Whether it is trucking goods across America or shipping supplies over water, diesel-powered vehicles are an essential component to the commerce industry.
In Hawaii, most supplies are shipped over water and then transported by a diesel 18-wheeler to retailers.
With diesel vehicles being vital to America’s infrastructure, diesel mechanics provide the necessary maintenance services to ensure the vehicles are running in tip-top shape.
Becoming a diesel mechanic is a rewarding career choice, providing individuals with a stable job environment.
Like most schools across America, colleges in Hawaii require potential students to fulfill certain educational prerequisites before enrolling into a diesel mechanic program.
Aspiring diesel mechanics need to have at least a high school diploma or GED before they are considered eligible for enrollment. Some colleges have even stricter requirements, such as completing four years of English, two years of math, and two years of science in high school.
Individuals who wish to become diesel mechanics have various educational options available to them, whether it is attending a company-run program or completing a degree in diesel technology. Aspiring diesel mechanics can learn the necessary knowledge and techniques to repair and maintain diesel-powered vehicles through on-the-job training, which takes up to three years to complete.
Some companies hire diesel mechanics who have several years of experience. Those who wish to further their career in the mechanic industry and ascertain a higher paid position need to purse a degree in diesel technology.
Most employers prefer hiring those who have educational training, and various vocational, technical, and community schools in Hawaii offer accredited programs through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
Associate of Science in Diesel Tech
Aspiring diesel mechanics who wish to increase their chances of being hired on at a mechanic company in Hawaii need to earn an Associate of Science in Diesel Technology degree at an accredited college. An associate’s degree takes approximately two years to complete, requiring students to take full-time classes in order to graduate on time.
Certified instructors teach students how to properly repair and maintain diesel-powered vehicles, and while most work is completed in a garage setting, students will also need classroom instruction and lab work.
Some coursework required for an associate’s degree include:
- Power transmissions
- Fuel systems
- Diesel engine technology
- AC systems
- Electrical systems
- Heavy duty brakes
Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology
Diesel mechanics whose goals are to ascertain a managerial role in Hawaii’s mechanic industry need to further their educational training and earn a Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology, which can take a minimum of four years to complete if they do not wish to attend both summer and winter classes.
A bachelor’s degree offers a core understanding of not only the diagnosis and repair of diesel-powered engines but also the management of other diesel mechanics. Students need to learn the fundamentals behind diesel repair techniques and methodologies, with coursework covering a wide range of topics like:
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- AC systems
- Welding theory
- Diesel engine lab
- Heavy duty automatics
- Diesel fuel systems
- Diesel electrical systems
- Diesel garage management
Certification in Hawaii
Even though Hawaii does not require diesel mechanics to be certified in this field of expertise to work legally in the state, most employers prefer hiring those who have taken the initiative to certify as a professional diesel mechanic.
Individuals who obtain proper certification increase their chances of ascertaining a higher starting pay than those who have not, and those who specialize in a certain sector of this industry open up many more career opportunities.
Certification can be completed through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), allowing diesel mechanics to specialize in a specific sector, such as:
- Preventative maintenance
- Steering systems
- Electrical systems
Finding a position as a diesel mechanic provides individuals with a stable work environment in the mechanic industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment outlook for diesel mechanics is expected to grow by 15 percent until 2020, offering an additional 35,200 jobs in this career. A report from the BLS shows that
Hawaii employs about 730 diesel mechanics, and diesel mechanics can expect to make an annual mean wage of $58,420, depending on their previous experience, educational training, and company location.
Diesel mechanics who specialize in a certain sector of the mechanic industry have various job opportunities in one of America’s top-paying industries.
- Deep Sea and Coastal Transportation – $79,250
- Federal Executive Branch – $68,800
- Courier Services – $59,740
- Electric Power Generation – $59,450
- Scientific Research and Development Services – $59,310
From small local garages to large shipping fleets, diesel mechanics have various employment opportunities available to them in Hawaii. With the proper educational training and certification, diesel mechanics are able to ascertain a higher paid position in a stable company.
As companies continue growing and expanding their distribution services, the need for diesel-powered vehicles increases as well, providing additional jobs for diesel mechanics in Hawaii.