Becoming a Diesel Engine Mechanic in Rhode Island
Modern diesel engines currently play a vital role in America’s transportation sector. Commercial trucks, locomotives and diesel-powered ships transport the vast majority of American products from the factory or farm to retail stores.
In addition, many Americans own diesel powered passenger vehicles, sports vehicles, yard work equipment and generators. For this reason, diesel mechanics are finding their services in greater demand than ever before.
Individuals who are interested in a rewarding profession with excellent salary and professional advancement options are increasingly choosing to become diesel mechanics in Rhode Island.
Diesel Mechanic Employment Options
Qualified diesel mechanics currently enjoy a wide range of professional opportunities in America. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) currently estimates that there are over 250,000 diesel engine specialists currently working in America. By 2022, the BLS estimates that this number will have increased by at least nine percent.
However, the BLS estimates regarding diesel engine specialists do not tell the whole story. In fact, over 68,000 individuals work on small engines in America, which usually includes training in how to maintain and repair small diesel engines. In addition, nautical and locomotive engineers must be skilled in working on the large diesel engines that power these vehicles.
For that reason, the field of diesel engine repair and maintenance includes a wide range of job opportunities that are not directly tied to the repair of commercial and private diesel powered vehicles.
In addition, diesel engines are more durable than conventional gasoline engines and are also tolerant of a wider variety of fuel blends. Furthermore, the increased emphasis on environmentally friendly fuels such as biodiesel blends is likely to see the diesel engine become even more popular among private owners. In turn, the rise in the number of privately owned diesel engines will increase the demand for qualified neighborhood diesel mechanics.
Why Become a Diesel Mechanic?
There are a number of reasons to become a trained diesel mechanic in Rhode Island. It is possible to become a professional diesel mechanic soon after graduating from high school. This can allow individuals to quickly establish themselves in the work force. In addition, due to the growing demand for diesel mechanics, this field will continue to provide stable employment options to new and experienced mechanics alike.
Finally, diesel mechanics have a very competitive salary when compared to other professions with similar educational requirements. The BLS estimates that the annual median wage for American diesel mechanics was over $42,000 in 2012 and that mechanic wage increases will continue to keep pace with or exceed the rate of inflation. For this reason, becoming a diesel mechanic can be an excellent choice for those individuals who wish to become financially secure.
How to Become a Diesel Mechanic
Currently, there is no federal or state mandated licensure requirement for diesel mechanics. In the past, most mechanics received on the job training, rather than attending a professional training program.
However, the growing complexity of diesel engines, coupled with the need for well-trained employees has resulted in a preference among employers for formally trained diesel mechanics.
Diesel Mechanic Programs
Diesel mechanic programs are offered by a wide range of institutions, including vocational training centers and community colleges. The program’s length will depend on the institution and whether or not the student is taking other classes that are not directly related to his diesel-engineering program. For example, students who are seeking an associate’s degree from a community college will generally take longer to complete the program than a student attending a vocational training center.
What do Diesel Mechanic Programs Include?
Individuals attending a diesel mechanic program will be trained in how to properly maintain, repair and examine diesel engines. This training will generally include the following subjects:
- The engineering principles of diesel engines.
- How to use computer diagnostic and repair equipment on diesel engines.
- How to tune and adjust diesel engines to ensure that they are functioning properly.
- How to monitor and repair diesel engine emission control systems.
- In addition, all students will receive training in basic mechanical repair techniques.
In addition, some programs may include other subjects of interest to diesel mechanics. A common example is training in how to handle emission control systems in order to ensure that the vehicle complies with federal and state emission guidelines.
These guidelines can vary from state to state, making it important that the student be aware of the specific environmental regulations regarding diesel engines in his or her state.
In addition to attending the program in person, many schools currently offer online programs. These programs allow the student to study via the Internet at their own pace.
Completing an online program can be very useful for an individual who is unable to travel to school or who currently has job and family obligations that make attending a regularly scheduled program impossible.
However, some online programs may mandate that the student be physically present for some hands on instruction and test sessions.
For this reason, anyone intending to take an online program should verify if and when he or she must be physically present with the school administration.
Part Time Programs
Most programs also offer a part time schedule for those students who are unable to attend on a full time basis. Part time classes are also commonly scheduled on the weekends and evenings to accommodate those individuals who are currently employed. This scheduling can be especially beneficial for those students who must continue to work while attending classes.
Ultimately, becoming a Rhode Island diesel mechanic can be an excellent choice for those individuals who wish to enter a growing field that presents promising job and salary options. Whether the intent is to work at a small local garage or to seek employment at a major dealership repair center, diesel mechanics enjoy a high degree of satisfaction in their field.
By becoming a diesel mechanic, whether as an individual’s first post-graduation career or by transitioning from a less-rewarding job, the prospective mechanic will find that he or she has made a wise career decision.