Most little boys spend their days dreaming of growing up to work on a big truck. It is completely possible to become a diesel mechanic in very little time and with little expense. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by the year 2020, the field of diesel engineering will experience an increase of 15%, offering the current job market 35,000 more job openings. Current diesel mechanics enjoy job security, knowing that the field of diesel mechanics is firm and continuing to grow. In an economy that is continuing to develop an affinity for all things that are environmentally friendly, diesel engines aren’t going anywhere. And that means there will always be a need for diesel mechanics to keep them running.
Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to work as a diesel mechanic in Indiana. There are no state licensing requirements, though there are certifications and educational paths that can boost your marketability in the job market. Most employers also prefer that applicants have at least a high school diploma or high school equivalency (GED) certificate. Vocational schools and colleges usually require at least a high school diploma to enter a program, though some community colleges will allow students to pursue high school equivalency while beginning the diesel engineering program.
Application Process and Costs
There aren’t any costs associated with initially becoming a diesel repair technician. Costs associated with educational programs include tuition, tools and materials to study for ASE certification. There are only three schools located in Indiana, but there are many non-traditional pathways to pursue as well. Two of the schools are located in the largest city in Indiana, Indianapolis. The other is located in the southwest corner of the state. The cost of tuition in Indiana averages $4,169 per year. There are many different options available for student financial assistance, including federal loans and grants as well as state grant opportunities such as the annual student scholarships offered by the Northwest Indiana Auto Trade Association.
The most popular option available in Indiana is the associate’s degree in diesel technology. This degree program offers a program that includes classroom academics as well as hands-on learning for the most inclusive learning environment possible. While most of the degree programs are generally completed within two years it is possible to complete it sooner if some of the prerequisite courses were completed during high school. Certificate programs are also possible and can be completed much more quickly. Classes that might be included in the program are diesel service, fuel systems, and lower engine construction.
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Many people choose to pursue much of the academic knowledge within the associate’s degree program with a non-traditional, or online, college. Online college programs are more flexible and offer students the ability to take classes when it’s convenient – evenings and weekends – so they can continue working and maintaining a full schedule. Online programs are just as rigorous and offer degree tracks that are fully accredited. Online degrees can also be financed using federal and state financial aid resources. The average class size in most schools, including technical schools and vocational schools, is 27.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
The state of Indiana does not have any licensing requirements to become a diesel mechanic. However, in a competitive job market, becoming ASE certified at as many levels as possible will give you a more competitive edge. ASE, or Automotive Service Excellence, certification is a nationally recognized program, available online by completing various tests and verifying work experience.
ASE certification tests can be taken after you’ve worked as a diesel mechanic for at least two years. Upon passing the exams, you will receive certification for five years.
Salary & Job Prospects
The field of diesel engineering and mechanics is quickly growing and doesn’t look to slow down. Because of growing interest in the pursuit of environmentally friendly transportation, diesel engines, which burn clean and efficiently, are receiving much attention. As the attention grows, so does demand. And that means a demand for diesel mechanics and engineers with the expertise and knowledge to successfully work on them.
The job growth for the state of Indiana is the same as the national average. According to BLS statistics, by 2020, there should be about 290 new job openings in the diesel engineering industry (BLS, 2010). The average salary for a diesel mechanic in Indiana is $39,100, with fluctuation across the state and depending on education and experience.
More Diesel Mechanic Schools in Indiana
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