How Much Do Dealership Mechanics Make in 2023

By ROYAL FURY

Introduction

Dealership mechanics play a crucial role in keeping our vehicles running safely and reliably. But how much do auto technicians at dealerships actually earn? The salaries of dealership mechanics can vary quite a bit based on experience, certification, brand, location and other factors.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the typical pay range for dealership mechanics across experience levels. We’ll also discuss details like pay structures, benefits packages, factors that influence higher salaries, and future earning

potential in the dealer repair field. Whether you’re considering becoming a dealership technician or just curious about their earnings, read on to learn what these skilled tradesmen actually take home.

Factors That Determine Dealership Mechanics Pay

What accounts for the wide range in compensation for dealership auto technicians? Here are some of the key factors that determine how much dealership mechanics are paid:

  • Experience level – Master technicians with 10+ years earn the most
  • Brand expertise – Luxury brands pay more
  • Certifications – ASE master certification boosts pay
  • Location – Higher wages in big cities
  • Shop size – Bigger dealers and dealer groups pay more
  • Performance metrics – Bonuses increase earnings

Additional Benefits: Most dealers offer their service technicians health and retirement benefits. More generous packages that cover greater healthcare costs and provide 401(k) matching boost total compensation.

Factors That Reduce Earnings Potential

While top technicians can earn over $100,000, the average dealership mechanic pay is around $45,000 according to BLS data. Here are some factors that may limit earnings potential:

  • Lower pay is linked to:
  • Lack of training
  • Declining efficiency
  • Weak diagnostics ability
  • Disorganization
  • Not learning new technology
  • Limited brand experience

Dealership Mechanic Salaries

On average, most dealership technicians earn between $30,000 to $60,000 per year in the United States. However, there is significant variability within this range based on experience.

Mechanic
Dealership Mechanic Salaries

Entry Level Mechanic Salary

Someone just entering the field with 0-2 years experience can expect to earn around $25,000 to $35,000. Many dealerships start new mechanics at around $15/hour. With time and training, pay increases toward the top end of this entry bracket.

Mid Level Technician Salary

With 2-10 years under their belt, most dealership mechanics earn in the range of $35,000 to $55,000 annually. The national median pay for auto techs with some experience falls around $45,000/year.

Master Mechanic Salary

For those with over 10 years experience and advanced certifications, pay ranges from $50,000 up to $75,000+ at high end dealerships. Master technicians can command top scale pay plans.

As you gain skills and dealership tenure, you build earning potential well into the six figures. Patience and persistence pays off in mechanic salaries over a long career.

Master Mechanic Salary
Master Mechanic Salary

Pay Structure

Most dealership technicians work on a pay plan structure that involves a lower base hourly wage plus commissions on billed labor hours. Plans vary, but here are two common examples:

Flat Rate Pay Plans

This system pays a set dollar amount per labor hour completed. For example, $22 per clock hour. Technicians are paid based on billed hours, not actual hours worked. There is incentive to work efficiently.

Commission Based Plans

These plans pay a lower base wage, around minimum wage, plus a percentage commission on labor sales – such as 5-10% of total monthly billable hours. There is more incentive to upsell work.

Both pay structures reward productivity and give opportunity to increase earnings beyond base pay. Many techs prefer the flexible earning potential.

Commission Based Plans
Commission Based Plans

Mechanic Makes

Experience LevelAverage Annual Salary (2023)
Entry-Level $25,000 to $35,000
Mid-Level$35,000 to $55,000
Experienced$50220
Master Technician$50,000 up to $75,000+

Benefits Packages

Dealerships usually provide technicians comprehensive benefits packages including:

  • Health, dental and vision insurance with cost sharing or premiums paid.
  • 401K retirement savings plans with possible matching.
  • Paid vacations and sick leave.
  • Disability and life insurance.
  • Uniforms and tool allowances.
  • Factory and advanced training opportunities.
  • Employee discounts on vehicles.
  • Flex and overtime pay options.

Strong benefits make dealership mechanic jobs appealing and boost total compensation.

Factors Influencing Mechanic Pay

Several key factors contribute to differences in earnings between technicians:

Experience Level

As mentioned, years in the field play a major role. Entry techs earn far less than master technicians with decades of knowledge.

Dealership Size

Larger dealers that sell more vehicles generally pay better technician wages than small local ones.

