NEW YORK — If you can adapt to the frigid winters, you may want to start your job search Fairbanks, Alaska. There, automotive service technicians and mechanics could earn an average salary of $61,250, exceeding the national average by 41%, according to research by business insurance consultant AdvisorSmith Solutions Inc.
Chances are pretty good at finding a job, too, as the city has a 130% higher concentration of jobs for service techs compared with the average American city, the company said.
The study ranked 388 U.S. cities to determine the most attractive cities for automotive technicians and mechanics to pursue their careers. Forty-three of the top 50 best cities for auto technicians and mechanics are small or midsized cities. Cities were segmented into different sizes based on population: Small (population under 150,000), midsized (population of 150,000-500,000) and large (greater than 500,000 population).
"Our analysis found that many of the best cities for auto technicians and mechanics are small and midsize cities. Smaller cities have, on average, a more geographically spread out footprint than high-density cities, fueling higher demand for cars and more miles driven, meaning more job opportunities for auto technicians and mechanics," the company said.
"Coupled with lower costs of living, smaller cities won out in our study, with nine of the top 10 and 43 of the top 50 cities having populations under 500,000."
AdvisorSmith said its study examined three variables in determining the best cities:
- Average annual salaries for auto technicians and mechanics. The average salary for auto technicians and mechanics in the study was $43,730.
- Density of jobs for auto technicians and mechanics in each city. Cities with a higher concentration of jobs for service techs relative to the general worker population were considered as more desirable. The density is represented by the location quotient in the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data.
- Cost of living index for each city. The study adjusted the salaries earned by auto technicians and mechanics in each city by a cost of living multiplier. Cities with more affordable lifestyles were ranked more highly in the study.