Diesel and Truck Service Management Associate Degree

If you would like to apply your management skills to diesel and truck service, you might consider going for an associate's degree. This article shows you the typical braking and hydraulics courses you will see in a program, and gives you an idea of what to expect for a salary in the field of service and management.

What Are Some Program Details?

It will take you two years to complete a program that consists of 68-75 credits. Upon graduation, you can receive an Associate of Applied Science in an area such as diesel mechanics technology, or diesel and heavy equipment technology.

Typical courses found in a program may include fuel systems and diesel technology, power train, braking and steering, technical and professional communication, preventative maintenance, hydraulics, principles of management, work procedures and safety. Hands-on training by way of labs, shop time, field experience and internships makes up the majority of instruction. Because of the extensive in-person requirements, you may have difficulty locating online courses.

Common CoursesPrinciples of management, technical communication, braking and steering, fuel systems
Skills LearnedSales building, customer service, staff management, shop oversight
Degree AdvantagesPotential for supervisory positions
Median Salary (2018)*$66,140 (for supervisors of mechanics)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

By earning an associate's degree, you can develop the ability to provide quality maintenance and repair. You can also learn how to build sales, provide good customer service, successfully manage a staff, maintain a safe work environment, and oversee all the other operational aspects of running a diesel and truck service shop.

Though it's not necessary for employment, you may find that your chances of advancement to a managerial position can be enhanced if you become certified. If you have at least two years of appropriate work experience, you may be eligible to sit for one or more certification examinations administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Do I Really Need a Diesel and Truck Service Management Associate's Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it can take you three or four years of on-the-job training for you to become a competent, journey-level truck technician. The BLS further states that not only do employers generally prefer to hire someone with formal training, but a degree could enable you to advance more quickly to a supervisory position.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges offers a list of schools where you might be able to earn a degree. You can find a longer list offered by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation.

You might also have luck locating an appropriate degree program through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). An NCES search will produce a list of over 150 technical schools and community colleges that offer associate's degrees in diesel mechanics technology.

What Is the Occupational Outlook?

The BLS stated that employment for diesel service technicians and mechanics was expected to increase by nine percent from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). This is faster than the national average for all occupations, and the BLS further stated that if you complete a formal training program, your job opportunities might be even more numerous.

The BLS compiled the latest salary statistics in 2018. At that time, the median annual salary for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists was $47,350. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers had a median annual salary of $66,140.