Diesel mechanics are a vital component of the commerce and trucking industries, troubleshooting and repairing diesel-powered vehicles.
Individuals who wish to enter the mechanic industry need to have good mechanical aptitude, troubleshoot mechanical problems, and understand the inner workings of diesel engines.
With so many career opportunities available for diesel mechanics, individuals can specialize in a particular sector of the mechanic industry to find a position at a top-paying job.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diesel mechanics who have recently graduated from college can make a mean salary of $40,850 annually, which averages out to $19.64 per hour.
The majority of jobs available to diesel mechanics are at private companies, but 11 percent work for the government.
Depending on the educational training and on-the-job experience, individuals can find employment in various industries, and the more training and certifications they earn, the higher paying the job will be.
The following industries are among the top-paying industries in the nation that hire on specially certified diesel mechanics.
1. Deep Sea, Great Lakes, and Coastal Water Transportation
Marine diesel mechanics work on repairing, servicing, and adjusting the various components on diesel-powered engines for saltwater and freshwater environments, maintaining ships that transport people and cargo over the water.
Water transportation crafts can travel to foreign, domestic, coastal, Great Lakes, and inland waterway ports.
Most employers prefer hiring those who have earned an associate’s degree and special certification in this field, such as the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and the Merchant Marine Credential (MMC).
To find a top-paying position in this industry, diesel mechanics need to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of marine electrical circuits, welding in marine environments, and marine power trains.
The BLS reports that diesel mechanics who are hired on by deep sea, Great Lakes, and coastal water transportation services can make upwards of $79,250 annually, which pays approximately $38.10 per hour.
2. Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)
Also known as a farm equipment engine mechanic, diesel mechanics who work in the Federal Executive Branch diagnose, repair, adjust, and overhaul buses, trucks, and other diesel-powered vehicles.
Some of the primary duties a diesel mechanic will face include the inspection and repair of brakes, engines, chassis, steering mechanisms, wheel bearings, and engines. Employers in this industry require mechanics to be comfortable with jacks and hoists, power wrenches, welding and flame-cutting machines, and computerized testing devices.
Many employment postings show that employers prefer to hire only candidates who have a minimum of three years of experience, formal educational training, and a valid commercial driver’s license.
The BLS states that about 60 diesel mechanics work for the Federal Executive Branch, and they make an annual mean salary of $68,800, which averages out to an hourly wage of $33.08.
3. Express Delivery and Courier Services
With employment opportunities available in non-metropolitan and metropolitan regions across the United States, diesel mechanics troubleshoot, repair, and overhaul diesel-powered engines on courier service vehicles.
In order to obtain a higher paying position in this field, diesel mechanics need to earn an associate’s degree in diesel technology and the necessary certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
According to the BLS, approximately 5,030 diesel mechanics are employed by express delivery and courier services. Diesel mechanics who work in this industry can make a mean salary of $59,740 annually, which averages out to an hourly wage of $28.72.
Diesel mechanics who work in this industry can make a mean salary of $59,740 annually, which averages out to an hourly wage of $28.72.
4. Electric Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Services
Under the general supervision of a manager, diesel mechanics who work in the electric power generation, distribution, and transmission industry may be required to perform various tasks, depending on the position.
Mechanics maintain, diagnose, and repair various equipment, such as diesel engines, drive train components, transmissions, winches, centrifugal pumps, high-pressure pumps, hydraulic systems, mobile/overhead cranes, pneumatic systems, and various other heavy machinery.
Most companies in this industry prefer individuals to either have a degree in diesel technology or have previous relevant work experience, which ensures the mechanic understands how to perform the necessary preventative maintenance, inspection, and troubleshooting that is required by the corporation and government entities.
Many employers prefer hiring those who have had additional training in plant maintenance, welding, or mobile equipment repair.
The BLS reports that diesel mechanics who work for an electric power generation company can make upwards of $59,450 per year, averaging out to approximately $28.58 per hour. At this time, about 1,880 diesel mechanics are employed in this industry.
5. Scientific Research and Development Services
With alternative fuel machinery and vehicles becoming increasing popular in today’s work environment, diesel mechanics who have years of experience can find a position at a scientific research and development site.
Employers prefer hiring mechanics with a relevant educational background in engineering, which prepares the mechanic for the research and development that goes into building new, more efficient vehicles and engines.
According to a recent report issued by the BLS, approximately 60 diesel mechanics are employed in the scientific research and development industry. With this industry being one of the top-paying ones in the country, diesel mechanics can make a mean salary of $59,310 per year, which averages out to an hourly wage of $28.52.
With an expected employment increase of 15 percent by the year 2020, individuals who wish to become diesel mechanics need to first earn a degree in diesel technology to prepare them for the job requirements and physical labor that goes with being a diesel mechanic.
Specializing in a specific sector of the industry and earning the relevant certifications will increases the chances of a diesel mechanic being employed by one of the top-paying industries in the country.
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