How Do I Earn My Diesel Mechanic License?

Diesel mechanics can benefit from a formal training program and professional certification, although licensure is not required. Read on to learn more about how to earn your diesel mechanic credentials. Schools offering Diesel Mechanics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Diesel Mechanic Licensing Overview

Diesel mechanics work on diesel-powered engines, often found in automobiles, large trucks, buses and mobile construction equipment, like bulldozers and tractors. As a diesel mechanic, you can perform routine maintenance and inspection on vehicle engines, as well as troubleshooting and fixing broken ones. The only licensure you may need to be a diesel mechanic is a commercial driver's license (CDL), which you're required to have to test-drive large vehicles on the open road. You can get a CDL by meeting your state's eligibility requirements and taking a state-administered exam.


Although you can gain experience as a diesel mechanic while you work, completing a formal training program can increase your chances of finding employment and advancing your career. You can seek training programs from automotive trade schools and community colleges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers seem to prefer potential job candidates with formal training.

National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) accredits training programs in automotive technician repair, which includes diesel engine training. The NATEF reports that advanced technical training and computer literacy are important in the modern automotive industry. As a diesel mechanic, you should have effective problem-solving, oral and written communication skills, as well as extensive mechanical knowledge.

Certification Exams

You can earn diesel engine mechanic certification by having two years of relevant work experience and passing a series of examinations from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a widely recognized industry standard. Certification in this area requires you to pass one or more of the ASE-administered exams, and you must be retested every five years (

Specific areas of truck maintenance certification include drivetrains, diesel engines, brake systems, electrical systems and steering. Examples of ASE certification exams for diesel mechanics include the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification Test (for medium to heavy-duty trucks) and the Automobile & Light Truck Certification Test (for light vehicle diesel engines).

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