How to Become an Auto Mechanic in Montana

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How to Become an Auto Mechanic in Montana

The auto mechanic industry is growing in Montana.

So, if you want to become an auto mechanic, have a look below to learn more.

Auto Mechanic Training in Montana

If you want to get hired as an auto mechanic in Montana, you will have to train in a program.

A training program offered by a community college or trade school will teach you the trade.

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This means you will be able to get a certification fast.

You can either choose a program that ends in a diploma or study to get a higher degree.

You can get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, which will last for about 2 years.

This higher degree will provide increased career opportunities and a higher salary.

If you choose a diploma, the training program has a shorter duration.

In Montana, there are several different programs you can train.

Some of these are:

  • Penn Foster Career School’s online Auto Repair Technician career diploma program
  • Montana Tech
  • City College Montana University of Billings
  • Montana State University-Northern
  • Miles Community College
  • Helena College

You can join the program if you fulfill some requirements, such as:

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

The credit hours vary from program to program will also differ, but the subjects will be the same.

The program you choose needs to have accreditation from the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF).

In Montana, you can enroll in a program as a high school student, if you don’t wait until you finish.

Getting an ASE Certification in Montana

You don’t have to get an ASE certification in Montana, but having one will help in job searching.

Many employers are looking for auto mechanics who are already certified.

This is specifically true for companies in bigger cities.

If you live in a more rural area, however, you may not need certification.

Generally, you will also earn more money if you have a certification.

The ASE certification requires you to pass a test.

You also need to show you have at least two years of related work experience.

This certification is valid for 5 years, and after the time has passed, you will need to take the exam again.

In Montana, ASE created the following categories of tests if you want to become a master auto mechanic:

  • 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)

There are a few testing centers in Montana where you can schedule your certification test.

Earning an EPA 609-Refrigerant Certification in Montana

To work on Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning, an EPA 609-Refrigerant Certification is required.

You also have to enroll in a 609-refrigerant certification training program.

Classes for this certification can be attended online, unlike the ASE certification.

You need an 84% score on the test to get this permit.

Getting a Manufacturer Certification in Montana

this certification enables you to work on cars produced by one car company.

To obtain it, you have to enroll in a training program provided by a large company, such as Ford, Honda, Chrysler, or BMW.

Employment and Salaries for Auto Mechanics in Montana

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), auto mechanics in Montana earn a median salary of $36,366 yearly.

Entry-level positions typically start at around $27,914 per year.

Annual Salary Range:
$27K
$36K
$46K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Billings$38,419
Missoula$33,157
Great Falls$34,781
Bozeman$33,157
Butte$33,157
Helena$33,758
Kalispell$35,229
Havre$34,180
Anaconda$33,157
Miles City$37,817

The best areas to find a job as an auto mechanic include Billings, Great Falls, Eastern Montana, and Western Montana.

You can find an entry-level position in a dealership, auto service, or garage.

Job titles for these professionals include:

  • Diesel specialist
  • Bus and truck mechanic
  • Automotive body repair worker
  • Auto glass installer/repairer

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