What Are Some Popular Career Options in Diesel Mechanics?
There are many options for a diesel mechanic besides working on transportation vehicles. A skilled diesel mechanic can find career opportunities in the railroads, marine craft and aviation industries. Pay and job openings are dependent on skill level and certification.
Popular Career Options in Diesel Mechanics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reports that diesel technicians need to be versatile today to be able to meet customer and employer needs. A diesel mechanic also must be able to embrace new technologies, since they handle all types of repairs and work on a variety of vehicle systems; the electronic and computer systems that control the operation of diesel engines are complex.
Important Facts about This Field
|Entry Level Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|On-the-Job Training||Long-term on-the-job training will be required|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||9% (for diesel service technicians and mechanics)|
|Median Salary (2018)||$47,350 per year (for diesel service technicians and mechanics)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Popular Career Options
Besides working on diesel transportation vehicles, a diesel mechanic may work on diesel engines found in heavy equipment. This can include construction equipment, agricultural and forestry implements, semi trucks, dump trucks and equipment used for heavy hauling. Three additional industries include railroad, marine and aviation engines.
Diesel mechanics find many job opportunities working on locomotives. According to Union Pacific Railroad, work as a diesel mechanic includes inspecting, repairing and maintaining the mechanical parts on diesel electric locomotives. Diesel mechanics must be skilled in using the appropriate machine tools and welding equipment.
According to the BLS, marine engine mechanics repair and maintain diesel engines on ships, boats and other watercraft. They might also repair shipboard mechanical and electrical equipment. Large craft, such as cabin cruisers and commercial fishing boats, are powered by diesel engines that are only removed for major overhauls. A diesel mechanic usually works on these engines at docks and marinas. In 2018, motorboat mechanics and service technicians earned a median income of $40,180 per year (www.bls.gov).
Some diesel mechanics working in aviation specialize in preventative maintenance. They perform inspections following a schedule that is based on the number of hours the aircraft has flown, calendar days since last inspection, cycles of operation or a combination of all these factors. Other diesel mechanics specialize in repair work on aircraft engines and related systems. Aircraft mechanics and service technicians earned a median salary of $62,920 in 2018 (www.bls.gov).