Diesel mechanics also referred to as diesel technicians, are in charge of inspecting, repairing or overhauling trucks and buses, along with maintaining and repairing different types of diesel engines.
With diesel engines becoming more and more advanced, the need for their repairs and maintenance has increased. As more freight is transported across the country, diesel-powered trucks will remain high in demand to carry goods.
If you are interested in this field, you might want to read the following quick 6 facts about diesel mechanics.
6 Facts about Diesel Mechanics
The following facts about diesel mechanics might pique your interest further in this field.
- Diesel Mechanics Provide a Multitude of services: They are in charge of consulting with customers and determining what needs to be done. They plan out the entire process and inspect different systems within a diesel engine. These include systems such as brakes, steering mechanisms and transmissions etc. They also need to know how to interpret diagnostic test results to figure out the problem. In addition to figuring out the problem, diesel mechanics repair and replace malfunctioning components as well and perform basic care and maintenance of vehicles.
- Auto Diesel Mechanics Need Technical Education: Even though you do not need a college degree for entry into this field, it is highly recommended that you complete certain coursework in automotive repair technology. With diesel engines becoming more and more technical by the day, some employers have now started showing preference towards hiring people with postsecondary education in diesel engine repair. Many community colleges and technical school are now offering such programs. These programs mix classroom instructions with hands-on training and include subjects like the basics of diesel technology, practical exercises and repair techniques.
- You Will Need a Varied Skill Set: Aspiring diesel mechanics are not just required to have an understanding of diesel engines and related equipment. They also need certain qualities to succeed as technicians. These include good customer service skills, paying attention to detail, mechanical skills, dexterity, organizational skills, troubleshooting skills and physical strength.
- Salaries for Diesel Mechanics Are Pretty Good: According to 2018 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics made an annual median income of $47,350. This translates to $22.76 per hour, which is quite a good figure, given the level of education required for entry into this field.
- Salary Outlook for Diesel Mechanics Varies According to Industry and Location: The top paying industry for Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics was the local government, excluding education and hospitals – paying $56,350, followed by wholesale trade paying $48,680 and automotive repair and maintenance paying $45,740.
Salaries also varied according to state. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the top paying states for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists – Alaska, tops the list with an annual mean wage of $66,280, followed by the District of Columbia, with a mean wage of $60,730, Massachusetts paying $59,310, Connecticut paying $58,060 and Hawaii, paying $57,490.
- Employment Opportunities for Diesel Mechanics Vary According to Location: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the states with the highest concentration of jobs for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists. These include Texas with 27,960 jobs, California with 21,320 jobs, Pennsylvania with 13,260 jobs, Florida with 12,880 jobs and New York with 12,840 jobs.
Steps to Become a Diesel Mechanic
If the above list of facts has made you even more intrigued by this field, you might now want to know how to become a diesel mechanic. The following are steps to become a diesel mechanic in the US:
Step 1: Get a High School Diploma or Equivalent: This is the minimum education required for this field. You are advised to take up courses in math and electronics at this stage.
Step 2: Consider Getting a Postsecondary Degree in Diesel Engine Repair: Since more employers now prefer to hire mechanics with better education credentials, you may want to enroll in a community college or a technical school for a program in diesel engine repairs.
Step 3: Complete On-the-Job Training: If you do not have any prior understanding of diesel engines, this step will take care of it. Trainees are assigned basic tasks at first, followed by more complex problems like vehicle diagnostics. This training can take up to 3 to 4 years.
Step 4: Consider Getting Certified: This is not a requirement by law, but getting a certificate can increase your employment prospects. A certification from the National Institute for Automotive Excellence (ASE) is the standard credential for automotive service technicians and mechanics.