How Can I Become a Diesel Mechanic?

A person can become a diesel mechanic through formal training or on-the-job training with large companies. There are different levels of diploma, certificate, and degree programs available for people pursuing this career. Read this article to learn more about becoming a diesel mechanic. Schools offering Diesel Mechanics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Diesel service mechanics repair and maintain diesel engines. Besides working on passenger vehicles and light trucks, they may work on heavy machinery, including cranes, bulldozers, road graders, and farm tractors. High school students considering careers as diesel mechanics should focus their studies on mathematics, automotive repair, and electronics while in high school.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Certification Voluntary certification is available
Key Skills Customer service skills, works well with hands, mechanical skills, troubleshooting and diagnostic skills
Work Environment Typically employed in automotive shops with some travel to clients; higher than average rate of injury and illness
Similar Occupations Automotive service technicians and mechanics, small engine mechanics, aircraft equipment mechanics

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education and Training

Many colleges and universities offer associate's degree or certificate programs that allow you to specialize in diesel mechanics. Students seeking a career in diesel mechanics may also consider getting a job with any company that offers on-the-job training. This gives students an opportunity to acquire experience, and may help them decide if they want to pursue this career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reports that diesel mechanics must be trained in new technologies. Mechanics should be trained to work on a vehicle's electrical and fuel system while having the ability to do major engine repair. Many diagnostic systems in today's vehicles are computerized and can detect malfunctions or engine problems.

Skills and Qualifications

Employers look for applicants that have strong mechanical aptitude and problem-solving skills. A diesel mechanic will need a state commercial driver's license to test-drive vehicles after they have been repaired.

Employment Outlook and Salary Statistics

According to the BLS, the employment of diesel service technicians and mechanics will likely grow by about twelve percent during the decade spanning from 2014-2024; this rate is faster than average growth range for all occupations. Diesel engine specialists, along with bus and truck mechanics, earned an average of $45,160 a year in 2014, per the BLS, which noted that those employed by the federal government earned a significantly higher annual wage of $72,320, on average.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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  • University of Alaska

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Juneau
  • Oklahoma State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Okmulgee
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Yavapai College

    Campus Locations:

    • Arizona: Prescott
  • Wilson Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Wilson
  • Williston State College

    Campus Locations:

    • North Dakota: Williston
  • Pearl River Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Poplarville
  • Wilkes Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Wilkesboro