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What is a Diesel Mechanic?
A diesel mechanic works with any type of automobile that uses an engine which burn diesel fuel instead of more common fuels. The construction and design of such engines varies from traditional engines, requiring additional study or experience in order to be able to repair and maintain such vehicles. These engines are usually found in trucks, buses, and occasionally older foreign cars, as well as others.
Education in this field may begin through high schools or vocational schools that double as training centers for high school students. Others may pursue an education in the field through a community college or trade school that specializes in the field. Programs typically take between six months and two years to complete based on the type of education being pursued. Courses will be primarily taught through practical means, though some will take place in a traditional classroom. Individuals who pursue an associate's degree will also be responsible for completing general education requirements outside their major.
A curriculum may include:
- Diesel Combustion
- Repair and Maintenance
- Exhaust Systems
- Valves and Pistons
- Electrical Systems
Diesel mechanics tend to work at repair shops and repair stations as part of a team or individually in order to maintain trucks or buses as they come in or out. Individuals working at repair stations may be tasked with odd hours due to 24 hour maintenance and repair necessities. Individuals should seek out ASE Certification as soon as they qualify, which involves two years of on the job experience. Some employers may require licensure to drive trucks and buses, particularly if they need to test drive vehicles as part of their service.
Job growth, Salary and Related Fields
Job growth over the next decade is expected to remain steady as businesses continue to utilize large trucks for transport of goods and schools and cities utilize buses for transportation of people. New openings may occur due to expansion, though many positions will open due to retirement and turnover. The average salary of a diesel mechanic is $41,000 per year, but can vary greatly based on location and experience.