As a diesel mechanic, you work hard, and you get dirty; but, that’s all in a day’s work. The bigger the vehicle you’re working on, the better. Buses, trucks, and basically any other type of automobile that runs on diesel fuel are your patients, and you couldn’t be more satisfied than when you’re operating on them.
- You look over the work order, determine the scope of work, and consult with the customer.
- You use charts and manuals to plot out the necessary repairs.
- You inspect the parts, from the hood to bumper.
- You may need to use a checklist to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
- You use diagnostic testing to figure out what’s going on with the vehicle.
- Anything that’s damaged you either repair or replace.
- Most often, you’ll be doing basic maintenance, whether it’s an oil change or replacing fluids, and rotating the tires.
- Once you’ve made the necessary repairs, you test drive the vehicle to make sure you did the outstanding job you’re known for.
How do I become a certified diesel mechanic?
You can’t just walk into a garage and demand to be hired. There’s a process to becoming a qualified diesel mechanic. So yes, while it’s true that many diesel mechanics have learned the trade through on-the-job training in the past, nowadays, employers expect more postsecondary education.
- Get your high school diploma or GED.
- If you’re lucky enough to find on-the-job training, expect 3-4 years of training. Oh, and skip the next bullet point.
- Find a community college or trade school that offers certificates or diplomas for diesel engine repair.
- You’ll have both classroom instruction and hands-on training when you enroll in these programs.
- The industry-standard certification is through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. It may not be required, but it’s highly encouraged.
- You can specialize in areas such as drivetrains, electronic systems, and preventative maintenance and inspection.
- To be eligible for certification, you must have two years of work experience and pass at least one ASE exam.
- You have to get recertified every five years.
- Many diesel mechanics also need their CDL, which allows them to test drive the trucks and buses they work on.
How much will I earn as a diesel mechanic?
The median annual wage, which means the point where half make more and half make less, is $45K. When you’re just starting out in the career, expect to earn more along the lines of $29K. But you can look forward to a salary of over $67K once you’ve been working for a few years. If you’re in a truck fleet dealership or repair shop, you may also earn commission on top of your salary. Many diesel mechanics report working a lot of overtime, and it’s also common to work on weekends and during the evenings. But hey, overtime is good!
Will I be able to find a job?
Yes, you’ll be able to find a job, assuming you’re qualified and certified. Employment growth is predicted to be a bit faster than average, with almost 26,000 jobs opening through 2026. If you have post-secondary training or got some hands-on training with an excellent teacher, then your chances of scoring a gig increase. If you’re untrained and in search of on-the-job training, then your chances decrease. That’s a time-consuming, and potentially expensive, endeavor these days. Not saying it can’t happen, but if you do the school thing, then it just puts the odds more in your favor.
last edit: 10.15.18