28 Apr How to Become Diesel Mechanic
A diesel mechanic, also known as a diesel technician, is capable of inspecting, diagnosing, and repairing automobiles, trucks, buses, and virtually all those that use a diesel engine. If you are leaning towards this career path, refer to the information below on how to become a diesel mechanic.
Diesel Mechanic Education
Majority of employers require that you have a high school diploma or something equal. Likewise, you should make sure to take courses in math, electronics, and automotive repair.
Employers also prefer diesel mechanics that have gone through tertiary training in repairing diesel engines.
You can find programs like these in many vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. These programs typically last from six months to two years, which you can continue in order to get an associate’s degree or a certificate degree.
Diesel engine repair programs usually combine hands-on experience and classroom instruction and covers practical applications, diesel technology basics, and equipment and techniques for repair. They may also include classes on interpreting electronic diagnostic information and technical manuals. Likewise, because diesel engines nowadays are beginning to integrate electrical parts, the programs may also cover classes on software for computer diagnostics and electrical systems.
Diesel Mechanic Training
If you don’t want to go through post secondary education, you can start your training considering that you have been hired by an employer who is willing to train you. You will carry out basic duties which commonly include driving vehicles to and from the garage, cleaning stuff, and checking if the oil and fuel levels are adequate. Once you are deemed competent enough as per your employer’s standards, you can then be assigned more complicated duties. This type of on-the-job training will normally take three to four years.
Diesel Mechanic Certification
One of the most important credentials diesel mechanics should preferably have is a certificate from the ASE or National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Even though this certification is not really required, having this under your belt will showcase your work experience and competence in your field, which can be valuable to prospective clients and employers. You can choose to be certified in particular areas like engine inspection, preventive maintenance, or repair of electrical systems among many others.
To be certified, you should have at least two years of job experience and pass at least one of the examinations ASE offers. To maintain your certification as a diesel mechanic, you should qualify and pass the exam every five years.
Diesel Mechanic Salary
A higher efficiency rate in converting fuel to power and its overall durability are what make the diesel engine the preferred choice in today’s thriving automotive, freight, and transportation industries among others. However, no matter how efficient and durable a tool is, it remains as that – a tool. That is why we have professionals especially dedicated to the maintenance of the diesel engine – the diesel mechanic – an entirely different job from other careers. Since it is a profession, we can then readily say that salary is also involved.
According to the United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statics, the diesel mechanic salary median figure is $40,850 per year or $19.64 per hour in 2010. This is 39 percent lower than the average salary for all job postings in the US.
Diesel mechanic salary scale varies from location to location. Texas-based diesel mechanics are receiving 7 percent lower compared to those in Georgia who can expect 7 percent higher diesel mechanic salary rates when the national average is considered.
Diesel Mechanic Salary Levels
- Entry $30,000
- Mid $40,000
- Top $46,000
According to the United States Department of Labor a beginning diesel mechanic can expect a base salary of around $30,000 on his/her initial year on the job. This figure considerably rises to as much as 23 percent (around $37,000) as his/her experience grows. Further, those same diesel mechanics could earn at a projected rate of $46,000 per year if they keep themselves up with the latest technology. Attending seminars as well as additional schooling could also spell the difference in getting that much anticipated pay scale increase.
There is an estimated growth of 15 percent for diesel mechanic employment from 2010 to 2020. Preference among employers for those who have completed postsecondary training programs is prevalent as this entails lesser or no training time or resource spent on a newly-hired diesel mechanic.
A high school diploma or equivalent education is all one basically needs to get an entry-level position as a diesel mechanic. It being considered as a long-term on-the job training type of profession, diesel mechanics or diesel service technicians attracts more and more people to take up a career in this field. The skill and experience can be easily acquired as long as the person is responsive and receptive enough to learn the ins and outs of the role and the technology involved. However, having an Automotive Services Excellence (ASE) certification is the sure route for those who are aiming higher diesel mechanic salary rates. The certification is also strongly considered by employers in promoting personnel.