Although the American diesel repair field provides abundant employment opportunities for diesel mechanics, there are other options available to individuals who wish to seek employment outside of the United States.
In fact, working in a foreign nation can open a wide range of opportunities for new and experienced diesel mechanics alike.
The Foreign Diesel Engine Market
Traditionally, diesel engines have been far more popular for passenger vehicles outside of the United States. In addition, many commercial vehicles and industrial processes make use of diesel engines of varying types.
For this reason, numerous foreign nations have a strong demand for qualified diesel mechanics. However, working in a foreign nation requires a considerable amount of preparation and research in order to ensure a successful career.
Places to Work
Currently, there are a wide variety of foreign employment options. Most of these positions are well compensated and offer excellent benefits. Depending on the area, the employer may be a private company, the foreign nation itself or an American government agency such as the Department of Defense.
A common source of employment for diesel mechanics is working at remote mining and industrial locations. These sites require skilled mechanics to maintain their vehicles and any diesel powered generators that are used by the facility. Finally, these sites are often largely inaccessible, and some sites can only be reached by helicopter.
Nautical diesel engines have largely replaced steam engines as a power source for merchant and passenger ships. For this reason, both domestic and foreign-flagged ships commonly have a need for skilled diesel mechanics. However, it is important to note that working as a nautical diesel engineer may require training in seamanship in order to ensure that the employee can safely perform his or her duties while at sea.
Many government agencies currently have a need for skilled diesel mechanics. Currently, the Department of Defense employees a wide range of civilian contractors in a variety of nations. In addition, other agencies with foreign interests often choose to staff their sites with American employees.
Employees working for a government agency may be directly employed by that agency or may be employed by a contractor. Depending on the agency, the employee may be required to pass a security check as a condition of his or her employment.
Foreign Work Requirements
In many cases, the diesel mechanic’s employer will handle the legal aspects of working in a foreign nation. However, the diesel mechanic should always ensure that he or she understands the legal issues surrounding his or her employment. Failure to do so could see the mechanic being deported from his or her host nation.
Not only would this result in the mechanic losing his or her job, but it would also expose the mechanic to the possibility of serious financial penalties.
One important part of working outside the United States is to ensure that the employee complies with all relevant visa requirements. In most cases, the nation’s embassy or consulate can provide all the information that the diesel mechanic will need. However, visa requirements can change quickly so anyone seeking employment outside of the United States should be certain to verify that any information they have is current.
In most cases, a diesel mechanic will have to obtain a work visa. Every nation has its own standards and requirements for such visas. Generally, a work visa is limited in duration and must be periodically renewed. Foreign governments may place other restrictions on the mechanic including residency and travel restrictions.
In addition, most work visas will be rendered invalid if their holder engages in any unlawful activities while residing in the host nation. Depending on the nation, these activities may include political speech, photographing military or government facilities and associating with banned political groups. For this reason, a diesel mechanic should always carefully research the host nation’s current legal and political situation.
Finally, diesel mechanics should consider the domestic situation in the nation where they are working. Many nations suffer from criminal or political disorder that can pose a threat to the employee’s welfare. For this reason, a diesel mechanic should consult with his or her employer and the State Department regarding potential hazards at his or her worksite.
Qualifications for Foreign Employment
In order to secure employment in a foreign nation, a diesel mechanic must be highly qualified. In most cases, a potential employer desires an employee who is skilled, able to work without direct supervision and who can present a positive company image to the host nation. Diesel mechanics working for government agencies such as the Department of Defense must be able to pass stringent security and background examinations.
Most employers demand that a potential employee have been formally trained as a diesel mechanic at an accredited institution and have a large amount of work experience. When considering employees for specialized positions such as nautical engineering, the employer will check to see if the candidate’s qualifications are suited to the desired specialty.
Anyone intending to work in a foreign nation should be certain to clearly document his or her educational and work experience. In addition, training at a facility that has been accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) can dramatically improve an individual’s chances of finding employment in this field.
Individuals who are bilingual, especially if they understand the local language, have a great advantage when seeking employment in a foreign nation.
Bilingual workers can dramatically improve a company’s ability to successfully interact with the host nation. In addition, employees who understand the local language will find themselves able to effectively interact with the host nation’s citizens.
Ultimately, working in a foreign nation can be a financially and personally rewarding experience. Foreign workers enjoy excellent financial benefits while also being able to interact with their guest nation’s citizens.
In fact, a successful term of employment in a foreign nation can open a wide range of foreign and domestic professional opportunities for the employee.