Mechanic salaries are what you make it, really. You can be an avg tech and probably pull in around 45-50k.
Now, if you are going through as many classes as you can, which you should; you can make $100k+ in 5-10 years out of school. The key is to get paid book time, rather than hourly. The cons are if it takes forever to repair a car you make didly, but if you are highly productive and finish jobs 30% faster than book time, you can start another repair on the same car, or other vehicle.
Essentially, you get paid for more hours than you are really there. So you completed 60 hours of work in a 40 hr work week you will get PAID.
Another difficult aspect is finding a shop that pays book time, has a guarantee for slow months (say guarantee 500/week), and has a steady flow of repairs. Who cares if you finished a transmission in 5 hours, and book time gave you 12 if you have no other vehicles to repair for two days after that repair. Always work as though it is busy, so you aren't overwhelmed when it picks up again.
My advice, go through VW/AUDI/BMW school, work for each dealer for 5 years or so, if you can, and then 1. open your own independent German repair shop, hire a service writer and repair and run the business or 2. find a decent independent German shop to work at so you can get book time, and less dealer bs, such as trying to sell them on unneeded repairs etc. There's pressure on techs at stealerships since the tech's worth is measured by their repair output. Which some simply don't have issues with, but they will ask if there really isn't anything wrong with the car.
My advice, go to a high-end school, suck it up and pay the high tuition and do a ramen noodle budget while you accumulate your tools. A tech can, and, likely, should spend around $25,000 during their first 5 years in the trade. The scanners and specialty tools will pay for themselves tenfold in faster book time output. Provided you are working somewhere with a steady flow of vehicles with those needed adapters, toots, etc.
For instance, if you have to wait 45mins to use the new scanner at a busy dealer, you better work 45mins faster elsewhere. Having your own scanner solves this and keeps your output high.
Finally, NEVER LOAN OUT TOOLS, AND ALWAYS LOCK YOUR PERSONAL TOOLS WHEN YOU ARE NOT PRESENT!!! You won't see their return otherwise.
I don't mean to sound like there is a lot of BS in the trade, but if you are the hardest working mofo you will make more than most college grads; if you are a lazy tech, have fun working as a gas station technician making $20k a year and eating ramen every night...