also be willing to give you serious positions rather than start you off slow as you learn your trade. Formal training will have equipped you with the technical knowledge that you will need which otherwise would have taken you years to master at an entry-level position.
You’ll become a more skilled mechanic
The skills you acquire from your training will not only help you get a job but also make you feel confident as a mechanic while making your career more fun. Simply put, an automotive degree is the easiest way to become both highly knowledgeable and skilled.
Are You Ready to Become a Mechanic in Virginia?
Do you love working with your hands and solving mechanical problems? If so, you could earn an Associate in Occupational Science Degree in Automotive Technology with Service Management from Advanced Technology Institute. Located on the south side of Hampton Roads, we offer classes in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.