WHAT DO DIESEL MECHANICS DO?
Get your hands dirty and get ready for a great career! Diesel mechanics inspect, keep up and repair diesel engines for car dealerships, private garages and repair shops. Diesel engines are known for their hard work, and because of that are found in hard working vehicles like buses, large trucks, boats, bulldozers, dump trucks, cranes, and even some light duty trucks and cars. Diesel engines are different from gasoline powered engines, and have different needs and requirements when being serviced. Diesel mechanics deal with everything From routine oil changes to full engine rebuilds.
Diesel mechanics have to understand the vehicles electrical system, engine, and all of its working parts. They are familiar with the mechanical and technical, using diagnostic computer software on some advanced vehicles to identify the issues.
HOW MUCH DO DIESEL MECHANICS MAKE?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that diesel mechanics in 2010 made a median hourly income of $19.64 per hour, or $40,850 per year.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
Many diesel mechanics learn on the job, but more and more employers expect training in diesel repair from a secondary institution. Your best bet is to complete a vocational training program. These 6-month to a year-long programs provide hands-on training and in-class instruction.
Certification is available from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), but not required.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Customer Service: Mechanics have to talk to customers, both about their vehicle problems and options to fix those problems. Repeat customers are integral and diesel mechanics should be friendly, a good listener, a good communicator and available to answer questions.
- Attention to Detail: A truck or car is a complex machine. The smallest loose wire or missing bolt can be the root cause of bigger issues. A good diesel mechanic will need to have an eye for detail when dealing with engines and their parts.
- Dexterity: Mechanics work with their hands. This could mean tearing down and building car components, working with simple and complex tools, and more. It's crucial that diesel mechanics have good-hand-eye coordination.
- Mechanical and Technical Know-How: Diesel mechanics will have to break down an engine to its components and build it back up correctly. They will also have to use complex computers and diagnostics to analyze on-board computers and other systems. You should be able to use and understand an array of tools and technical equipment.
THE FUTURE OF DIESEL MECHANICS
Diesel-powered vehicles are still in high demand, and job growth for diesel mechanics will grow steadily on average with most jobs, at around 15% between 2010 and 2020.