One of the higher-paying jobs in the automotive repair industry is the diesel mechanic and technician. These highly skilled mechanics work with the complexities of diesel engines for cars, buses, and trucks that run on powerful diesel fuel.
As a diesel mechanic and technician, you would be responsible for repairing and maintaining diesel engines. You’ll need to know the common problems and failures of these machines and their most straightforward solutions. You can either work in a larger garage or start a diesel servicing shop of your own.
Before starting on the path to any job, it’s crucial to research that occupation’s future. Diesel mechanics are among the more stable fields in the United States, with no projected job loss from 2019 to 2029. In fact, experts expect career employment to grow by 3% during this time.
The outlook of the diesel mechanic industry is dependent on the shipment of freight across the country. Freight is a term for goods shipped from one place to another. One of the primary methods for shipping freight in the U.S. is through diesel-powered trucks. More freight means more diesel trucks which means more diesel mechanics.
How Do I Become a Diesel Mechanic
The best employment opportunity for diesel mechanics is after secondary education. It is possible to get a job with just a high school technical certificate, but the competition is much greater. Because of this, we have outlined the process to include secondary school.
Finish High School or Get a GED
Most automotive shops want employees who have at least a high school education. The fundamental skills you learn in high school might not have much to do with cars, but they prove you are competent enough to follow instructions and work with others.
Having a high school diploma will also make you eligible for secondary education programs. Automotive certification courses all require a GED or high school diploma and will not accept applicants who have neither.
Join a High School Technical Training Program
A high school technical program consists of classes for students who want to learn specialized industries like plumbing, electronics, automotive work, and much more. Typically, these programs allow students to exempt themselves from the classical high school curriculum to get a head start on the careers they plan to pursue after high school.
While not all high schools offer these programs, they are a great way to jumpstart your career in diesel mechanics, especially if you don’t plan on going to secondary school. Most car repair shops are concerned about the experience. You can get a lot of that experience through one of these technical programs.
All states in the U.S. have secondary education schools for auto mechanics. You can find a long list of auto mechanic schools throughout the country here. It’s advantageous to have graduated from a diesel mechanic program from a reputable school or program to become a diesel mechanic.
A certificate program in diesel mechanics and technology will cost anywhere between $1000 - $5000 and last around six months. This is the typical cost for a program outside of a university and can become more or less expensive depending on the state where you take the program.
Pursuing a diesel certificate at a college is a lot more expensive. Diesel mechanic associate degrees can cost between $10,000-$30,000. Leading diesel service repair shops often look for candidates certified for working with a specific brand. Having a certificate for Ford, Peterbilt, or another big company will give you an edge over other applicants.
How Much Do Diesel Mechanics Make?
Diesel mechanics make more money than standard mechanics. Their pay is heavily dependent upon their experience and training. The average wage for diesel technicians is a little more than $50,000 a year. The lowest-paid was a little less than $33,000 a year, and the highest was about $72,000.
The amount diesel technicians and mechanics get paid also depends on the industry where they work. The highest-paid industry is for government contracts. After that, it’s wholesale trade followed by auto maintenance and repair. Finally, diesel mechanics in the truck transportation industry make the least money.
Are Requirements Different from State to State?
There is no difference in the requirements for diesel mechanics from state to state. Overall, auto shops are more concerned about the experience and the ability to work with the machines. Being more educated gives you a better chance at getting a high-paying job earlier in your career.
Should an Aspiring Diesel Mechanic Take the Automotive Service Excellence Exam?
Taking and passing the Automotive Service Excellence Exam will improve your chances of getting a job as a diesel mechanic. It will also make you eligible for higher-paying positions. Like secondary education and brand certificate, it is not necessary to find work.
Is There a Difference Between a Diesel Mechanic and Diesel Technician?
A mechanic specifically focuses on making repairs while a technician will do work with technical equipment. Both of these tasks are required of people working in an auto shop on diesel products. So, while they might be technically different, both fall under the same job description, and shop owners expect people in this field to be adept in both.
What’s the Career Progression for a Diesel Mechanic and Technician
Diesel mechanics follow a similar career path to most jobs in an auto repair shop. Depending on the size of the shop, you can move up to management positions where you will oversee other mechanics’ work. You can also work for specific brands and help them solve problems with their products.
One of the most common advancements for a mechanic’s career is to open their own auto shop. If you’ve had specific training in diesel, then maybe you’ll want to open a garage that caters to diesel vehicles.
Consider a Career As A Diesel Mechanic
If you’re passionate about automobiles and want to make more money than the average mechanic, then a career as a diesel mechanic is right for you. Remember that furthering your education can only help your cause and which industries are the most profitable.
Interested in learning more? Look at the open diesel mechanic and technician jobs here at job.com