Why This Matters


    A high school diploma is the most common level of education for auto mechanics. Beyond that, 14 percent of mechanics have an associate degree and 6% have a bachelor’s degree.


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that there will be 27,800 fewer auto mechanic jobs in 2029 than there were in 2019. It is more important than ever to get a degree from a reputable program to get a good job as a mechanic.


    The top 10 percent of auto mechanics earn over $71,940. You will likely make more money working as a mechanic in an auto dealership where the average salary is $47,620 than at a parts, accessories, and tire store at $38,370 a year.

Our Research

This list focuses on the best auto mechanic schools in the United States. A postsecondary education is generally not required for an auto mechanic job, but earning a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree will help you stand out from your peers and earn more money.

We only selected programs accredited by institutions such as the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Alliance or National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. Such accreditation ensures the program will provide you with all the knowledge and skills you will need on the job.

  • 38 hours to write this article
  • 66 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 109 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Best Auto Mechanic Schools

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Career paths that are similar to auto maintenance include automotive management, marine maintenance, and aviation maintenance. Before you commit to any particular program, make sure it aligns with your specific career goals.

There are many types of auto mechanic certificates you can earn to demonstrate your car knowledge to a prospective employer. For example, ASE offers 52 certification tests, including Collision Repair and Refinish Certification, Damage Analysis and Estimating Certification, and Alternate Fuels Certification.

It is possible to take these certification tests without first going to an auto mechanic school, but you should consider that such schools allow you to gain invaluable hands-on experience. Just because you have passed a written test does not mean you are ready to start working on a car. There is no substitute for the in-person experience of an auto mechanic school, as it gives you the skills to start your career right away.

In addition to preparing you for certification exams, many auto mechanic programs offer associate and bachelor’s degrees. This level of education can open up more opportunities for your career, such as helping car companies develop the latest automotive technology.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching auto mechanic schools.

  • Am I eligible for this program? Generally, you will only need a high school diploma to be accepted into an auto mechanic school.
  • How long does it take to complete this program? The answer to this question will depend on your particular program. Full-time students can expect associate degrees to take two years to complete, and bachelor’s degrees tend to take four years. Certificate programs can usually be completed in about a year.

When you are researching programs, be sure to keep track of deadlines and all other application requirements. Find this information on the school’s website or by contacting their admissions department.

Finance is yet another factor that you will need to consider. To help cover the cost of the auto mechanic school, apply to any available scholarships or grants and consider other financial aid options such as loans and income share agreements.