How to Become an Auto Mechanic in California

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If you like working with your hands, you might like becoming an auto mechanic.

The prospects for this career are strong in California, but you will first need to train.

Have a look at the article below to learn more about the requirements.

Auto Mechanic Training in California

Before you can start looking for a job, you will need to join a training program.

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This will teach you the skills you need to know to be successful.

The program you choose depends on how much education you are looking to get.

You can get a certificate or pursue an associate’s degree.

If you want to study more, you can also pursue a bachelor’s degree.

To get into the program of your choice, you have to meet some criteria.

The criteria include:

  • A high school graduate or have a GED
  • Good at math
  • Computer proficient
  • Good with physics

The credit hours from program to program will also differ, however, the subjects are the same.

You have to make sure you enroll in a program approved by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF).

The associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs last for at least 2 years.

The programs you can attend in California include:

  • The Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) Program
  • The Import Technician Training Program (ITTP)
  • The General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP)
  • The Chrysler Automotive Program (CAP)

You can locate suitable programs in the following schools:

  • Cerritos College in Norwalk
  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College in Los Angeles
  • Oxnard College in Oxnard
  • Consumnes River College in Sacramento

How to Get an ASE Certification in California

In California, you are not required to get this certification.

However, you will be able to get employed much easier if you have it.

To get an ASE certification, you have to pass one of the 50 exams available.

The requirements to get this certification include:

  • Two years of related work experience
  • Other certification or an associate’s degree

To keep this certification up to date, you will have to retake the test once at 5 years.

In California, you can choose from one of the following exam categories:

  • Auto Maintenance and Light Repair Certification Test (G1)
  • Automobile & Light Truck Certification Tests (A Series)
  • Collision Repair & Refinish Certification Tests (B Series)
  • Damage Analysis & Estimating Certification Test (B6)
  • Automobile Service Consultant Certification Test (C1)
  • Truck Equipment Certification Tests (E Series)
  • Alternate Fuels Certification Test (F1)
  • Transit Bus Certification Tests (H Series)
  • Advanced Engine Performance Specialist Certification Test (L1)
  • Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification Test (L2)
  • Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist Test (L3)
  • Engine Machinist Certification Tests (M Series)
  • Parts Specialist Certification Tests (P Series)
  • School Bus Certification Tests (S Series)
  • Medium-Heavy Truck Certification Tests (T Series)
  • Undercar Specialist Exhaust Systems Test (X1)

To take the exam, you will have to schedule it in advance with one of the testing centers in your area.

Unlike other exams that you can take online, the ASE test has to be done in person.

Salaries for Auto Mechanics in California

In this state, auto mechanic jobs will see an increase of 8% until 2024.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the auto mechanic industry is one of the most successful industries in California.

You will be able to find a job that pays well even in an entry-level position.

For example, diesel mechanics make about $26.47 an hour and $49,210 a year.

Auto mechanics earn around $22.44 an hour and $46,680 a year.

Glass installers have a median salary of $17.64 hourly and $36,690 yearly.

The more experience you have, the higher your salary will be.

How much you earn will also vary according to your region.

The highest salaries are encountered in regions like San Francisco, San Jose, South San Francisco, and Glendale.

Annual Salary Range:
$34K
$44K
$57K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles$45,371
San Diego$43,293
San Jose$50,347
San Francisco$50,146
Fresno$39,908
Sacramento$43,362
Long Beach$44,730
Oakland$47,739
Bakersfield$42,965
Anaheim$44,831

Where to Find Work as an Auto Mechanic in Calfornia

Once you have the right training and certification, you will find it easy to get hired.

Some of the places where you can apply for a job include dealerships, warehouses, repair shops, but also service stations.

Depending on your preferences and certification, you can become an auto mechanic, diesel mechanic, or glass installer.

USA Mechanic Schools by State


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