From Maine all the way to California, the roar of diesel trucks hauling goods can be heard on highways across America. With the average product traveling hundreds of miles to reach store shelves, diesel engines play an ever-growing role in today’s economy.
Companies throughout Maine are feeling this increase in demand, and many employers are actively expanding their shipping fleets to help meet this need.
Diesel mechanics are finding many employment opportunities with businesses that are seeking certified mechanics to service and repair the growing diesel fleets.
Individuals who wish to enter this exciting industry will find that earning their diesel technology certification will allow them to land a diesel mechanic position at an upstanding company in Maine.
In order to enroll in a diesel mechanic program, many schools require potential students to complete certain education prerequisites prior to applying.
The main prerequisite is that all students must have earned their GED or high school diploma before the first day of class, while some stricter universities and schools require students to have taken certain subjects, such as English or math, in high school.
Most diesel mechanic employers throughout Maine hire candidates who have earned their diploma in diesel technology.
With the need growing exponentially for certified diesel mechanics, some companies have started waiving the educational requirements if the candidate has several years of related experience.
For those who have limited mechanic experience, earning a diesel mechanic degree qualifies them for additional career opportunities.
While many schools offer some type of diesel mechanic certification, aspiring diesel mechanics must verify that their potential school is accredited through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), especially since most employers prefer hiring graduates from NATEF-accredited programs. Once the accreditation has been verified, individuals who wish to earn their degree can choose between pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in diesel technology.
Associate of Science in Diesel Technology
Designed to provide a balance between education and entering the workforce as quickly as possible, an associate’s degree in diesel technology provides students with the basic skills they need to diagnose and repair diesel engines.
With most courses taking place in a garage or lab setting, students are given the opportunity to apply diesel technology principles while working hands-on with diesel engines.
Taking anywhere from two to three years to complete, this program qualifies graduates for entry-level diesel mechanic positions.
The average associate’s degree program covers the following courses:
- Electrical systems
- Power trains
- AC systems
- Heavy-duty brakes
- Power transmissions
- Diesel engine technology
- Fuel systems
Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology
Students who have aspirations of managing or owning their own diesel garage someday will want to pursue their bachelor’s degree in diesel technology. Taking the average student four to five years to complete, this program goes much deeper into the technology behind diesel engines.
With most courses taking place in a classroom setting, students learn the methodologies behind advanced diesel engine diagnosis and repair. This knowledge helps graduates diagnose rare diesel engine problems and develop more thorough repair methods. Students will also have to complete several core courses, such as history or humanities, on top of the career-specific classes.
Common courses required in a bachelor’s degree program include:
- AC and heating systems
- Diesel fuel systems
- Diesel shop management
- Diesel engines lab
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- Welding theory
- Diesel electrical systems
- Heavy-duty automatics
Auto Tech Certification in Maine
Although certain certifications are required by many Maine employers before they will consider hiring a diesel mechanic, Maine does not require the obtainment of a diesel mechanic license in order to legally work there. Diesel mechanics who want to prove their mechanical proficiency often take certification tests through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
As long as the candidate has a few years of work experience, the ASE allows the diesel mechanic to take certification tests that range from electrical systems to preventative maintenance. Many diesel mechanic employers hold specialized certifications in higher regard, often resulting in a higher salary and potential employment advancement.
Recent studies conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that businesses in Maine currently employ 1,650 diesel mechanics, with the average salary being $39,390 annually. When compared to the rest of the economy, the diesel mechanic industry is expected to grow faster than normal.
This growth rate will add approximately 21,600 new positions across the United States. Based on current economic trends, some of the expected career opportunities will include:
- Charter bus mechanic
- Automotive equipment rental and leasing repair
- Local diesel garages
- Urban transit system repair
- Courier and express delivery vehicle servicing
As the economy continues to grow and expand, companies throughout Maine will have an increasingly difficult time finding the certified diesel mechanics needed to repair and maintain the shipping fleets.
Over the coming years, individuals who earn their degree in diesel technology will find that their skills and knowledge will be in high demand by employers nationwide. Those seeking to enter this fast-paced industry should begin researching diesel mechanic programs, increasing their chances of job stability and a higher pay grade in Maine.