The Best States for Mechanics

A study by analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau on industry job opportunities, average salary and cost of living in each state to discover where it’s best to work as a mechanic, the website said.Oklahoma topped the study’s list, as mechanics can earn considerably more than the state’s average salary. The median annual salary for people working as Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics is $46,180, nearly a full $10,000 more than the median across all jobs in the state, which comes to $37,500.In addition, Oklahoma ranks as having the second lowest cost of living of all 50 states, while job opportunities for mechanics are also better than average, with 4.9 mechanic jobs per 1,000 jobs in the state. That rate ranks as the 20th best nationwide and contributes towards the Sooner State being the best in America to work as a mechanic.Mississippi ranks as the second-best place to be a mechanic, thanks to the lowest cost of living in the country, and a median salary of $36,760 for the job, which is slightly higher than the state-wide median of $35,070. It also offers good employments opportunities, with 5.6 of every 1,000 jobs in the state being a mechanic – high above the national average of 4.6 per 1,000.New Mexico places third on the list as it has the highest number of people employed as mechanics per 1,000 jobs. Overall the Census data estimates that 4,930 people work as Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics in the ‘Land of Enchantment’, which equates to 6.3 jobs per 1,000. The median salary for mechanics in New Mexico stands at $37,920 – just above the overall median salary in the state ($37,810). Tennessee places fourth overall, performing strongly in all areas, with a median salary for mechanics of $42,000, which is 11% higher than the state’s median ($37,700), and 5.2 jobs per 1,000 – the 11th highest rate in the nation.Georgia completes the top five, with the median salary for mechanics standing at $43,750 – 14% more than the state’s median. The state also offers America’s sixth lowest cost of living.In pure monetary terms, Washington DC offers the highest pay for mechanics, with a median annual wage of $60,590, however that is nearly a quarter below the overall median in the district, which is $79,960. That combined with the second highest cost of living in the country, behind only Hawaii, and the fact that there are only 0.6 mechanic jobs per 1,000, makes DC America’s worst place to be a mechanic. Massachusetts sits just above DC in 50th place, with a median annual salary of $47,970 for Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, which is considerably lower than the state-wide figure of $58,540. The state also has a fairly low 3.7 mechanic jobs per 1,000.Third from bottom, New York has 3.2 mechanic jobs per 1,000, and a median salary of $47,270 compared to $48,800 for the state as a whole.The Census data estimates that there are around 629,000 people working as Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics across the US, with the median annual salary standing at $46,650.Top Five:

  • 1. Oklahoma
  • 2. Mississippi
  • 3. New Mexico
  • 4. Tennessee
  • 5. Georgia

Bottom Five:

  • 47. Washington
  • 48. Massachusetts
  • 49. New York
  • 50. Connecticut
  • 51. Washington D.C

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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