Diesel engine repair and maintenance is becoming trickier and complex as the engines being manufactured today use advanced electronic control systems. Thus, employers are on a constant lookout for qualified and certified diesel mechanics who can identify engine issues and resolve them effectively.If you enjoy working with engines, then you might want to join this line of work. Take a look at this informative article and learn how to become a diesel mechanic in New York.

What Does a Diesel Mechanic Do?

Diesel mechanics typically perform the following tasks:

  • Inspect parts of the engine.
  • Identify engine and mechanical problems.
  • Perform basic maintenance and care such as cleaning engines and batteries, checking fluid levels, changing oil and maintaining engine parts.
  • Ensure that diesel engines conform to federal and local pollution standards.

The Procedure of Becoming a Diesel Mechanic in New York

The route to becoming a diesel mechanic in New York involves the following steps:

  1. Get a High School Diploma or a GED

The first step to become a diesel mechanic is to obtain a high school diploma or a GED, which will prepare you to enter a vocational training school.

  1. Enroll in an Accredited Diesel Mechanic Program

After completing high school, you can enroll in a certificate program or an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) in Diesel Service Technology, Automotive Services Technology, or Heavy Duty Diesel Service Technology. You must make sure that these programs are accredited by well-reputed organizations such as the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) or the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

These programs enable students to study the fundamentals of preventive maintenance and operation of heavy duty diesel systems. The coursework covers topics like Engine Performance, Suspension and Steering, Heating and Air-conditioning, and Manual Drive Trains.

  1. Obtain Your Commercial Driver’s License and Look for Work

In order to operate large vehicles, you will need a Class B commercial driver’s license. You will have to meet the following criteria before you can get this license:

  • You must be 18 years old.
  • Must have a valid regular driving license.
  • Must clear a written test.
  • Must pass a driving test.

After getting the license, you can start looking for work.

  1. Keep Your Skills Updated by Obtaining Certifications

After working for a couple of years in the industry, you can apply for technical certifications. You can get certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. To retain your ASE certification, you will be required to retest every 5 years. The certification exams are quite challenging, so you will have to work very hard to pass them.

Requirements to Become a Diesel Mechanic in New York

In order to become a diesel mechanic, you will have to fulfill the below mentioned criteria:

  • You must hold a high school diploma or a GED along with an associate’s degree/certificate in Diesel Service or Automotive Service Technology.
  • Must hold a commercial driver’s license.
  • Must possess the following skills and qualities:
    • Problem solving and troubleshooting skills.
    • Mechanical skills.
    • Dexterity and strength.
    • Attention to detail.
    • Communication skills.
    • Interpersonal Skills.

How Much Does a Diesel Mechanic Make in New York?

The career prospects for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists look bright as per the data shared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In May 2018, these professionals made an annual mean salary of $55,340 in New York. This is much higher than the national average of $49,150.

Salary Trend of Diesel Mechanics

The salary data of Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists for the past two years is stated below:

2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary (NY) $53,190 $54,950 $55,340
Annual Mean Salary (US) $46,710 $48,000 $49,150

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The table shows that the annual mean wage of bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists in New York followed an upward trend from 2016 to 2018. The data also shows that the state averages are higher than the national averages, thus indicating that there are lucrative employment opportunities available for these professionals in New York.