Steps to Become a Diesel Mechanic
Most heavy vehicles and machinery are dependent on diesel engines. Commercial generators, lifters, tractors, buses, trucks all run on diesel engines. This means that diesel mechanics are important people for many employers. This guide will help you if you are interested in learning more about the steps needed to become a diesel mechanic.
Diesel Mechanic Roles
- Identifying any and all problems in diesel engines and making efforts to rectify them
- Maintenance, repairing, testing and overhauling of different types of diesel engines
- Finding any fault codes and doing what needs to be done to fix them
- Assessing all types of diesel engines by running various diagnostic tests
- Ensuring proper care and maintenance of all parts of a diesel engine. These include transmission, plugs, cylinders, etc
- Keeping all engine service records properly maintained and up to date
Diesel Mechanic Requirements
To start working as a diesel mechanic, you need to have attained legal adulthood (18 years of age). Also, you will need to complete a high school diploma or its equivalent GED (General Educational Development).
Steps to Become a Diesel Mechanic
- Get a high school diploma or equivalent GED certificate
Having a high school diploma or a GED certificate is the minimum educational qualification needed to enter the field.
- Specialist post-secondary diesel mechanic education and training
Once you turn 18 and have completed high school, you can enroll into any of a number of certificate and associate’s degree programs available. The best ones provide rigorous coursework and practical training in diesel engineering, diesel technology, automotive mechanics and other related areas.
- Start work
After you are done with your chosen specialized diesel mechanic education program, you will be able to enter the industry as an entry-level diesel mechanic. As you add more skills to your armory and gain more experience in the field, you will be able to grow in your career by taking on roles with more challenging work and greater responsibility.
Working as an apprentice has its perks in the long run but you do not have to go for it if you do not want to. If you work as an apprentice, you can learn valuable new skills that most professionals in your field are not likely to possess. You will also be able to pursue more rewarding career opportunities.
You will not need a diesel mechanic certification to work in most states in America. However, a certification will result in better career growth and more financially rewarding employment opportunities.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence confers the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) license/certification on diesel mechanics. You will need to qualify their assessment in order to be eligible for it.
Time Taken to Become a Diesel Mechanic
If you start working right after high school, then you will learn everything on the job by working under the mentorship of senior diesel mechanics. This will take around 2 to 4 years. On the other hand, obtaining specialized education before starting work is likely to take between 6 months and 2 years.
Diesel Mechanic Salary
Diesel service technicians and mechanics had an annual median wage of $47,350 as of May 2018. The corresponding hourly pay packet comes to $22.76. This is according to the information collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Job Growth and Career Outlook for Diesel Mechanics
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that diesel service technicians and mechanics will be able to benefit from a 9% job growth from 2016 to 2026. This growth rate is similar to that expected for most occupations.