The Average Hourly Rates for Auto Repair

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Auto repair workers fix problems with automobiles and lightweight trucks.
Auto repair workers fix problems with automobiles and lightweight trucks. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Auto repair workers! or service technicians, work for service centers, automobile dealers and government agencies. They primarily fix various parts on automobiles, including engines, mufflers, pistons and ignition switches. Some also provide air-contaminant inspections for people renewing their licenses. These workers usually diagnose car problems first, then determine the best ways to fix them. Auto repair workers then discuss repairs with customers, collecting their payments when the work is completed. These repair workers usually are paid by the hour.

Median Wages

Auto repair workers earned median hourly rates of $17.21 or $35,790 per year, according to May 2010 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median salaries appear in the middle of salary lists. The middle half earned median wages between $12.65 and $22.73 per hour or $26,320 and $47,280 per year. The top 10 percent earned at least $28.65 per hour or $59,590 annually. And the lowest 10 percent earned median hourly rates of no more than $9.71 or $20,200 per year.

Average Salary by Industry

Auto repair technicians' salaries can vary significantly by industry. For example, those working for automotive computer systems design companies earned the highest average wages at $31.21 per hour or $64,910 annually, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those working for courier and express mail service companies also earned relatively high hourly rates at $29.47 or $61,300 per year. Auto repair technicians working for automobile dealers earned significantly lower wages at $20.59 per hour or $42,830 per year. Those working for auto service centers earned even less at $16.92 per hour or $35,200 annually. And those who worked for automobile leasing companies earned average hourly wages of $19.15 or $39,840 per year.

Average Salary by Region

Auto repair workers are paid a variety of salaries in different regions of the country. For example, those working in southwest Alaska earned the highest hourly rates at $26.27 or $54,650 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those in the northern mountains region of California earned somewhat lower wages of $21.84 per hour or $45,430 per year. These technicians earned closer to average hourly rates in more rural areas of Kansas at $16.37 or $34,040 per year. Auto repair workers earned an average hourly rate of $18.36 in May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those in southwest New York earned wages of $14.36 per hour or $29,860 per year.

Job Outlook

The outlook for jobs can also affect an auto repair worker's salary. The job growth for these technicians is expected to be slower than average, which may have a negative impact on salaries. The number of new jobs is expected to increase by only 5 percent between 2008 and 2018, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Auto repair workers with specialized skills or certifications should continue to find jobs and, thus, earn average or above-average wages.

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