Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Indiana

Indiana is a great state to work in as an automotive technician or mechanic. There are plenty of job opportunities in the major population centers as well as in rural areas. And becoming a mechanic in the state is as simple as starting with a diploma or certificate program at a technical school or community college. As long as you are willing to complete a short program and begin with an entry-level job and continue with hands-on training, you are ready to begin an exciting new career working with cars and trucks. [En Español]

The Job Outlook for Auto Techs in Indiana

In 2017 there were over 14,000 mechanics working in Indiana, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There were also over 8,000 mechanics specializing in trucks, buses and diesel engines, and more than 3,000 people working in collision and auto body repair. The overall growth for careers for automotive service technicians and those in auto body and truck repair is strong. The BLS reports that growth is at six percent and that there will be tens of thousands of new positions available for qualified workers over the next several years.

Salaries for Automotive Service Technicians in Indiana

A good salary is one important factor that draws individuals to this career. Working with cars and trucks requires specific training and skills, and the pay reflects it. From BLS data, the average salary for auto mechanics in Indiana in 2017 was $40,170 per year or $19.31 per hour. The specialized skills needed to work with trucks and diesel engines net these workers even more at $44,200 annually and $21.25 per hour. Auto body repairers earned $41,860 per year and $20.13 per hour in 2017.

These are average salaries for the whole state, but pay can be higher depending on location. For instance, in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metropolitan area, the average annual salary for mechanics in 2017 was $46,820. Workers in these fields can also earn more when they have years of experience and special training or certifications. The highest 10 percent of earners in Indiana in 2017 made an average of $61,690 per year.

Salaries in Indiana by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%Highest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics14,160$19.01$39,540$22,190$60,950
Automotive Body and Related Repairers3,190$21.34$44,390$23,570$67,470
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers450$14.90$31,000$17,520$45,360
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists8,120$20.43$42,500$28,180$60,270

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Indiana by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Bloomington, IN270$18.44$38,350
Bloomington, IN19,380$22.11$45,980
Bloomington, IN4,600$19.16$39,840
Columbus, IN160$16.82$34,980
Elkhart-Goshen, IN400$16.19$33,670
Evansville, IN-KY760$20.41$42,460
Fort Wayne, IN1,140$18.47$38,420
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN4,320$21.95$45,650
Kokomo, IN190$14.95$31,090
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN410$17.56$36,530
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN2,860$18.21$37,890
Michigan City-La Porte, IN170$14.64$30,450
Muncie, IN190$17.36$36,110
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI1,350$16.00$33,280
Terre Haute, IN360$18.01$37,470

Automotive Tech Training Programs in Indiana

Completing a post-secondary program is not strictly required to become a mechanic in Indiana, but employers prefer to hire new workers who have the important background knowledge provided in an educational program. Training typically continues on the job after being hired. Some of the available programs in Indiana include:

  • Ivy Tech Community College. Ivy is one of the biggest providers in the state of automotive-related diplomas, certificates and degrees, with multiple campuses including in Bloomington, Elkhart, Peru, Muncie and numerous other cities. Students can choose an associate degree, a five-semester program, in automotive technology for a comprehensive education. Also available are shorter certificate programs in a variety of areas of specialization, including truck chassis systems, alternative fuels, collision repair, motorsports technology and others. Ivy also offers students the Toyota T-TEN program, which trains mechanics to work specifically as certified Toyota and Lexus technicians and helps place graduates at these dealerships.
  • Vincennes University. Located in Vincennes, Indiana, this campus provides career-minded students with an associate degree program in automotive technology. The program offers an education that covers all the basics of working as a mechanic and prepares students to become certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The program includes 60 credit hours of coursework, but there are extras that can be added including courses in electronics and alternative fuels.
  • Lincoln Tech. The Indianapolis campus of Lincoln Tech has a certificate program with just 29.5 credit hours of coursework. Courses include engine repair, performance tuning, air conditioning, electrical systems, brake systems, and steering and suspension. The program prepares students for entry-level work in a repair or service setting and to continue training while on the job.

Auto Tech Training for High School Students

Indiana also has several programs available for high school students to complete in order to be ready for entry-level work in auto service upon graduation. These are available at technical centers and career academies throughout the state, including the Area 31 Career Center in Indianapolis and the Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center in Evansville, among many others. High school programs are guided and accredited by ASE’s Automotive Youth Education Systems.

ASE Certification

Certification as a mechanic is done through ASE, and there are several areas of specialization. The more certifications a mechanic has, the greater his or her employability. ASE offers several different certification exams in Indiana. To qualify for them a mechanic needs either two years of work experience or one year of work experience after completing a training program.

Working as a Mechanic in Indiana

Being trained and ultimately certified as an auto service tech, a diesel and heavy truck mechanic or an auto body and collision repair worker opens up many opportunities for employment in Indiana. Qualified individuals may be hired by dealerships, service stations, and chain and independent repair and body shops. While there are always jobs in more rural areas, the largest number of jobs is in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area, in and around Indianapolis, near Cincinnati and in Jefferson County.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Indianapolis-Carmel, IN Area

Ivy Tech Community College

50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-5752
(317) 921-4800
Automotive Technician – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Ivy Tech Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Indianapolis. This public college has in the order of 81,668 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $4,175 and for out-of-state students approximately $8,052 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,196, depending on the program chosen.

