Becoming a Mechanic or Automotive Technician in Louisiana

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the auto mechanic industry in Louisiana, you’ll be happy to know that this field has many options to choose from and can be very lucrative. Some popular positions to consider in this sector include auto mechanic, service technician and auto body/collision technician. Each area of expertise will have a subset of positions available and a wide range of jobs within each category. [En Español]

Standard auto mechanics and service technicians have to be familiar with the inner workings of many different types of vehicles and must also know how to use a variety of tools, including computer diagnostic tools, lathes, jacks and various hand tools. In some states automobile service technicians must have a license or certifications. In Louisiana, however, licenses are not required in order to diagnose and repair vehicles.

There are several paths to getting started in the auto mechanic field, but most employers will require a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent for most entry-level positions. If college isn’t for you but you enjoy learning how to diagnose and fix vehicles, there are many options at the secondary level to prepare you for an automotive career. Many high schools are now partnering with the Automotive Service Excellence Education Foundation (ASE) to meet the accreditation criteria needed to prepare and inspire the new automotive service workforce.

If you want an edge on the competition, look into programs that are accredited by the ASE Education Foundation, formerly the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). ASE certification will significantly increase your marketability and earning potential and will ultimately make you more attractive to a potential employer. The ASE Education Foundation is involved with more than 2,300 automotive technology training programs and over 50,000 students nationally, to provide the transportation industry a viable workforce through higher standards. The Foundation also offers career development and workplace exposure, creating relationships and partnerships with employers.

Job Outlook in Louisiana

Currently, the job outlook for automotive careers in Louisiana is growing and is not expected to slow anytime soon. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 7,270 automotive service technicians and mechanics working in Louisiana in 2017. Additionally, there were 2,860 diesel specialists and bus and truck mechanics, 1,900 auto body repair workers and 360 auto glass installers/repairers. These careers are becoming more popular in all states, with an expected 6-percent growth continuing through 2026.

Mechanic Salaries in Louisiana

Louisiana mechanics are in demand, and the more training you have, the more earning potential you have. BLS data from May 2017 state that diesel specialists and bus and truck mechanics are the highest paid among the mechanic trade, with an average salary of $21.35 per hour, or $44,410 annually. The highest salary for diesel specialists is about $30.95 per hour, or $64,370 annually. Following closely behind are automotive body repair workers with an average salary of $20.63 per hour, or $42,920 annually. At the high end of that specialty, auto body workers receive an average of $29.55 per hour, or $62,720 annually. Automotive service technicians’ average pay is $19.12 per hour, or $36,950 annually, with pay maxing out at about $29.55 per hour, or $61,460 per year. Auto glass installers and repairers can expect an average salary of $14.21, or $29,560 annually. Mechanic salaries vary by specialty, but it’s clear that with the right training and experience, a career as an auto mechanic can indeed be a viable option for anyone interested in the field.

Salaries in Louisiana by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual SalaryLowest 10%Highest 10%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics7,700$18.07$37,590$20,950$59,240
Automotive Body and Related Repairers1,900$20.06$41,720$24,790$63,860
Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers390$15.19$31,590$19,900$46,570
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists3,100$21.41$44,540$27,040$64,190

Auto Mechanic Salaries in Louisiana by Region

RegionTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Alexandria, LA280$16.86$35,070
Baton Rouge, LA1,390$20.15$41,910
Hammond, LA200$22.24$46,260
Houma-Thibodaux, LA360$18.70$38,900
Lafayette, LA970$18.16$37,770
Lake Charles, LA410$16.31$33,930
Monroe, LA320$15.55$32,350
New Orleans-Metairie, LA2,000$18.27$38,010
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA730$17.81$37,040

Auto Mechanic Programs in Louisiana

Louisiana students looking to earn a formal education in the automotive technology field have many options available to them to further their automotive mechanic development. The institutions below offer either a degree program or a certification program, or both.

  • South Central Louisiana Technical College:Automotive technology programs are administered in nine areas of expertise. The main certificate is the Basic Automotive Skills certificate, which is the core of the program. Once it is earned, students have the option to obtain certificates in the eight other courses.
  • Delgado Community College:The Motor Vehicle Technology program at DCC offers students the option of earning a Certificate of Technical Studies or an AAS degree. The fundamental courses include general automotive and collision repair. Delgado also offers manufacturer-specific programs that enable students to obtain experience with Ford with the popular Ford FACT program or General Motors (GM) products with the GM ASEP program.
  • South Louisiana Community College:SLCC offers a program for general automotive technology that takes only three semesters to earn a technical diploma.
  • Southwest Louisiana Technical Community College:SOWELA has a technical automotive degree program that covers seven different competency areas and even has internship opportunities with Toyota and Honda.

ASE Certification

Anyone interested in working as an auto mechanic in Louisiana can further their career and earn more money by achieving ASE certification. ASE is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, an independent organization that certifies automotive workers in areas including automobile and light truck, collision repair and refinish, truck equipment, medium-heavy truck and others areas of expertise. Candidates seeking certification must have either two years of work experience or one year of work experience plus a post-secondary certificate or degree to qualify for the certification test.

