How To Become A Maryland Diesel Mechanic
Diesel engines are a vital part of the modern American economy. Diesel engines power the trucks and locomotives that are so important in moving goods from the factory to the end user.
In addition, many diesel engines are used to provide emergency power to hospitals and police stations in order to ensure that vital services are not interrupted during a natural disaster or other emergency.
For this reason, diesel mechanics and technicians are a vital part of maintaining America’s transport and power infrastructure. As such, individuals seeking to become a diesel mechanic in Maryland or elsewhere currently enjoy robust job and salary options.
Diesel Mechanics in Maryland
As a state with a vibrant mixture of rural and urban regions, coupled with the presence of a number of important interstate highways, Maryland currently has a strong and growing need for qualified diesel mechanics.
Maryland’s dense population and expanding business community ensure that a wide range of commercial and private diesel powered vehicles are operating at all times within the state’s borders.
Currently, there are over 250,000 diesel mechanics in the United States. The rate of job growth is approximately nine percent between 2012 and 2022. In addition, attrition among already employed mechanics will see a need for replacement workers, further increasing job options for newly trained diesel mechanics.
Why Become a Diesel Mechanic
Currently, diesel mechanics enjoy excellent salary levels when compared to other professions with similar educational requirements. The annual median salary for diesel service technicians exceeds $42,000.
Experienced diesel repair technicians enjoy a somewhat higher level of pay with the top 10 percent receiving an annual median wage of over $63,000. In addition, many specialty fields, such as nautical engineering and locomotive repair, enjoy higher average levels of pay.
Diesel Mechanic Programs
There are a wide range of educational options for individuals seeking to become a diesel mechanic.
Although diesel mechanics are not licensed by Maryland, obtaining a formal education can be an excellent way for a diesel mechanic to improve his or her ability to obtain a high paying position.
Community colleges, vocational training schools and some adult education centers offer diesel mechanic programs. In addition, some businesses will provide on the job training in diesel repair technology to selected employees.
Diesel mechanic-training programs generally take between six months and two years to complete, depending on the nature of the program and the student’s schedule. These programs cover the basic aspects of diesel engine operation and repair, in addition to specific repair techniques for modern diesel engines. In some cases, a program may also allow its students to learn about drive trains, emission control systems and electronic diagnostic systems.
Many programs also allow the student to specialize in various types of engine repair, such as large commercial diesel engines or fixed diesel generators. This can be especially useful for those students who are seeking to enter a specialty field such as nautical engineering.
Distance Learning and Online Education Options
The increased popularity of the Internet has resulted in a growing number of schools offering online and distance learning options for their students. By doing so, a student can complete most of his or her coursework without having to be physically present at the school. This can be especially beneficial for those students who have limited mobility or who are currently working while completing their program.
However, some programs may require the student to be present for certain classes and examinations. For example, a course that includes a lab or garage component may mandate that all students participate in physical activities that cannot be completed online. For this reason, those students who are intending on completing an online program should check with the school administration in order to determine what classes or class sessions they must physically attend.
Some diesel engineering programs also offer internships for qualified students. An internship allows the student to work in a functioning garage or repair center while still receiving educational credits. In addition to obtaining a practical education in diesel repair techniques the student can also receive paid compensation for his or her labor.
Finally, a successful internship can be very beneficial when it comes to finding a career after the student has graduated from his or her program. In fact, many employers will offer a satisfactory intern permanent employment even before the intern has graduated from the school’s diesel engineering program.
On the Job Training
Although a rarer process than it was in the past, some employers still offer on the job training for individuals seeking to become a diesel mechanic. Individuals receiving on the job training provide those services that they are currently qualified to undertake while receiving training in advanced diesel engineering techniques. Eventually, the employee receives enough training to become a fully qualified diesel mechanic.
Many individuals prefer on the job training because they receive a salary during the entire process. This can be especially important for individuals who are currently supporting a family and are unable to take time off from work to attend a formal training program.
However, this type of training takes considerably longer to complete than a formal training program. In addition, on the job training can vary wildly in terms of its quality, especially if it is not a formally organized training program. Finally, later employers may be unwilling to hire an individual without any formal training. This can be especially serious if the company that provided the training has gone out of business and is thus unable to provide a reference.
Ultimately, becoming a diesel repair technician in Maryland can be an excellent choice for those individuals who are interested in working with their hands while receiving an excellent salary. Whether the candidate is just entering the job market after graduating from high school or is hoping to transition to a more rewarding career, becoming a diesel mechanic can be an excellent career decision.