Diesel service technicians and mechanics essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $36,610
- 2011, number of jobs: 596,830
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 15 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Diesel service technicians and mechanics; what they do:
Diesel technicians and diesel mechanics are the superheroes of the mechanic world – there is little these individuals can’t do; they keep the nation’s powerful machines, trucks, and buses running.
Diesel technicians and diesel mechanics inspect and repair any machine with a diesel engine, whether it’s a car, truck, bus, bulldozer or crane.
To diagnose problems diesel technicians interpret data from a variety of tools, including dials, gauges, and computer equipment. Diesel technicians and diesel mechanics increasingly use computerized diagnostic equipment such as microprocessors and laptop computers to help diagnose problems.
Diesel technicians and diesel mechanics perform tasks as simple as changing oil, checking batteries, and lubricating parts to complex tasks such as inspecting brake systems, transmissions, and engines. It is also common for diesel technicians and diesel mechanics to disassemble and reassemble parts or equipment. They also help retrofit engines to meet new emissions standards.
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Diesel service technicians and mechanics job titles:
- Diesel service technician
- Diesel service mechanic
- Diesel mechanic
- Diesel engine specialist
Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics Education, Certification and License Requirements
A diesel mechanic career or diesel technician career begins with at least a high school diploma, but most employers seek diesel technicians and diesel mechanics with an Associate of Diesel Engine Repair degree or a Diesel Engine Repair certificate. Many community colleges and trade and vocational schools provide diesel engine repair programs which take from six months to two years to complete.
Some employers may hire individuals without a postsecondary degree; they learn through three to four years of on-the-job training.
Diesel mechanics and diesel technicians frequently attend special training classes conducted by manufacturers and vendors to keep up on changing technologies.
Diesel service technicians and mechanics programs cover subjects such as:
- Diesel technology
- Repair techniques
- Interpreting technical manuals
- Interpreting electronic diagnostic reports
- Automotive repair
Diesel mechanics and diesel technicians don’t need certification, although it is highly recommended. Certification is a recognized industry credential. Diesel mechanics and diesel technicians receive certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Diesel mechanics may obtain certification in specific areas, such as drive trains, electronic systems, or preventative maintenance and inspection. Certification must be renewed through massing one or more ASD exams every five years.
A diesel mechanic must obtain a commercial driver’s license to test-drive buses or large trucks.
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Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics Job Outlook
Forecast: 17 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for diesel technicians and diesel mechanics, about average as for all occupations.
The increasing shipments of freight cross-country requires more diesel-powered trucks, which increases the demand for diesel technicians and diesel mechanics to keep the trucks running well and in compliance with changing environmental standards.
Durable diesel engines and tools allowing fewer mechanics to do more work inhibit job growth for diesel technicians and diesel mechanics.
Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $36,610
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $48,230
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $27,150
- General freight trucking
- Local government
- Automotive repair and maintenance
- Motor vehicle and parts wholesalers
- Specialized freight trucking