With many companies turning to more fuel-efficient vehicles to transport supplies to retailers and consumers, diesel mechanics are finding more career opportunities opening up in states like Iowa.
Individuals who wish to enter the mechanic industry can earn a degree in diesel technology, which will give them the skills and knowledge they need to maintain and repair diesel engines.
No matter what type of program a student enrolls in, most colleges require certain educational prerequisites to be completed before students are eligible for enrollment.
Aspiring diesel mechanics who wish to enroll in a diesel technology school in Iowa may have to complete additional prerequisites before they can apply to the college, with diesel mechanic programs requiring them to pass the following high school courses:
- Two years of science
- Two years of math
- Four years of English
Depending on the company, some individuals may have a greater chance of being accepted for open positions as long as they meet the required work experience.
Some companies will even pay for potential candidates to enroll in a certificate program, which requires one year of study and hands-on experience; however, most companies prefer to hire diesel mechanics who already have a degree or certificate in diesel technology.
Earning a degree will not only thoroughly prepare students for the job duties of a diesel mechanic but will also increase their chances of ascertaining a higher paying position directly out of college.
When searching for a diesel mechanic school in Iowa, individuals need to make certain that their school of choice has been accredited through a governing organization, such as the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). NATEF ensures the college meets national standards and prepares students for further certification upon graduation.
Associate of Science in Diesel Technology
Requiring two to three years of schooling, the Associate of Science in Diesel Technology teaches students an in-depth knowledge of diesel engine repair techniques.
Certified instructors will teach students the steps involved with diagnosing mechanical malfunctions, developing repair procedures, and servicing diesel engines.
Most classes and hands-on training take place in garages or labs, with coursework covering topics like:
- AC systems
- Electrical systems
- Power trains
- Fuel systems
- Heavy-duty brakes
Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology
Earning a Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology helps prepare diesel mechanics for management or administrative positions in shipping or mechanic companies in Iowa. Providing students with a
Providing students with a well-rounded education, a bachelor’s degree takes approximately four to five years to complete.
Attending both classroom instruction and lab training, students obtain a firm educational foundation in natural sciences, mathematics, and humanities.
Because this program focuses more on the core knowledge of diesel engine methodologies and repair techniques, students may take the following courses:
- Heavy-duty automatics
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- Diesel fuel systems
- Diesel engines lab
- Diesel electrical systems
- Diesel shop management
Certification in Iowa
Iowa is among the many states that do not require a license to work legally as a diesel mechanic, but most companies do prefer mechanics to specialize in a certain sector of this industry, whether it is in preventative maintenance, fuel systems, brakes, or another area of diesel technology.
Individuals who wish to become a Master Diesel Mechanic need to take the qualifying examination through the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE offers more than 40 tests that cover the following specializations:
- Collision repair
- Medium-heavy trucks
- School and transit buses
- Auto and truck parts
- Truck equipment
- Cars and light trucks
To retain one’s certificate, individuals need renew their licenses every five years through the ASE, retaking the exam and meeting the work experience requirements.
For those who wish to specialize as a diesel mechanic in a different industry, such as on a marine vessel or for an avionics facility, earning further certification through the specific industry’s governing organization is essential to finding work at companies in Iowa.
Individuals who wish to work with water transportation on one of Iowa’s many lakes need to obtain a certificate through the United States Coast Guard (USCG), and those who wish to work in avionics need to fulfill the licensing requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Many companies in these industries require diesel mechanics to enter into an apprenticeship program before they are able to work full-time on the diesel-powered vehicles.
With the demand for diesel mechanics being high in Iowa, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that companies in this state employ approximately 3,590 diesel mechanics.
A BLS report shows that the employment outlook for this industry entails an increase of 21,600 jobs across America.
Individuals who plan on entering the mechanic industry in Iowa can plan on making an average salary of $38,580 per year, with those just starting out in this field earning about $23,340.
Diesel mechanics who have earned the proper certifications may make upwards of $54,650 at a company in Iowa, depending on their prior work experience and specialization.
Even though Iowa is one of the lower paying states for diesel mechanics, studies show that the demand for diesel mechanics in Iowa is increasing, especially with companies shipping more supplies across country.
Aspiring diesel mechanics who wish to ascertain a higher paying salary or management role need to undergo the necessary educational training and earn the proper certifications in order to be successful in this career.