What is a Diesel Mechanic?

A diesel mechanic, sometimes referred to as a diesel service technician, specializes in repairing and maintaining diesel engines. This type of technician must have knowledge and skills related to diagnoses and troubleshooting, engine repairs and rebuilds, fuel systems and electrical/electronic systems. Diesel mechanics also inspect brake systems, suspension systems and steering components. Further, they often perform preventive maintenance tasks such as changing oil or checking fluid levels in order to improve the performance of an engine.

What are the Benefits to Becoming a Diesel Mechanic?

Becoming a diesel mechanic offers many benefits both professionally and personally. Professionally, you can benefit from higher than average wages and job security. With many industries reliant on diesel engines, this is a field that has strong job growth and plenty of opportunities for those with the right certifications and qualifications. Additionally, there are also rewards in terms of personal satisfaction as you can take pride in your work and have the opportunity to work on ever-evolving engine designs.

Other benefits to becoming a Diesel Mechanic include:

  • Higher than average wages and job security due to the high demand for these professionals
  • Opportunity to work on ever-evolving engine designs
  • Personal satisfaction and pride in your work
  • Competitive benefits packages offered by many employers
  • Rewarding career that can open up opportunities in related fields such as automotive engineering or fleet management.

Types of Diesel Mechanic Programs

Diesel mechanic programs are available in both certificate and associate degree formats, depending on the level of training and specialization desired. Certificate programs generally range between six to 12 months in length and involve instruction specific to the diagnosis and repair of diesel engines and associated components. Associate degree programs are two-year degrees offered by trade schools or community colleges that provide a more comprehensive view of the diesel industry, such as preventative maintenance, fuel management systems, emissions control, advanced diagnostics and engine performance tuning.

Some of the following topics are typically covered in a diesel technology program:

  • Fuel injection
  • Hydraulic systems
  • Power generation
  • Electrical systems
  • Diesel engine repair
  • Diesel engine performance
  • Truck chassis systems
  • Diagnostics and troubleshooting
  • Heavy-duty vehicle operations & maintenance
  • Safety practices
  • Troubleshooting and repair of computerized systems
  • Engine overhaul and rebuilds.

Diesel Mechanic Schools

If you are interested in a diesel mechanic program, consider one of the following institutions.

  • Universal Technical Institute: Universal Technical Institute (UTI) offers a number of different diesel technology programs, including a 30-week program that teaches students about diesel engines and related systems, as well as a 10-month ASE Certification Program.
  • Wyotech: Wyotech is another popular training institution that offers a variety of diesel technology programs, ranging from basic engine maintenance to advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting. Wyotech also has an Advanced Technology Training (ATT) program which provides an additional ten weeks of specialty training in areas such as electronics and hydraulics.

Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Contact the financial office at the institute you are interested in for more information.

Certifications and Qualifications Required to Become a Diesel Mechanic

In order to become a diesel mechanic, there are several certifications and qualifications that must be obtained. National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification and an automotive schooling program from a reputable training institution such as Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Wyotech, or West Coast Training. Additionally, many employers may require applicants to have previous experience working in the automotive field.

Career Options for Diesel Mechanics

The career outlook for diesel technicians in the United States is very positive. With strong job growth projected through 2030, this is a field that is expected to have plenty of opportunity in the coming years. Average salaries in this field are also quite high, with some positions paying up to $60,000 per year or more and many employers offering competitive benefits packages. Additionally, job security is high as diesel engines remain vital to many industries such as transportation and construction.