The demand for diesel-powered vehicles in the commerce industry is on the rise throughout the United States. Due to the reliability and improved fuel economy of diesel-powered vehicles, the majority of the shipping needs through the country today are handled by diesel engines.
As the economy evolves into a global marketplace, more and more companies are utilizing diesel-powered vehicles to ship goods from one corner of the world to another.
Certified diesel mechanics play an essential role in servicing and maintaining these vehicles, and companies throughout North Carolina are actively searching for diesel mechanics who have earned their certification or degree in diesel technology to fill vacant job openings.
Before an individual can enroll in a diesel technology program in North Carolina, most vocational institutes, and community colleges have certain prerequisites that applicants must meet before they can register.
The most common prerequisite is that applicants must have already earned their GED or high school diploma before enrolling.
Some community colleges have stricter prerequisites, requiring future students to have completed s minimum of two years of high school math and science as well as four years of high school English.
While the demand is high for diesel mechanics in North Carolina, companies still require job applicants to show some competency in this field of expertise.
One way for individuals to stand out from other applicants is to earn a certificate or degree in diesel technology.
Some companies have taken a proactive approach and will offer certification courses for newly hired employees. The majority of companies require future diesel mechanics to hold a degree before they start working, but some may accept a certificate in diesel technology as an adequate substitute.
Individuals who decide to pursue their associate or bachelor’s degree in diesel technology open doors for potential advancement opportunities down the road.
Individuals looking to earn their Associate of Science in Diesel Technology should expect to take two to three years of full-time classes to graduate while those seeking their Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology should plan on allotting four to five years on educational training.
Before getting started, students need to verify that their community college or vocational school is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), which is the gold standard among hiring employers.
The associate’s degree program in diesel technology provides a balance between schooling and entering the workforce as quickly as possible. This program provides its students with the hands-on training they need to thrive as diesel mechanics, teaching them how to properly diagnose and repair diesel engines.
- Fuel systems
- Electrical systems
- Diesel engine technology
- Heavy duty brakes
- Power trains
- Power transmissions
- AC systems
Students looking to potentially have a career in a management role with future employers should enroll in the bachelor’s degree program in diesel technology, which will give them an extra competitive edge.
This program digs deeper into the inner components of a diesel engine, teaching students the core fundamentals and methodologies of diesel repair techniques.
Students complete a variety of general coursework, including subjects in natural sciences and humanities. Courses for this program can also cover:
- AC and heating systems
- Heavy duty automatics
- Diesel fuel systems
- Diesel shop management
- Welding theory
- Diesel engines lab
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- Diesel electrical systems
Certification in North Carolina
While the state of North Carolina does not require diesel mechanics to earn their certification, most employers will require that applicants for vacant positions be certified prior to employment.
To prove their dedication to the field of diesel technology, individuals can pursue a special certification offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which certifies the diesel mechanic in electrical systems, steering systems, preventative maintenance, and brakes.
Diesel mechanics who obtain this certification increase their chances of landing a higher paid position as well as their chances of receiving a promotion down the road.
Based on recent research conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), North Carolina currently employs 5,930 diesel mechanics, with the average salary being $40,740 a year.
The BLS reports that the outlook for this career industry is better than the national employment average, with employment growth expected to hit 15 percent by 2020.
This predicted increase will add another 35,200 diesel mechanic jobs across the United States, and some of the employment opportunities available to certified diesel mechanics include:
- Commercial Fleet Mechanics: National shipping companies are logging more miles than ever before, meaning that more time must be spent servicing the shipping vehicles. Diesel mechanics will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of these diesel-powered vehicles.
- Local Garages: Both small and large diesel repair shops will need to hire on new diesel mechanics to help keep up with the demand. Most of the work at local garages will involve the repair of third-party diesel vehicles and successful customer interaction with the clients.
- On-site Diesel Mechanics: Large companies that have a number of diesel-powered engines or generators will have diesel mechanics on staff to service and repair the engines in case of failure.
As the need for diesel-powered vehicles continues to increase, so will the demand for certified diesel mechanics to repair and maintain those vehicles.
Companies throughout North Carolina are already having a difficult time finding the certified diesel mechanics they need to fill their open job positions.
Individuals who wish to capitalize on the faster-than-average growth and job security of the diesel mechanic industry should consider enrolling in a diesel technology certificate or degree program today.