Diesel mechanics play a vital role in maintaining the trucking industry, which impacts business throughout the country. Without diesel trucks, corporations would not be able to supply stores with the necessary goods and raw materials that keep the economy running.
Diesel mechanics maintain the trucks by checking engine parts and repairing vital systems, including the electrical, suspension, and brake systems. The mechanic needs to be able to communicate with drivers to ensure the trucks are in optimal running condition.
Aspiring diesel mechanics need to obtain the necessary educational and on-the-job training in order to find the right job position.
In order to enroll in a diesel mechanic program at a college or institution, individuals need to have their high school diploma or a GED. Some schools even require students to pass certain high school courses, including two years of science and math as well as four years of English.
Many employers prefer to hire individuals who have earned a degree as a diesel mechanic, and aspiring mechanics can choose between an Associate of Science degree in diesel technology or Bachelor of Science degree in Diesel Technology. Aspiring diesel mechanics will learn how to:
- Diagnose mechanical malfunctions
- Develop repair plans
- Manage engine service
Earning an associate’s degree requires two years of educational courses at a technical, community, or vocational college, which covers the different techniques and practical skills needed to troubleshoot and repair damages to diesel-powered vehicles. Most schools teach students the necessary skills to become a diesel mechanic in a garage or lab environment, and coursework includes:
- Fuel systems
- Diesel engine technology
- Electrical systems
- Power transmissions
For those who are seeking to further their education as a diesel mechanic, some diesel mechanic schools in Mississippi offer bachelor’s degree programs for diesel technology. Aspiring mechanics will get an education in natural sciences, mathematics, and humanities while learning diesel repair techniques and methods.
Bachelor’s degrees allow students to seek a position as a manager in the mechanical field. Some programs require students to obtain theoretical and practical training for diesel engines, including courses in:
- Diesel engines labs
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- Diesel fuel systems
- Diesel electrical systems
- Diesel shop management
- Heavy duty automatics
Diesel Mechanic Certifications
Aspiring mechanics are not required to earn special certification in order to find a good-paying position. For those who wish to stand out among the competition, seeking national certification through the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) offers an extra edge to their resume. The ASE provides certification in steering systems, brakes, preventive maintenance, and electrical systems.
As of May 2010, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports that diesel mechanics can earn a median pay of $40,850 annually, which is approximately $19.64 per hour. Data shows that employment is expected to increase by 15 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Diesel mechanics who have earned their associate’s degree can find a position as a:
- Diesel mechanic
- Heavy truck technician
- Fuel systems specialist
- Diesel engine manufacturer
- Diesel service manager
A career as a diesel mechanic is both exciting and challenging. If you’re looking to take that next step and get the proper training you need, take a minute or two and search for diesel mechanic schools near your home.