The job of a car mechanic is not the most glamorous of careers.
In fact, car mechanics are one of the least popular jobs in the country.
In the U.S., about 25 percent of all jobs are performed by people who are not car mechanics, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It’s a little less than half the number of occupations that are held by people in other industries, including the public health profession and legal professions.
But car mechanics do have some very lucrative opportunities.
The American Automobile Association estimates that as many as 60 percent of the jobs in American auto manufacturing involve the repair of cars, trucks, SUVs and other vehicles.
In addition, there are about 1.6 million automotive repair jobs in New York City alone, according the nonprofit New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
The city’s median income for 2015 was $57,000.
Some people say car mechanics earn more than they should.
In a letter to The New York Times, an industry veteran told the paper that he was “fortunate” to be making $80,000, but that he wasn’t getting a salary.
In 2014, a car company paid a car-repair firm’s president $150,000 to help him move the company from the Philippines to the United States, where he earned $100,000 annually.
It wasn’t the only reason for the pay disparity, according, though.
Some of the top-paying jobs in auto manufacturing also require car-service technicians, such as on-duty service people and service technicians on buses and trains.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the average hourly wage for these workers was $13.41, compared to $7.27 for all workers.
Many car-manufacturing companies also pay hourly wages to employees, with the average weekly salary averaging $6.60, according a 2015 study by the National Employment Law Project.
But some people say the disparity isn’t fair.
“It’s unfair to say, ‘We’ve got an engineer, we’ve got a mechanic, but if they’re working 50 hours a week and you’re getting a paycheck, that’s not fair,'” said John Fetter, president of the New York State Labor Council, which represents about 6,000 car-assembly workers.
Fetter said the pay gap is especially troubling in New Jersey, which has a law that allows a company to withhold pay from an employee who leaves the company.
That law was enacted in 2001 and applies to companies in New Brunswick, the state’s second-largest city.
New Jersey has also seen a recent spike in the number and number of people who claim they’ve been denied wages for working in the state.
According to the American Automotive Association, about 2,800 people are claiming the wage withholding law has affected their ability to collect unemployment benefits.
“The reality is that these are not just low-wage jobs, they’re not jobs for the majority of New Jerseyans,” said Fetter.
“There are people working in these jobs who are making a little more money than they would if they weren’t doing them.
It makes it a little harder for New Jersey workers to earn a living wage, which is what we need to have.”
The National Employment Rights Project, a nonprofit that works to protect the rights of workers, filed a lawsuit in March in federal court in New Mexico to force New Jersey to pay workers more than the $11 an hour they were paid in New Hampshire.
The organization said the wage issue has been an ongoing struggle for decades and that New Jersey’s wage laws are a “gimme” that “has not been applied equally.”
The suit argued that the law was meant to be applied equally, but is a barrier to workers, especially women and people of color, who often earn less than men.
“We’re seeing a trend of companies using the wage gap to make a point about discrimination against workers,” said Erica Karp, senior staff attorney with the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“That’s why it’s so important for workers to be paid equally under the law.”
New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie, a Republican, has promised to make New Jersey the first state to enact a pay gap law.
A bill to do so is pending in the New Jersey Assembly, and the bill has been endorsed by Christie and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who represents the state capital, Trenton.
But many workers still are struggling to make ends meet.
In New Jersey alone, more than 3,000 people work in the auto industry, according its Department of Labor, a number that includes many people who were employed before the wage law was passed.
In 2017, the number was 3,091.
“I’ve been making $60,000 for eight years, and I’m getting less money than I was making eight years ago,” said Michelle, who asked to only be identified as her first name out of fear of retribution from the car company she worked for