How To Become A Diesel Tech While Working - Diesel Mechanic Guide

How To Become A Diesel Tech While Working

With the diesel mechanic industry offering promising new career opportunities for workers across the United States, individuals who are contemplating a career as a diesel mechanic should enter into a diesel technology program to ensure job stability and success in this industry.

Individuals who wish to become a diesel mechanic while working a full- or part-time job can take online courses through an accredited diesel mechanic program.

Online Diesel Mechanic Programs

Before applying for any online program, aspiring diesel mechanics need to perform the proper research, taking into account the course requirements, salary stats, and career prospects.

Finding an online diesel mechanic program that offers all coursework through the Internet is extremely rare, and working students need to be prepared to do the necessary hands-on training at a local college.

Taking between six months and two years to complete, online programs allow individuals to undergo the formal educational training on their own schedule, which is the perfect solution for those who need to work to pay the bills.

Some online diesel mechanic programs include the study guides and books in a student’s tuition cost, and students will need to complete the appropriate apprenticeship program upon graduation. When searching for online diesel technology programs, students should make sure the program qualifies them for certification through the National Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), with some programs including an ASE exam preparation course.

Hybrid Diesel Mechanic Programs

diesel engine detailTaking between one and two years to complete, hybrid programs combine theoretical classroom instruction with hands-on experience to give students an in-depth knowledge of diesel engine parts, systems, and repair and maintenance techniques.

Certified instructors will cover the basics in diesel engine fundamentals, power trains, and hydraulic systems. Hybrid programs do not cover the cost of books and study guides, requiring students to pay separately for these. Graduates of hybrid programs need to fulfill an apprenticeship at a qualifying organization.

Required Coursework

Many times, diesel mechanic programs do not require specific educational prerequisites for students to fulfill before applying to the program. Some programs do require students to complete a number of general educational coursework, such as technical writing or math, while others require students to study the maintenance and service techniques for specific diesel engine brands, such as Cummins or Caterpillar.

Typical online diesel technology programs consist of 10 lessons that students are able to access throughout the course as well as a quiz at the end of each unit, with topics ranging from diesel truck repair to diesel engine maintenance. Students need to complete the following coursework in order to graduate from an online diesel mechanic program.

  • Diesel Engines: Students explore the systems and components of diesel-powered engines, including the crankshafts, pistons, rings, and pistons. Students gain their repair experience in mechanic labs.
  • Power Trains: This course teaches students the specific components of drive shafts and manual transmissions, and students will apply the transmission repair techniques in diagnostic labs.
  • Hydraulic Brake Systems: Students gain an in-depth understanding of hydraulic theories, including diesel engine component and system design. Individuals practice the repair and service of hydraulic brakes in a lab setting.
  • Fuel Systems: This course instructs students in the various forms of diesel fuel systems, allowing them to practice rebuilding diesel fuel injection systems under the guidance of a certified instructor.


Individuals who have graduated from an online or hybrid diesel mechanic program can earn further certification through the ASE, increasing their marketability to potential employers and clients.

Individuals can take up to 40 different tests to prove their proficiency in diesel engine repair and maintenance.

Before the certificate is issued, diesel mechanics need to fulfill at least one of the following ASE’s requirements:

  • One year of repair technician experience
  • Two years of parts specialist experience
  • Two years of collision damage estimator experience
  • Two years of service consultant experience

Once diesel mechanics have passed the basic Diesel Engine Test, they can further their career aspirations and take the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist certification to prove their proficiency in diagnosing and evaluating complex diesel engine malfunctions. For those who wish to advance up the career ladder, earning the Master Diesel Mechanic certification will open many new career opportunities in various industries.

Career Outlook

A 2012 report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the diesel mechanic industry is expected to provide an additional 21,600 jobs to potential candidates by 2022.

Diesel mechanics who have earned their online diesel technology degree may earn a median annual salary of $42,320, with those just starting out in this industry making around $26,820.

Individuals who certify through the ASE can expect various career advancement opportunities, resulting in an average wage of up to $63,250 annually.

Diesel mechanics who have completed an online diesel mechanic program will find several career opportunities in the automotive repair industry. Online programs prepare students for jobs with the following focuses:

  • Motorcycle repair technology
  • Auto repair technology
  • Small engine repair

Starting a new career can be both rewarding and difficult, especially when trying to take classes on the side. Individuals who wish to begin a new career as a diesel mechanic can take special online diesel technology courses through an accredited college while working, providing students with the training they need to succeed in this field.

Online Correspondence Courses Are Available Through

Regular Campus Training