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Automotive mechanics service and repair vehicles used for personal and commercial use. Drawing on their knowledge and expertise, they diagnose and identify problems with engines and mechanical components. As customer service agents, automotive mechanics may also explain problems to customers and discuss costs with them before completing repairs. Other common tasks performed by automotive mechanics in Indiana include:

  • Using computerized diagnostic equipment to identify mechanical problems
  • Testing various systems to ensure safe functionality
  • Perform basic and routine car maintenance as specified by customers or automotive manuals
  • Repair or replace worn down automotive parts
  • Helping customers understand the cost of repairs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all technicians who buy or work with refrigerants are required to be licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Auto mechanic schools in Indiana prepare students for EPA testing that will ensure safe usage. The BLS also reports that certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is standard in the industry.

Fast Facts for Automotive Mechanics and Indiana

According to recent data from the BLS, a total of 12,500 automotive service technicians and mechanics were employed in Indiana in 2014. They earned an annual mean wage of $40,330 when combined, which is higher than the national mean wage for this profession. Through 2014, the following regions in Indiana employed the bulk of these workers:

  • Indianapolis - Carmel: 4,150
  • Gary: 1,060
  • Fort Wayne: 980
  • Evansville, IN-KY: 880
  • Northern Indiana nonmetropolitan area: 750
  • Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area: 660
  • Central Indiana nonmetropolitan area: 500
  • Elkhart - Goshen: 400
  • Bloomington: 350
  • Lafayette: 300

Because of the ongoing demand for automotive services in Indiana, employment in this field is expected to grow. As U.S. Department of Labor figures show, employment for automotive mechanics in Indiana could increase by as much as 11.2 percent from 2012 to 2022.

Automotive Mechanic Salaries in Indiana

With an annual mean wage of $40,330 for automotive mechanics in Indiana, workers in this occupation are already earning more than many of their peers in other states. Some industries paid automotive mechanics the most on a national level, however. The following list includes those top paying industries in 2014:

  • Natural Gas Distribution: $66,280
  • Couriers and Express Delivery Services: $62,560
  • Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing: $59,280
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution: $59,250
  • Scientific Research and Development Services: $56,330

Metro Areas Rated for Salary and Popularity

Region

Employment per 1,000 Residents

Annual Mean Wage in 2014

Indianapolis - Carmel

4.43

$47,190

Gary

3.97

$41,990

Fort Wayne

4.75

$38,760

Evansville, IN-KY

5.10

$36,400

Northern Indiana nonmetropolitan area

3.55

$36,130

Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area:

4.08

$36,580

Central Indiana nonmetropolitan area

3.34

$34,120

Elkhart - Goshen

3.36

$38,340

Bloomington

4.75

$33,170

Lafayette

3.42

$34,770

Expert Q&A

To learn more about auto mechanic schools in Indiana and the programs they offer, we reached out to Ron Finney, Automotive Technology Program Chair at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana.

Can you tell me about Ivy Tech's automotive technology program?

The Automotive Technology at Ivy Tech Community College-Indianapolis is a program that offers exciting careers and unlimited opportunities for its students. Through the use of state of the art equipment used in the automotive industry today and ASE master certified instructors, students learn how to diagnose and repair today's high-tech vehicles. This program will prepare students for entry-level employment with companies that require training in areas such as: electrical systems, engine performance, transmissions, brakes, steering and suspension systems, air conditioning systems, and engine repair. Students are prepared to take industry standard certification exams from ASE. For students seeking a higher level of employment as they start their career, the program offers two manufacturer-specific cooperative education programs. The Toyota T-TEN and GM ASEP programs are associate of applied science degree programs that combine classroom/lab training with in-dealership work experience and includes the integration of the respective factory certification training to the curriculum. Graduates of these programs find higher starting salaries due to the certification and have the fast track to a great career as a certified automotive technician.

What are some of the unique issues that auto mechanics face in the state of Indiana?

Like in any state today, technicians face the continual integration of advanced technologies into the automobile. Cars have become mobile computer labs with network communication systems utilizing as many as 30 individual computers. The use of Scan Tools and Labscopes have become commonplace. GPS, sonar, hybrid, high voltage electric and other high end technologies are becoming standard on todays' automobiles. This means that technicians must attend training on a regular basis to keep up with the technology in our vehicles.

What is the greatest benefit of practicing this field within the state of Indiana?

Indiana has always been and continues to be an automotive state. We have a lot of vehicle manufacturing and even more component manufacturing that occurs within the state. This means that much of the technology being applied is either developed here or passes through this state. Additionally, Indiana is still one of the many states with a lot of open land and few large metropolitan cities. Therefore, personal transportation is still the transportation method of choice and will be for years to come. This translates to literally hundreds of thousands of vehicles that require regular maintenance and service.

How will the job of an auto mechanic change in the next 10 to 20 years?

The job of the automotive technician will continue to evolve over the next 10 to 20 years much as it has to this point. Technicians will continue to become more and more computer proficient, continually be learning new technology and working on the next generation of automobiles where hybrids will be commonplace, and electric and fuel cell vehicles will enter the mainstream. Technician work will continue to be hands-on, but will focus mostly on diagnostics and replacement of failed components. We will continue to see a decline of serviceable items; they will become replacement items. While this sounds like it may diminish the training need, due to the level of technology involved, this replacement service will still require continued training.

What special features does your automotive technology program offer?

We are not just a technical college. We offer programming at many differing levels from career certificates designed to help a technician upgrade his/her skills all the way to the associate of applied science degree that will transfer to universities and allow students to pursue a baccalaureate or higher degree. We have manufacturer-specific cooperative education programs as mention earlier designed to produce high level technicians for their respective dealerships. Our program also houses training centers for most of the companies in Indiana that manufacture or sell automotive equipment. These partnerships provide our students with access to equipment and technology that simply are not available in other programs regardless of the tuition cost.

Sources:

  1. Automotive Service Mechanics and Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm
  2. Automotive Service Mechanics and Technicians, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493023.htm
  3. Interview with Ron Finny, Automotive Technology Chair at Ivy Tech Community College, October 4, 2015
  4. Long Term Projections, Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  5. May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indiana, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm
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More Indiana Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Terre Haute
Doctorate
10,543
Indianapolis
Associate
13,439
Muncie
Associate
5,637
Kokomo
Associate
3,152
Lafayette
Associate
5,914
South Bend
Associate
4,921
Fort Wayne
Associate
6,642
Gary
Associate
4,742
Sellersburg
Associate
3,576
Evansville
Associate
4,848
Terre Haute
Associate
5,337
Richmond
Associate
2,124
Vincennes
Bachelor
10,750

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Automotive Mechanics

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Indiana. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Automotive Mechanics

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Automotive Mechanics relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 4320 $44,010
Carmel 4320 $44,010
Anderson 4320 $44,010
Columbus 160 $29,940
Elkhart 400 $31,850
Goshen 400 $31,850
Fort Wayne 1140 $35,540
Bloomington 270 $36,320
Kokomo 190 $26,740
Lafayette 410 $35,810
West Lafayette 410 $35,810
Michigan City 170 $26,110
La Porte 170 $26,110
Muncie 190 $34,230
Terre Haute 360 $35,680

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