If you are in automotive school or have recently graduated and are looking for work, you may want to put some thought into where you want to live. If relocation isn’t an option, most of this won’t apply to you, but if you’re willing to try someplace new, consider moving to a city that will pay you well and where getting a job might be easier.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
There are more automotive service technicians and mechanics in California than any other state. This is probably because California is a very populous state, as are all the others that employ high levels of mechanics (Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania, in that order). The cities with the highest employment levels are, similarly, all big cities (Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, D.C., Dallas, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh, in that order). However, you can also consider the location quotient, which is a measure of how many people are employed in a particular occupation out of every 1,000 people. By this measure, the top states are Vermont, New Hampshire, Montana, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania (notice that Pennsylvania is on both lists). That being said, these lists do not correspond with where you will be paid the most. The states that offer the highest wages for technicians and mechanics are Alaska ($51,020), D.C. ($47,900), Hawaii ($44,420), New Jersey ($43,870), and California ($43,710).
Automotive Body Repairers
The states with the highest level of employment of automotive body repairers are, for the most part, the same as those on the list above. The top employing state is California, followed by Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida. The cities that employ the most are Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, D.C., Phoenix, and Nassau (New York). Again, a very similar list to above. For location quotient, the list looks like this: North Dakota, Vermont, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Missouri. It may be helpful to think about the location quotient when considering where to work, because if there are more jobs available in the area, it may be easier to procure employment. When it comes to salary, you’re better off working in Alaska, where you’ll make (on average) $58,890 a year. But if you don’t want to move practically to the North Pole to repair cars, you can also make higher-than-average income in D.C., Maryland, Minnesota, or Michigan.
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists
The list of the states that employ the most people in this occupation will likely come as no surprise: Texas, California, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The metropolitan areas that have the highest employment levels are New York, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Riverside (California), Denver, and Phoenix. When it comes to location quotient, the states with highest honors are Wyoming, North Dakota, Arkansas, Maine, and Indiana. It is probable that this list is influenced by the locations where major trucking companies are headquartered, and most of the states are in the Midwest. However, you will make the most money if you work in Hawaii (average income $58,420), Alaska ($55,910), Wyoming ($54,710), Nevada ($53,360), or Connecticut ($52,490). Don’t necessarily jump to move to a high-paying state, though. Keep in mind that you will have to factor in cost of living to know how much that salary is really worth.