According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers in the automotive industry traditionally prefer to hire individuals who have completed a formal training program. In Louisiana, auto mechanic schools offer training in areas such as automotive, motorcycle and diesel technology, diagnosis and automobile repair, routine maintenance and more. In most cases, programs typically take between six months and one year to complete. The BLS notes that it takes most automotive service technicians several additional years of on-the-job training to become fully qualified professionals.
In addition to completing training at one of the many auto mechanic schools in Louisiana, students may also pursue certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). In most cases, post-high school training at an auto mechanic school can be used as a substitute for the necessary two-year work experience requirement. Today, over 35,000 professionals hold ASE certifications in specialties such as alternate fuel, collision repair, automotive service consulting, advanced engine performance and more. In May 2009, automotive service technicians in Louisiana earned a mean annual income of approximately $32,500 and diesel engine specialists earned nearly $40,000, according to BLS. Mechanics in the New Orleans metro area earned $35,600, while mechanics in the Baton Rouge area earned nearly $31,000.