How To Become A Diesel Mechanic
Career Video: Diesel Mechanic
Do you love cars and trucks? Have you enjoyed vehicles as a hobby since you were a young kid? Are you good with your hands? Do you know the mechanics of how vehicles work? Are you able to diagnose a problem within a vehicle, repair any problems, and do routine maintenance? You may enjoy a career as a diesel mechanic.
Why Become A Diesel Mechanic
Diesel engines are an important part of our economy. In commercial and industrial trades, diesel-powered engines are counted on to get the job done. We often see big semi-trucks hauling freight down our highways; or we see construction equipment, building new structures in our towns, fixing our city streets, and other jobs that need to be done. All of these vehicles run on diesel power, and need to be checked by a diesel mechanic when there is a problem or for regular inspections. Diesel engines are important to keep the economy running.
A diesel mechanic must be knowledgeable about the inner workings of any diesel engine. They must be able to recognize the symptoms of different problems that vehicles can have, and make a diagnosis. They must be able to make repairs and maintain vehicles. They need to have good interpersonal skills and be able to explain what is wrong with the vehicle to other people.
Occasionally mechanics may work on other diesel-powered equipment, such as buses, generators, and heavy machinery.
Diesel Mechanics must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Good with Hands
- Enjoy Using Technology and Tools
- Great Customer Service
- Good Communicator
- Problem Solver
Diesel Mechanic Work Environment
Diesel mechanics will often be working indoors. Sometimes mechanics will work at a repair shop, and clients will bring their diesel-powered vehicles in to have them inspected. Other times a mechanic may travel to a location to work on a vehicle.
There are many challenges in this work environment. There are a variety of tools, which a diesel mechanic must know how to use. Repair shops can be noisy. Mechanics move under, inside, and around the vehicles and machinery. This can be a hot, dirty, and exhausting task to perform. There can be a risk of injury. Diesel mechanics will be working in a challenging environment, and are expected to be able to handle all of the tasks at hand.
Diesel Mechanic Salary
The median wage for a diesel mechanic was $44,520 annually in 2015, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Diesel mechanics who are employed by the government may be able to earn even more money. Those employed by the government made up to $49,130 in 2015. Additionally, specializations in the industry, such as heavy vehicle mechanics or railway technicians can earn even higher salaries. Such positions earned up to $48,500 in 2015.
Diesel Mechanic Career Outlook
The diesel mechanic industry is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is faster than the average for all occupations in the United States.
The market for diesel engines is growing at a tremendous pace. Diesel engines are indispensable, as they are at the center of business, commercial and industrial trades. Many companies are finding diesel to be a great alternative to gasoline. Because of this, companies are starting to rely on diesel engines to get the job done. This growing interest in diesel ensures that there is a positive job outlook for diesel mechanics.
Diesel Mechanic Degree
There is no degree required to become a diesel mechanic. If you have a high school diploma, you can apply for a job as an assistant or an apprentice. Some higher education is encouraged if you would like to learn more about this exciting career choice.
Step 1: Consider formal education. There are many community colleges and vocational programs that offer programs in mechanics. Take a look at the universities near you and see what is available. A formal training program is a great way to learn more about this industry.
Step 2: Become trained. When you apply as an assistant or an apprentice at a repair shop, you will receive extensive training about everything in the field of diesel mechanics. You will have certain tasks, such as driving vehicles around the shop, cleaning equipment and tools, checking fuel, and more. After three or four years, you will receive a certificate of completion of your training. You will be allowed to apply for full time entry level diesel mechanic jobs.
Step 3: Become certified. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers certifications for diesel mechanics. Mechanics can be certified in specialty areas, such as preventative maintenance, collision repair, school and transit buses, and more. Diesel mechanics must pass the ASE exams to receive the certifications. These certifications often bring a higher rate of pay for diesel mechanics.