Certifications

ASE certifications, factory training courses and other qualifications expand skills and earnings.

Repair Specialization

Technicians skilled in higher-paid specialties like transmission overhaul earn more than general service techs.

Vehicle Brand

Luxury and high-end imports like BMW and Mercedes tend to pay mechanics better than mainstream brands.

Cost of Living

Dealerships in areas with higher costs compensate higher salaries to match.

Performance

Top producing techs rewarded with bigger billing hours and commissions.

Geographic Location

Pay rates vary by regional economic factors. Coastal cities pay the highest.

Dealership Pay vs. Independent Shop Pay

For the most skilled technicians, independent repair shops often pay higher hourly rates than dealerships. This is especially true for very specialized auto shops focused on things like German vehicles, performance tunes,

or other niche services. Independent shop owners can also offer immediate financial incentives like higher pay to recruit top talent from dealerships.

However, dealership compensation also comes with some key advantages:

  • Greater long-term earning potential at high-volume dealers, especially luxury brands that incentivize productivity and training.
  • More stable income. Dealership business volumes generally hold up better during economic slowdowns.
  • Better benefits like healthcare, 401K matching, and bonuses tied to shop profitability.
  • Brand-specific training investments and defined career advancement paths at larger dealer groups.
  • Potential opportunities for factory training and certification, which boosts marketability.

Long term earning potential

With hard work, loyalty and persistence, dealership technicians can achieve $100,000+ annual compensation after many years progressing up the pay scale. Integrity and reliability is rewarded.

Future of Mechanic Pay

Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows auto technician pay rising about 5% per year on average nationally. Dealerships face challenges finding enough qualified mechanics, prompting higher wages to attract talent.

For new techs entering the field now, future prospects remain strong. Electrification of cars will require new high-tech skills that should translate to higher salaries. Investing now in robust training and certifications will setup long lasting career success.

Dealership Mechanic Job Outlook

The number of vehicles needing repair is projected to rise over the next decade along with population growth. Dealers will need more qualified techs to keep up with demand. The occupation is expected to see solid 5-10% growth in new job openings.

Combined with high turnover due to technician retirement, abundant opportunities await new mechanics. Those entering the field now can take advantage of the demand. Attractive pay and job stability make dealership mechanics a rewarding lifelong trade.

FAQs

Who are highest paid car mechanic?

The highest paid car mechanics typically work for luxury and exotic car brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW. Top technicians at high-end dealerships in major metro areas can earn over $100,000 annually with experience and specialty training certifications. Independent exotic car mechanics also earn top dollar servicing rare vehicles.

Will there be a strong demand for mechanics in the future?

Yes, the job outlook for automotive service technicians is very strong. The aging population of mechanics retiring combined with increasing vehicle complexity and electronic systems means consistent, growing demand for trained technicians. Advanced expertise in hybrid and electric vehicles will be especially in demand.

How much do dealership mechanics make in Texas?

The average annual salary for automotive service technicians at Texas dealerships is approximately $42,000, or about $20 per hour. With certification and experience, Texas dealership mechanics can earn $25-$35 per hour. Bonuses and incentives can add $5,000 or more for top performers.

How much do certified mechanics make in California?

In California, experienced dealership technicians with advanced ASE master certification can earn $30-$40 per hour on average. In high cost cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, master technicians at luxury dealers can make over $50 per hour with achievement bonuses.

How much do beginner lube techs make at dealerships?

Entry-level lube techs usually start around $10-$15 per hour, earning $20,000-$30,000 per year. With experience, lube techs can progress to around $18/hr or $35,000 annually.

How much do dealership technicians make per flat rate hour?

The per hour flat rate varies by brand and location, but usually ranges from around $20-$30 per clock hour. High end dealers may pay up to $40/hr flat rate.

Do all dealership technicians get benefits packages?

Most dealerships provide similar comprehensive benefits to all technicians, including insurance, retirement plans, paid leave and training. Benefits add an average of 25% over base salary.

Conclusion

Dealership technicians earn from entry level $30,000 up to $75,000+ for master mechanics. Commission incentive plans allow motivated techs to maximize earnings and receive pay raises as skill level increases.

Growing demand, ample retirement turnover, and high tech vehicle evolution ensure opportunities into the future. For those seeking a stable, engaging career in auto repair, dealership mechanic roles offer excellent pay and long term prospects.

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