Lincoln College of Technology-Indianapolis

7225 Winton Drive – Building 128, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268
(317) 632-5553 x40400
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Lincoln College of Technology offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are offered at their Indianapolis campus in the city of Indianapolis. This private, for-profit college has approximately 1,103 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for the Automotive Technology program are in the order of $29,575 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,722. Program completion is usually 14 months.

Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area Area

Vincennes University

1002 N First St, Vincennes, Indiana 47591
(812) 888-8888
Automotive Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Automotive Technology at Vincennes University is taught at their campus in the town of Vincennes, Indiana. Most of the school’s 18,711 students are on 4-year programs. The university is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $5,575 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $13,184 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,274, depending on the program chosen.

* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.

Neighbor States

Residents of Indiana may also wish to review their options in Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.

NATEF Accredited Secondary School Programs

Below is a list of NATEF accredited high school programs, offering training in automotive technology, autobody and collision repair and diesel mechanic programs in the state of Indiana. Please note that accreditation status is correct at the time of writing and may have since changed. Please check with the school and with NATEF before making any commitment.

BedfordBloomingtonConnersvilleElkhartEvansvilleFort WayneGreenwoodIndianapolisKendallvilleKnoxKokomoMichigan CityPortageValparaisoVersailles

City: Bedford

North Lawrence Vo-Tech Center

258 BNL Dr., Bedford, IN 47421
(812) 279-3561

Automotive Program

Contact: Brad Grow
Tel: (812) 279-3561
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Bloomington

Hoosier Hills Career Center

3070 Prow Rd., Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 330-7730

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: Alan Dafoe
Tel: (812) 330-7730
Programs: Painting and Refinishing

City: Connersville

Whitewater Career Center

1300 Spartan Dr., Connersville, IN 47331
(765) 825-0521

Automotive Program

Contact: Brad Bever
Tel: (765) 825-0521
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Elkhart

Elkhart Area Career Center

28330 CR10 West, Elkhart, IN 46514
(574) 262-5658

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jaime Stith
Tel: (574) 262-5658
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Engine Repair, Suspension & Steering

City: Evansville

Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center

1901 Lynch Rd., Evansville, IN 47711
(812) 435-8824

Automotive Program

Contact: Bryan Ruble
Tel: (812) 435-8823
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

Truck Program

Contact: Jim Buente
Tel: (812) 435-8824
Programs: Brakes, Diesel Engines, Drive Train, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Heating and Air Conditioning, Preventive Maintenance Inspection, Suspension & Steering

City: Fort Wayne

FWCS Career Academy

1200 S. Barr St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 467-1041

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Robert Roebuck
Tel: (260) 467-1041
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Greenwood

Central Nine Career Center

1999 US 31 S., Greenwood, IN 46143
(317) 888-4401

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Steve Owen
Tel: (317) 888-4401
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Indianapolis

Area 31 Career Center

1200 N. Girls School Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46214
(317) 988-7329

Automotive Program

Contact: Danny Camden
Tel: (317) 988-7329
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

J. Everett Light Career Center

1901 E. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 259-5265

Automotive Program

Contact: Dana Wilcox
Tel: (317) 259-5265
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

Walker Career Center

9651 E. 21st St., Indianapolis, IN 46229
(317) 532-6150

Automotive Program

Contact: Kevin Cannaday
Tel: (317) 532-6150
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Engine Repair, Suspension & Steering

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: Kevin Cannaday
Tel: (317) 532-6150
Programs: Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair, Painting and Refinishing

City: Kendallville

Impact Institute

580 Fairview Blvd, Kendallville, IN 46755
(260) 343-2560

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Michael Prater
Tel: (260) 343-2560
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Knox

SCILL Center

1300 Kloeckner Dr., Knox, IN 46534
(574) 772-8001

Automotive Program

Contact: Jerry Gurrado
Tel: (574) 772-8001
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Kokomo

Kokomo Area Career Center

2415 S. Berkley Rd., Kokomo, IN 46902
(765) 455-8021

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: David Lingle
Tel: (765) 455-8021
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Engine Repair, Suspension & Steering

City: Michigan City

A. K. Smith Area Career Center

817 Lafayette St., Michigan City, IN 46360
(219) 873-2120

Automotive Program

Contact: Audra Peterson
Tel: (219) 873-2120
Programs: Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Performance, Suspension & Steering

City: Portage

Portage High School

5962 Central Ave., Portage, IN 46368
(219) 242-4460

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Robert Barnes
Tel: (219) 242-4460
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Valparaiso

Porter County Area Career Center

1005 N. Franklin St., Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 531-3170

Automotive Program

Contact: Mike Wester
Tel: (219) 531-3170
Programs: Automobile Service Technology

City: Versailles

Southeastern Career Center

901 W. US Hwy. 50, Versailles, IN 47042
(812) 689-5253

Automotive Program

Contact: Luke Badinghaus
Tel: (812) 689-5253
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

Auto Body/Collision Program

Contact: Dan Woycke
Tel: (812) 689-5253
Programs: Painting and Refinishing