If you have a talent to work with your hands and like math, becoming an auto mechanic could be the right choice.
But, you will need to train before you get that first job.
For that, read the guide below for tips and information regarding licensing.
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Auto Mechanic Training in West Virginia
Any candidate has to enroll in a training program for auto mechanics.
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This will help you gain knowledge and pass your certification exam.
Some training programs you could check out include:
- Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College
- Garnet Career Center
- Carver Career Center
- Putnam Career and Technical Center
- James Rumsey Technical Institute
There is a criterion you should adhere to in order to enroll in a training program:
- 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 training program you choose should also be approved by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF).
You can either opt for a program that offers a diploma and that lasts a few months or pursue higher education options.
If you opt for the latter, you can get a higher salary later on.
Hiring companies also prefer auto mechanics who have a university degree like an associate’s or a bachelor’s.
You can even join a training program before you complete high school.
Earning an ASE Certification in West Virginia
You don’t need a certification to be an auto mechanic in West Virginia.
However, you will need to get certified in order to get employed.
To apply for the ASE certification, you need to show you have at least two years of related work experience.
You will also have to pass a certification exam.
You need to schedule the exam with a test center near your location.
You will receive the certification by mail a few weeks after you pass the exam.
Auto mechanic certifications stay valid for 5 years, after which you can apply to get it renewed.
In order to renew it, you have to take the exam again.
The master auto mechanic exams are available in any of the categories below:
- 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)
Earning the EPA 609-Refrigerant Certification in West Virginia
This state requires an EPA 609-Refrigerant Certification if you plan to work on Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning.
You can get it by joining a 609-refrigerant certification training program.
Passing a certification exam is also a requirement to get this certification.
Earning a Manufacturer Certification in West Virginia
You have to apply for a manufacturer certification in order to work on any car produced by one company.
That can be achieved if you enroll in a training program offered by a company like Ford, Honda, Chrysler, or BMW.
Salary and Employment Information for auto mechanics in West Virginia
Statistics released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that salaries for auto mechanics in this state average $35,544 a year.
Auto mechanics in this state who are in the top 10% earn about $45,931 in a year.
Generally, you will have better career prospects if you work in a bigger city in West Virginia.
Auto mechanics with experience or diesel mechanics also earn more compared to fresh out of school workers.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Martinsburg and Charleston are some of the areas that are lucrative for auto mechanics, whether you are experienced or not.
You can work in gas stations, dealerships, and car tire shops nearby your location.
As there are over 4,000 auto mechanics in West Virginia, you will land your first job fast once you complete your program.