Diesel-powered vehicles are playing an ever-larger role in America’s bouyant economy.
As consumer spending and the number of goods purchased increases, so does the number of diesel-powered vehicles required to truck these items all around the country.
Opposed to gasoline-powered engines, diesel engines are superior in their durability and fuel economy, making them the engine of choice for local and national shippers.
As this need increases, the demand for certified diesel mechanics in Colorado by local companies will grow exponentially, providing qualified applicants with their pick of employment opportunities.
Before getting started, most community colleges and vocational institutes require potential students to complete several educational prerequisites before being allowed to enroll.
The biggest and most common prerequisite is that potential students will need to have earned either their high school diploma or GED.
Some more prestigious institutes require that their students also have taken at least four years of high school English and two years of high school science and math.
While some Colorado companies will waive the educational requirements for candidates who have several years of hands-on experience, most companies will require that any potential job candidates to either have a degree or be certified in diesel technology.
On rare occasions, some employers who are in dire need of employees will offer to sponsor the certification for potential candidates.
For those desiring to become a diesel mechanic, it is recommended that they begin investing in either their certification or degree in diesel technology before applying for available positions.
A wide variety of technical schools, vocational institutes, and community colleges in Colorado offer this opportunity to their students, with most schools expanding the curriculum to include associate and bachelor’s degree programs in diesel technology.
The length of time required to complete the Associate of Science in Diesel Technology is a minimum of two years of full-time classes.
For those looking to take their education to the next level, the Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology is even longer, requiring a minimum of four to five years of schooling to complete the program.
Before choosing a vocational institute or community college to attend, it is important that students take the time to verify that their school is accredited through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), as programs with this accreditation are highly preferred by employers.
For students who want a degree without all of the years of schooling, associate’s degree programs seem to offer the desired balance. An associate’s degree in diesel technology offers students a largely hands-on approach to diesel engines, where instructors teach their classes how to both maintain and repair mechanical issues.
Most of the coursework for this program is completed in a garage or lab environment, with some of the subjects covering:
- Diesel engine technology
- Power transmissions
- AC systems
- Fuel systems
- Electrical systems
- Power trains
- Heavy duty brakes
Individuals who are looking to further their career to a management position can earn a bachelor’s degree in diesel technology to help open up more doors.
The bachelor’s degree program in diesel technology offers more fundamentals and methodologies behind the diagnosis and function of diesel engines.
On top of the courses that teach specifically about diesel engines, students will also be required to pass courses in mathematics, humanities, and natural sciences.
Additional courses can also cover:
- Diesel engines lab
- AC and heating systems
- Welding theory
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- Diesel fuel systems
- Heavy duty automatics
- Diesel shop management
- Diesel electrical systems
Certification in Colorado
While the state of Colorado, just like Arizona, does not currently require diesel mechanics to obtain their certification in order to legally work, most employers looking to fill vacant diesel mechanic positions will want candidates who have either their certification or degree in this field.
For diesel mechanics serious about their profession, a special certification offer by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) will certify successful individuals in the areas of electrical systems, brakes, and preventative maintenance.
Although employers may not require this certification of their candidates, any potential diesel mechanics who do have this certification will greatly increase their chances of getting a higher paid position within the company.
Career Outlook For Mechanics
Based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), companies within the state of Colorado currently employee approximately 4,530 diesel mechanics, earning an average salary of $45,030 annually.
Furthermore, the growth for this industry is very optimistic, with the BLS estimating the growth rate to be 15 percent until 2020.
This growth will open up the door to an additional 35,200 positions across America that will likely be filled by today’s diesel mechanic students. Some of the employment opportunities created by this growth may include:
- Local Government: From front loaders to salt trucks, diesel mechanics are required by municipal governments to maintain and repair their fleet of diesel-powered vehicles.
- Repair Garages: Local companies large and small will always be in need of highly-trained and certified diesel mechanics. Employment opportunities will likely include more repair work than maintenance work.
- Couriers and Express Delivery Services: Companies that specialize in both local and long-distance delivery services will need diesel mechanics to maintain their fleet of diesel-powered vehicles used to deliver packages from one point to another.
From national fleets to local garages, the demand for skilled and highly-trained diesel mechanics is ever growing.
As trade, both nationally and internationally, continues to increase and become the predominant method of local commerce, the number of certified diesel mechanics needed to maintain and repair these transportation fleets will continue to increase.
For individuals who are seeking to join a Colorado company as diesel mechanics, serious consideration should be given to enrolling in an accredited diesel technology program today.