How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Indiana
Diesel mechanics work in fast-paced environments to maintain and repair diesel engines, which are used to move large machines and vehicles used in the farming, transportation and construction industries, among others. As a diesel mechanic, you can expect to use a wide range of tools, including computer diagnostics and welding equipment, to understand and fix problems with these engines. The job also requires mechanical knowledge and strong analytical skills. If you enjoy working with your hands and taking on challenging work each day, a job as a diesel mechanic may be for you.
Oversight for Diesel Mechanics in Indiana
Licensing is not required for diesel mechanics to begin working in Indiana, though a high school diploma or GED is typically a prerequisite for most jobs. You can then receive on-the-job training, if your employer provides it, or enroll in a technical training program. Additional certifications are available for mechanics who would like to advance their careers and obtain higher-paying jobs in the future.
Available Training Programs
Several community colleges and technical schools in Indiana offer training programs for diesel mechanics. The following teach the basics of the job and prepare students for working in this field:
- Vincennes University. Vincennes offers two-year and certificate programs in diesel technology, including concentrations in John Deere agricultural technology or consumer and commercial equipment for additional specialization.
- Ivy Tech Community College. Ivy Tech’s diesel technology program uses classroom instruction and live lab training to develop students’ skills. Additional programs in truck chassis systems and advanced diesel electronic controls are also available.
- Lincoln Tech. Located in Indianapolis, Lincoln Tech teaches students about how to repair and maintain heavy duty drive trains, electrical systems and more using welding fundamentals and other techniques. The program takes about one year to complete.
While certification is not necessary for entry-level work, obtaining this recognition can signal to employers and clients that you have advanced skills. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a well-respected organization within the field, awards certifications to mechanics who have completed two years of relevant work experience and passed an exam. There are 50 exams available for different specializations, with test prep materials offered for each.
Salary and Career Expectations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, diesel mechanics in Indiana can expect an average annual salary of $44,660, or about $21.50 per hour.
During the 10 years to 2026, the Projections Managing Partnership anticipates average annual job growth for diesel mechanics of 10 percent within the state, slightly higher than the national average of 9.3 percent for this career field.
Working as a Diesel Mechanic in Indiana
Diesel mechanics work in a range of industries, though jobs in the automotive field are the most common. While most mechanics work for repair shops, automotive companies and other businesses, you can also choose to work as an independent contractor or start your own repair company. Jobs and clients will be most plentiful in urban areas, such as Indianapolis.
Work hours can be long, as many repair shops offer extended hours to ensure that emergency repairs can be made as quickly as possible. If you enjoy problem solving and are seeking an active career, this can be a worthwhile condition for a rewarding career.