How Much Do Auto Mechanic Jobs Pay Per Hour in 2022?

Are you a veteran auto mechanic looking to increase your salary? Or are you new to the profession and interested in what the entry-level pay looks like?

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Regardless, it’s good to understand how much a mechanic can make an hour! Based on your experience and qualifications, you shouldn’t have to undersell yourself. You want to maximize your salary, without losing the opportunity to work.

Read on for some career advice in this area!

Flat rate vs hourly rate

Hourly rates are fixed according to the hour you spend at the shop on a repair order. Flat rates are fixed based on the type of repairs you’re completing.

If you are working for someone at their auto repair shop, an hourly wage can be fixed. However, if you own your own auto shop, you can bill clients according to the time spent on each RO.

Both hourly rates and flat rates have their pros and cons. Flat rates are harder to determine. Other issues might pop up that you might not have accounted for. This could mean more time spent for little compensation.

If you are working hourly at someone’s shop, they will likely cap the number of hours you can work as well. This will ensure a steady stream of income, but you won’t receive pay for any extra hours you put in.

How much does a mechanic make per hour?

Mechanic hourly wages in the United States averaged $22.54 per hour in 2021.

Of course, it can vary between states. You can see wages as low as $9.62 or as high as $33.41 across the country.

This suggest a lot of room for opportunity based on:

  • Skill sets
  • Location
  • Years of experience

Skill sets

A skilled mechanic can earn up to $33 per hour.

Based on your skill set, you can also identify how much a mechanic makes per hour. For this, it’s best to identify which title best suits. This could help you determine a wage for yourself.

To help ascertain a job title for yourself, here are some career choices:

  1. Diesel mechanic: These mechanics can work on a large variety of diesel engine vehicles, including cars, trucks and generators.
  2. General automotive mechanic: Automotive mechanics diagnose and repair automotive vehicle issues.
  3. Brake and transmission technician: Some technicians specialize in issues related to the transmission system and brakes.
  4. Auto body mechanic: These professionals replace or restore damaged or old parts of a vehicle.
  5. Race car mechanic: Though they may perform some of the same job duties as general automotive mechanics, they work under intense time constraints on high-performance cars.
  6. Service technician: Responsible for servicing automotive vehicles, these mechanics check important mechanical and electrical components or assess the levels of oil and fluid.
  7. Auto glass mechanic: Auto glass mechanics specialize in repairing, removing, and installing glass on vehicles.
  8. Heavy equipment mechanic: Familiar with large pieces of machinery, these mechanics work in the construction, farming, industrial development and railroad transportation industries.
  9. Aviation maintenance technician: They renovate and service aircraft and also conduct inspections for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  10. Small engine mechanic: These professionals restore and service engines smaller than those of standard automobiles.
  11. Marine mechanics: Motorboat mechanics specifically service and maintain aquatic vehicles.
  12. Tire mechanics: Though other mechanics can also service and maintain tires, there are some who specialize in this role.
  13. Repair manager: Working in an advisory role, these professionals help their team understand repair issues and prepare plans and schedules.
  14. Maintenance supervisor: This is a management-level position that oversees a team of mechanics.

If you’re qualified, getting hired for one of these mechanic jobs can assist you to make more money than an average mechanic position.

Location

How much a mechanic makes per hour can also be determined by location.

Where you are based must be taken into account. Some U.S. cities have been identified as above the national average for mechanic hourly wages.

In California, a mechanic makes an average of $29.45 per hour. Narrowed down to cities, you can make up to $33.20 in San Francisco. That is a 47% increase over the national average. In contrast, Chicago, IL has an hourly wage of $29.44 per hour. That salary is 31% higher than the national average.

Changing locations could be a decision you make as a mechanic. However, do factor in the living expenses. A lower cost of living should be the leading factor when thinking about moving for a mechanic-salaried role.

Years of experience

Without question, the time you have spent in the field gives you a greater edge. It means you have a greater skill set than newcomers. Hence, you can demand a higher hourly rate.

If a business truly values skilled labor, they will be sure to take you in. If you have your own shop, you can certainly set a higher rate for yourself.  Recognizing opportunities to earn a higher salary can be very beneficial.

Leverage your experience (and unique skills) to earn more. Here is some career advice to help you achieve that:

  1. Receive certifications: Some vehicles, especially some exotic cars, require specific certifications to repair and maintain them. Having a certificate on hand will give you a greater advantage for these roles over average mechanics.
  2. Earn a degree: While it’s not everything in this space, a degree-holder can potentially earn more and qualify for higher-paying jobs.
  3. Gain experience: Experience is everything. Building up your portfolio with relevant work experience can also enable higher wage options. Continue educating yourself with mechanic books and other training resources.

There are many online and even in-person options to earn certificates and degrees. Universities have career services and placement offices that can assist you with your job search.

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Wrapping up

And there you have it. This blog post covers everything you need to know on how much a mechanic can make an hour.

Whenever you search for a job, always do your research. Auto repair shops can certainly be profitable, and you should definitely profit as a mechanic.

Frequently asked questions

If you have specialized skills, enough qualified experience and work in a low cost of living area, being a mechanic can definitely earn you good money.
On average, most mechanics can make $22.54 per hour across the U.S.
Of course! Depending on your skills and level of experience, you can make a good living as a mechanic.
Though you do not require a degree to become a mechanic, you can certainly earn a certification or degree that can give you an edge. Depending on the program, that could take anywhere from six months to multiple years.
Mechanics can perform everything from routine maintenance to basic repairs, vehicle inspections and service checks.
You will likely need at least a post-secondary, non-degree award to become a mechanic. It will always help to have some form of certification to justify higher wages.
Depending on your location, skill sets and work experience, you can earn good money as a mechanic.
You have to determine whether you want to charge a flat rate or an hourly rate. From there, your decision depends on the mechanic’s skills and efficiency.
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