An Overview Of Overseas Employment For Diesel Mechanics
Diesel engines are a common power source, especially in foreign nations.
Because of this, many diesel mechanics can find lucrative employment overseas, whether as permanent employees or contract workers.
In many cases, this employment can lead to long-term opportunities in other domestic and foreign jobs.
Types of Overseas Employment
In most cases, overseas employment opportunities for diesel mechanics involve supporting the employer in its activities, such as by maintaining the company’s transport vehicles. Because of this, overseas employment often involves working on a wide range of equipment.
Marine diesel engines range in size from small engines for utility boats to building sized engines for large ocean freighters.
Because these vessels commonly operate at sea for long periods of time, having an effective repair and maintenance staff can be extremely important.
Working as a marine diesel engineer may require additional skills in addition to the knowledge of how to repair diesel engines.
In many cases, crewmembers must also know basic seamanship and how to carry out those duties that are required to maintain the safety of the ship’s crew, passengers and cargo. In addition, many marine diesel engineers will also be required to work on other systems, such as the ship’s electrical generators.
This may require extra education and certification before the mechanic can seek employment.
Heavy Duty Vehicle Technician
Many mines and construction sites make use of heavy vehicles. For this reason, many qualified diesel mechanics may find themselves working at isolated sites in order to ensure that any heavy vehicles remain in operating condition.
In most cases, this work is identical to maintaining heavy vehicles in the United States, although the location may be isolated.
Mechanics in this field must be prepared to work in many conditions, including inclement weather while quickly returning the vehicles to service.
Fixed Diesel Engine Technician
Many remote sites are not connected to a larger power grid and must provide their own electrical power. Because of this, they often make use of diesel generators of varying sizes in order to operate their equipment.
The importance of a reliable supply of electricity make it important that qualified diesel mechanics be available at all times. Depending on the nature of the site, these generators can range in size from small portable units to building sized generator complexes.
Finally, many overseas jobs for diesel mechanics involve a combination of all of the above duties. For this reason, it is wise that anyone seeking overseas employment become skilled in repairing and maintaining as wide a range of diesel engines as possible.
Furthermore, some diesel mechanics may be expected to work on other systems that are unrelated to diesel engines.
The Overseas Work Environment
There is a wide range of potential work environments for overseas employees, with widely varying conditions and expectations.
In many cases, overseas employees will be working at remote sites and may endure primitive living and working conditions.
In other cases, they may be employed in comfortable urban settings, where the working conditions are little different from what would be found in any American city.
However, all overseas work will lead to a long-term period of separation from the mechanic’s family and friends in America.
Depending on the assignment, this separation can last for months or longer, and the employee may or may not be able to return home during his or her vacation. Because of this, anyone considering an overseas job should carefully consider the impact it might have on his or her family and personal life.
One point that a mechanic should consider is the location where he or she will be working. Some locations may suffer from political unrest, which may pose a safety risk to the workers. Employees who have been hired to work in such areas should obey any safety regulations that their employers have put in place.
Anyone who is hired for an overseas assignment must obtain a visa and passport. In addition, there may be other restrictions on their activities on the part of the host government. In most cases, their employer will handle these issues, but it is wise for the employee to remain aware of any legal issues that may impact his or her employment.
Obtaining Overseas Employment
Most overseas employers are looking for highly qualified employees so it is important that the applicants be able to demonstrate a high level of skill and experience.
In most cases, employers prefer employees who have been formally trained in diesel engine repair and maintenance.
In addition, candidates who have trained at a National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) accredited program often find their professional opportunities expanded.
Finally, individuals seeking overseas employment should work to be as skilled as possible in a wide range of fields. While their primary responsibilities may involve the repair of construction equipment, an employer will prefer to hire a mechanic who can also be useful in other fields, such as generator repair.
In addition, by obtaining a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification in one or more areas, an individual can further demonstrate his or her value as an employee.
In addition to the other benefits, an overseas job involves travel to many interesting regions. Furthermore, the skills and experience an employee can obtain while working overseas will continue to be of assistance even if the employee decides to return to the United States at some future date.
Because of this, diesel engine mechanics who are interested in a rewarding experience should strongly consider seeking overseas employment.