The Benefits of Becoming a Diesel Mechanic in Texas Becoming a diesel mechanic in Texas can be an wise choice for those individuals seeking to enter a field with excellent job security and wage options.
This is especially true given the rising need for commercial transport in America, most of which is powered by diesel engines.
The Importance of Diesel Engines in America
Diesel engines are a vital part of America’s transport and energy infrastructure and are used for a wide range of purposes. These include the following common applications:
- Commercial trucks and construction vehicles.
- Buses and other mass transit systems.
- Various types of shipping.
- Diesel engines provide emergency power for vital facilities such as hospitals and government buildings.
- Power for facilities that are not connected to the national power grid.
- Personal vehicles, including cars, trucks and motor homes.
- Small diesel engines are used in a variety of equipment, ranging from chainsaws to portable refrigerators.
Diesel mechanics can be employed in facilities ranging from small family-owned shops to the maintenance facilities for large corporations. Because of this wide range of employment opportunities, diesel mechanics enjoy excellent job options and can easily find a job anywhere in the United States.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) currently estimates that there are over 242,000 diesel mechanics who are currently employed in America.
Furthermore, the BLS estimates that this number will increase by at least 15 percent by 2020. When coupled with attrition in the field due to workers retiring, which shows that job opportunities for new diesel mechanics will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the BLS estimates that the annual median wage for diesel repair mechanics is nearly $41,000.
This compares extremely favorably with the wages earned by other fields with similar educational requirements. Because of this high rate of pay, diesel mechanics can enjoy a very pleasant lifestyle.
Becoming a Diesel Mechanic
Currently, Texas does not require any certification or licensure for diesel mechanics. Because of this, there are a number of ways for a diesel mechanic to enter the workforce.
The most common methods include the following:
- Entering a formal diesel mechanic program.
- Entering an apprenticeship.
- Learning the trade while working at a garage.
Formal Diesel Mechanic Training Programs
A wide range of schools currently offers formal programs in diesel repair. Depending on what is covered, these programs can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.
In most cases, these programs are offered by vocational schools or community colleges. When attending them, the student will learn about the following subjects:
- The theory behind the operation of diesel engines.
- How to effectively diagnose diesel engine malfunctions, including the use of modern electronic diagnostic equipment.
- Working with modern fuel injection and electronic starter equipment.
- How ancillary systems, such as the drive train and exhaust system, interact with diesel engines.
In some cases, a program may allow the student to specialize in some aspect of diesel repair, such as working on boat engines or small diesel engines. Upon graduation, the student will be awarded an associate’s degree, or in some cases, a certificate of completion. In addition to full-time students, most programs also accept part-time students.
This allows individuals who are currently working or raising a family to attend school on a schedule that is suited to their unique needs. In some cases, the student may be able to attend classes online, which can drastically reduce the need to physically travel to the school. However, some courses may require that the student be physically present at the school.
Students considering online or distance learning options should discuss their schedule with the school administration in order to ensure that they are fully aware of any classes that will require their physical presence.
Selection of Diesel Mechanic Schools In Texas
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Some businesses will hire employees who are either not formally trained in diesel repair or who have graduated from a program but do not yet have any work experience. These employers often train the worker themselves, either in a formal setting or during the employee’s regular work. As the employee becomes better able to carry out the duties of a diesel mechanic, he or she is granted more responsibilities, until they are considered fully trained employees.
These programs can vary widely from employer to employer. In some cases, the employee will receive a lower salary until he or she is considered fully trained. Additionally, many employers make the successful completion of any training a requirement for continued employment.
On the Job Training
A less formal form of apprenticeship, on the job training is most commonly found in smaller repair garages. Here, an individual is trained by the currently employed diesel mechanics, usually in an informal manner. Eventually, the employee gains the skill needed to start working on diesel engines as a fully trained employee. Although once common, this form of training is currently less popular than a formal education.
Few garages have the time to fully train their workers and later employers may be unwilling to hire an individual who has little or no formal training in his or her job history. For this reason, even individuals who are being currently trained on the job should strongly consider entering a formal diesel mechanic program.
By becoming a Texas diesel mechanic, an individual can enter a field that offers excellent professional and personal benefits. Because this field is so important to America’s economy, it is likely to remain strong even in the face of economic downturns, making it an extremely dependable source of income.
This is especially true as the drive for improved fuel economy forces businesses and private individuals alike to regularly maintain their vehicles.
Because of these factors, a career as a diesel mechanic can be an excellent choice, both for a newly graduated student and a currently employed individual who is now seeking to enter a more rewarding field. For these individuals, obtaining a high quality education in this field can be the first step to a drastically improved professional life.