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 course work online for those interested in this credential.

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:
$30K
$39K
$51K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. 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

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 State


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