Without diesel trucks transporting raw materials and products to stores, the economy would be crippled.
Helping maintain the trucking industry, diesel mechanics successfully check and repair the engine, brake, electrical, and suspension systems on a truck.
For those who are striving to become a diesel mechanic, communication is key to ensuring the truck is functioning at full power, and many employers in Georgia prefer workers who have prior knowledge in this field through the proper education and hands-on experience.
Aspiring diesel mechanics need to fulfill certain prerequisites before they can take classes at a diesel mechanic school in Georgia.
Most colleges require students to successfully earn a high-school diploma or GED before enrollment. Many institutions prefer individuals to have previously taken courses in science, math, and English.
Upon completion of the prerequisite education, aspiring mechanics can begin their new career path by earning an Associate of Science in Diesel Technology or a Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology, depending on the position they wish to be hired for. Diesel mechanics need to understand how to successfully:
- Troubleshoot mechanical malfunctions
- Create repair strategies
- Service engine repairs
Associate of Science Degree
Individuals can choose to enroll in a diesel mechanic program at a community, vocational, or technical school, which will take approximately two years to complete. Programs will cover the practical skills and techniques necessary to troubleshoot potential damages and repair diesel-powered vehicles.
Diesel mechanic programs utilize lab and garage settings to teach students the knowledge needed to obtain a good position in an upstanding company. Many times, coursework includes subjects on:
- Diesel engine technology
- Power transmissions
- Fuel systems
- Electrical systems
Bachelor of Science Degree
Diesel mechanics who wish to find a managerial or administrative position in the mechanical industry can further their education in diesel technology, requiring an additional two years of coursework.
A few diesel mechanic schools in Georgia provide a Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology.
Diesel mechanic programs will not only cover repair methods and techniques but also humanities, mathematics, and the natural sciences, preparing students for potential situations that can arise in the workforce.
Many institutions require students to learn both practical and theoretical training, which includes courses like:
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- Diesel electrical systems
- Heavy duty automatics
- Diesel engines labs
- Diesel fuel systems
- Diesel shop management
Most employers do not require diesel mechanics to obtain accredited certification on top of the associate or bachelor’s degree; however, earning additional certification in this field will help set individuals apart from their competition and increase their chances of landing a good job in Georgia.
National organizations, such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), test diesel mechanics on brakes, electrical systems, steering systems, and preventive maintenance.
Wage and Career Opportunities
Job opportunities for a diesel mechanic range from truck technicians, diesel mechanics, and fuel system specialists to engine manufacturers and service managers. Studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that job growth in the diesel mechanic industry is expected to rise by an average of 15 percent by 2020.
Data reports that the median hourly salary for a diesel mechanic is $19.64, which is $40,850 annually.
A career as a diesel mechanic is a great choice for those who are mechanically inclined and enjoy challenges. With the proper training at the right school, anyone with determination can become a diesel mechanic.