Are you interested in the complexities & mechanics of engines? If engine grease on your hands doesn’t bother you then a career as a diesel mechanic might just be for you! 

What Does a Diesel Mechanic Do?

Diesel mechanics are highly specialized technicians who repair, maintain and inspect all sorts of diesel engines. A diesel mechanic is capable of working in diverse environments such as, auto repair shops, garages, dealerships, companies and shipping yards etc. Even though, a diesel mechanic’s work varies for each work setting, some of their usual job requirements include:

  • Diagnosing engine problems and inspecting engine parts.
  • Changing engine oil and replacing broken and old parts.
  • Cleaning and maintaining engine systems.

How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Illinois

Residents of Illinois who want to work as a diesel mechanic have various options of educational degrees. Numerous universities and colleges in Illinois are offering different programs in this field. For instance, many colleges offer a 1-year certificate, a 2-year associate’s degree and a 4-year bachelor’s degree. These programs are tailored to provide students with hands on experience in the field in combination with an accredited degree. This mode of teaching allows them to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exams after graduation.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Illinois?

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you begin your career as a diesel mechanic in Illinois.

  1. Complete a high school degree or get a GED certificate.
  2. Obtain a 1-year certification or a 2-year associate’s degree.
  3. Get hands on experience in the field through internships or traineeships.
  4. Pass the ASE exam to get a state issued license.

The job of a diesel mechanic requires them to have the following skill set.

  • Mathematic skills:Since diesel mechanics do basic calculations and measurements every day, they need to have strong mathematical skills.
  • Technical & analytical abilities: All diesel mechanics need to be up to date with modern-day technology which is used to repair engines. They must be quick to figure out issues.
  • Patience & willingness to learn:Working with complex engines is very challenging and requires patience. Frequent technological changes in the engines requires diesel mechanics to be willing to learn on the go.
  • Communication skills: Effortless teamwork requires diesel mechanics to have excellent communication skills.

 

What Certification Do I Need to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Illinois?

Several certifications are offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)to diesel mechanic in the following areas:

  • School & Transit Bus Maintenance.
  • Truck Equipment.
  • Heavy/Medium Trucks.

All applicants must have at least 2 years of relevant work experience if they wish to get the ASE certification/license.

 

How Much Can I Make as a Diesel Mechanic in Illinois?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the annual mean income of Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 as:

2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary(IL) $49,050 $52,630 $53,290
Annual Mean Salary (US) $46,710 $48,000 $49,150

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

The above-mentioned income chart shows a gradual and stable increase in the annual mean salary of Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists in Illinois from 2016 to 2018. The salaries for Illinois were higher than the national salaries as well.