How to Become a Diesel Mechanic
A diesel mechanic works on vehicles powered by diesel engines. These engines are typically found in heavy equipment, trucks, and other vehicles. Mechanics specializing in these engines have a wide variety of tasks, and they often work in the field of heavy machinery. In addition to cars, diesel engines are also found in heavy equipment like construction and farming machinery. To become a diesel mechanic, you need a specialized education and experience.
A degree in diesel mechanics is also required for certification. You can also work on airplanes, construction equipment, buses, and trains. These vehicles use diesel as their power source, and diesel mechanics specialize in specific brands and models. Diesel mechanics can be found at many different places, including truck stops, gas stations, and auto dealerships. The field of diesel mechanics also requires impressive technical skills. In addition, you can choose to work in an industry that is not as common, such as farm or construction equipment.
The requirements for diesel mechanics vary widely, but a typical job will pay $40,000 a year. Those with good interpersonal skills and a high level of organization should apply. These jobs involve replacing parts, performing preventive maintenance, and performing diagnostic tests. The skills necessary for this job also include maintaining an organized shop and maintaining proper safety practices. To become a diesel mechanic, you will need a mechanical engineering degree, be physically fit, be able to lift up to 150 pounds, and be a good communicator.
In the next 10 years, driverless trucks may be common on U.S. roads. Companies like Daimler have already launched semi-autonomous vehicles, and Caterpillar has created driverless trucks for mining operations. As automation becomes more common, the role of diesel mechanics will also change. Because of this, you will have to gain a thorough knowledge of vehicle electronics. This will be a valuable skill as the technology continues to change, especially as driverless trucks are developed.
While many mechanics learn on the job, specialized education will greatly increase your job prospects. You can earn an associate’s degree in diesel mechanics or enroll in various certification programs. Specialized certifications will help you distinguish yourself from other mechanics and show employers that you can work with a wide variety of equipment. If you have a background in farm equipment, you can pursue a certification related to marine engines. The certifications are typically harder to obtain, but they can pay off.
In addition to a formal education, you can get certification. The Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is a widely recognized credential in the diesel industry, and pursuing certification may increase your employment opportunities and salary. However, you must have two years of experience in the field to become certified. If you don’t have this experience, you can complete an apprenticeship or co-op course. But it is highly recommended that you have at least two years of work experience before you start pursuing certification.