Where to Work as a Mechanic in Louisiana

There are plenty of opportunities for trained, certified and entry-level mechanics, diesel mechanics and collision and body repair workers in Louisiana. Nearly everyone owns a vehicle or uses mass transit and all of those vehicles will need maintenance work or repair work at some point. Most mechanic work is found in the larger cities, such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Mechanics can work for dealerships, automotive repair shops and body shops. There are also a significant number of opportunities in smaller auto mechanic shops and dealerships throughout the state.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Alexandria, LA Area

Central Louisiana Technical Community College

4311 South MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, Louisiana 71302-3137
(318) 487-5443
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Central Louisiana Technical Community College is based at their campus in the city of Alexandria. The majority of of the school’s 2,445 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $4,089 and for students from other states around $8,198 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,220, depending on the program.

Baton Rouge, LA Area

Capital Area Technical College

3250 North Acadian Thruway East, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70805
(225) 359-9201
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Capital Area Technical College is based at their campus in the city of Baton Rouge. The college has about 785 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is in the order of $4,221 and for students from other states around $8,299 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,220, depending on the program.

Hammond nonmetropolitan area Area

Northshore Technical Community College

1710 Sullivan Dr, Bogalusa, Louisiana 70427
(985) 732-6640 x100
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program, Automotive Technology – Associate Program

Northshore Technical Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program, an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Bogalusa in Washington County, LA. Most of the school’s 3,655 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly in the order of $4,103 and for students from outside the state around $7,612 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,220, depending on the program chosen.

Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA Area

Fletcher Technical Community College

1407 Highway 311, Schriever, Louisiana 70395
(985) 448-7900
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Fletcher Technical Community College’s Certificate program is taught at their campus in Schriever in Terrebonne County, LA. The college has in the order of 1,951 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $3,951 and for students from other states around $7,474 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program.

Lafayette, LA Area

South Louisiana Community College

1101 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, Louisiana 70506-4109
(337) 521-9000
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

South Louisiana Community College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Lafayette, LA. The college has in the order of 6,958 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Furthermore, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $4,205 and for out-of-state students approximately $8,680 annually, while study materials may cost roughly $1,220, depending on the program.

Lake Charles, LA Area

SOWELA Technical Community College

3820 J Bennett Johnston Ave, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

SOWELA Technical Community College’s Certificate program is taught at their campus in the city of Lake Charles, LA. Most of the school’s 3,722 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $4,185 and for students from other states around $7,612 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program chosen.

Monroe, LA Area

Louisiana Delta Community College

7500 Millhaven Rd, Monroe, Louisiana 71203
(866) 500-5322
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at Louisiana Delta Community College is taught at their campus in Monroe in Ouachita County, LA. Most of the school’s 2,080 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are about $4,158 and for students from other states approximately $4,396 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,200, although this will depend on the program.

New Iberia nonmetropolitan area Area

South Central Louisiana Technical College

900 Youngs Road, Morgan City, Louisiana 70380
(985) 380-2957
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automotive Technology at South Central Louisiana Technical College can be taken at their campus in the town of Morgan City, LA. The majority of of the school’s 2,669 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are about $2,996 and for students from other states approximately $4,228 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,220, although this will depend on the program.

New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA Area

Delgado Community College

615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
(504) 671-5000
Automobile Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Automobile Technology at Delgado Community College is taught at their campus in the city of New Orleans, LA. The majority of of the school’s 16,131 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Additionally, the college has NATEF program accreditation. Tuition fees for in-state students are about $3,911 and for students from other states approximately $8,200 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,200, although this will depend on the program.

Winnsboro nonmetropolitan area Area

Northwest Louisiana Technical College

9500 Industrial Drive, Minden, Louisiana 71055-0000
(318) 371-3035
Automotive Technology – Certificate Program

Northwest Louisiana Technical College offers various Certificate program options for mechanics. Classes are taken at their campus in Minden in Webster County. This public college has in the region of 2,924 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for in-state students are about $2,976 and for students from other states approximately $7,481 annually. Learning materials may cost around $1,250, although this will vary with the program.

* 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 Louisiana may also wish to review their options in Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.

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 Louisiana. 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.

Baton RougeBossier CityCarvilleShreveportThibodauxVivianWest Monroe

City: Baton Rouge

McKinley High School

800 E. McKinley St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 344-7696

Automotive Program

Contact: Kevin McCants
Tel: (225) 344-7696
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Bossier City

Bossier Parish Technical School

1020 Innovation Dr, Bossier City, LA 71111
(318) 676-7811

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Jeremy Dreher
Tel: (318) 676-7811
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Carville

Carville Job Corps Academy

5465 Point Clair Rd., Carville, LA 70721
(225) 642-2481

Automotive Program

Contact: Lane Linton
Tel: (225) 642-2481
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: Shreveport

Caddo Career & Technology Center

5950 Union Ave., Shreveport, LA 71108
(318) 834-6633

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Gary Weese
Tel: (318) 834-6633
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

Auto Body/Collision Program: AYES

Contact: Gary Weese
Tel: (318) 834-6633
Programs: Damage Analysis/Estimating/Customer Serv, Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair, Painting and Refinishing

City: Thibodaux

SCL Lafourche Campus

1425 Tiger Dr., Thibodaux, LA 70301
(985) 447-0924

Automotive Program

Contact: Loyd Olin
Tel: (985) 447-0924
Programs: Master Automobile Service Technology

City: Vivian

North Caddo Magnet High School

201 Airport Drive, Vivian, LA 71082
(318) 834-6633

Automotive Program: AYES

Contact: Gary Weese
Tel: (318) 834-6633
Programs: Maintenance and Light Repair

City: West Monroe

Louisiana Delta Community College

609 Vocational Pkwy., West Monroe, LA 71292
(318) 397-6145

Automotive Program

Contact: Marvin Almond
Tel: (318) 397-6145
Programs: Master Automobile Service Technology