How to Become an Auto Mechanic in Virginia

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How to Become an Auto Mechanic in Virginia

Virginia has a flourishing auto industry, thus auto mechanics can easily get hired.

If you’d like to learn more about what you need to do to become an auto mechanic in Virginia, read on!

Auto Mechanic Training in Virginia

To become an auto mechanic you need to complete a training program.

High schools, training centers, and community colleges offer such programs.

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Each institution has its own requirements for admission into the programs.

With the exception of high schools, all the other institutions require either proof you graduated from high school or a GED.

Sometimes computer proficiency is also needed, along with passing grades in specific subjects.

Most individuals choose to obtain certifications or diplomas of completion.

However, the number of those seeking an associate degree in automotive technology is increasing.

Generally, these training courses end after approximately 2 years and have 2 components:

  • Theory
  • Practice

If you want an associate’s degree, you can consider one of these colleges:

  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Thomas Nelson Community College
  • Blue Ridge Community College
  • Advanced Technology Institute
  • New River Community College

Make sure, before enrolling, that the program is approved by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF).

When you graduate, you’ll have all the skills needed to get hired on positions at an entry-level.

These are some of the abilities you’ll develop during training:

  • Oil changes and tire rotation
  • Brake repair and fluid level checks
  • Ignition system checks
  • Exhaust and muffler repair
  • Catalytic converter replacement
  • Replace spark plugs, fuel sensors
  • Alternator and battery replacement
  • Conduct system tests
  • Transmission replacements
  • Air conditioner repair
  • Engine rebuilds

Earning an ASE Certification in Virginia

The ASE certification means that the services are of high quality and meet the industry standards.

ASE offers a minimum of 40 certifications, and here are a few of them:

  • Repair technician
  • Service consultant
  • Collision damage estimator
  • Parts specialist

Only those who meet these requirements can become certified:

  • A minimum of 2 years of work experience as an auto mechanic
  • Registering and paying the fee for the chosen diploma
  • Passing the related test

For some of the certifications, ASE asks for 1 year while for others, you’ll have to accumulate 3 years.

As an auto mechanic, you can try and obtain as many certifications as you wish.

The exams for these certifications can only be taken in person, in one of the testing centers across Virginia.

It’s not easy for auto mechanics to reach the master auto mechanic level.

For this, those interested have to pass a series of 8 exams.

Individuals can attempt to pass more series of exams.

These are some of the 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)

Earning the EPA 609-Refrigerant Certification

The EPA 609-refrigerant certification allows you to work with the MVAC system of a vehicle.

The certification is needed because the MVAC uses a regulated substance.

The substance is regulated due to its dangerous nature.

Those holding this certification are allowed to even buy limited amounts of this refrigerant.

EPA provides the coursework online for those interested in this credential.

Auto Mechanic Schools in Virginia

School Name Address
Germanna Automotive Program 9432 N James Madison Hwy, Rapidan, VA 22733
Tidewater Community College Regional Automotive Center 600 Innovation Dr, Chesapeake, VA 23320
Advanced Technology Institute 994 Scott St, Norfolk, VA 23502
Tidewater Tech 4535 E Princess Anne Rd, Norfolk, VA 23502
Virginia Western Community College 3094 Colonial Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24015
Blue Ridge Community College 1 College Ln, Weyers Cave, VA 24486
Center for Employment Training - CET Alexandria 6295 Edsall Rd #220, Alexandria, VA 22312
Arlington Career Center 816 S Walter Reed Dr, Arlington, VA 22204
Advanced Career Education (ACE) Center at Highland Springs 100 Tech Drive, Highland Springs, VA 23075
Spotsylvania Career and Technical Center 6713 Smith Station Rd, Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA 22553
Southwest Virginia Community College 635 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609
New River Community College 5251 State Rd 373, Dublin, VA 24084
Reynolds Community College 1651 E Parham Rd, Richmond, VA 23228
Virginia Highlands Community College 100 VHCC Dr, Abingdon, VA 24210
Chesapeake Career Center 1617 Cedar Rd, Chesapeake, VA 23322
Danville Community College 1008 S Main St, Danville, VA 24541
Southside Va Community College 1041 W 10th St, Blackstone, VA 23824
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Employment and Salary Information for Auto Mechanics in Virginia

These are some of the businesses in Virginia hiring auto mechanics:

  • Dealerships
  • Tire and parts shops
  • Repair shops
  • Gas stations
  • Local governments

Auto mechanics can specialize in one of these areas:

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

In Virginia, the average salary of an auto mechanic is about $39,876 per year.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Virginia Beach $38,352
Norfolk $37,774
Chesapeake $37,726
Arlington $44,658
Richmond $40,029
Newport News $37,582
Alexandria $44,658
Hampton $36,582
Roanoke $37,089
Portsmouth $37,774

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA390$46,080$22.16$66,050$29,520
Charlottesville, VA490$49,070$23.59$66,220$30,510
Harrisonburg, VA380$44,280$21.29$60,940$29,170
Lynchburg, VA550$42,850$20.6$60,380$27,600
Richmond, VA3,100$50,040$24.06$73,770$31,150
Roanoke, VA830$43,650$20.99$59,230$28,400
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA290$44,980$21.63$62,920$28,900
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC4,000$48,120$23.14$72,110$29,300
Winchester, VA-WV400$48,250$23.2$74,860$30,490
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, OCC Code 49-3023, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information about Auto Mechanics in Virginia

It should be noted that most dealerships prefer hiring individuals who obtained a manufacturer’s certification.

This improves the candidate’s knowledge of the cars manufactured under that brand.

USA Mechanic Schools by City

USA Mechanic Schools by State

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