Diesel Engine Mechanic And Repairer

A diesel mechanic is an expert on the maintenance and repair of modes of transportation equipped with diesel fuel systems and engines, such as cars, buses, trucks, boats and tractors. Diesel is the engine of choice for trucks, heavy machinery, and marine engines. The technology has always required a specialized skill set. In this mechanic's specialty, ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification is highly desired.

Diesel mechanic positions are good working-class jobs that are accessible to those with only a high school education plus relevant work experience. Some jobs are even available to those without a high school diploma, although many employers now prefer some level of postsecondary training. As a result, more aspiring diesel mechanics are pursuing vocational certification to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to prospective employers. Others go further, finishing a 2-year associate's program in diesel technology.

After getting a certificate or degree, graduates need to get some solid work experience. At least two years of work experience is needed to get ASE-certified and several more may be necessary to find entry-level employment as a diesel mechanic, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The accreditation organization affiliated with ASE is the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Diesel mechanic programs should be NATEF-accredited.

Degrees in Diesel Mechanics

Vocational Certificates

Certificates programs that focus on the fundamentals of diesel and industrial technology last anywhere from a few months to a few years. These programs are offered at standalone technical schools, community colleges, some universities, and even by employers who hire those they train. Aspiring mechanics should acquire a set of hand tools with items like prybars, multimeters and torque wrenches, as many schools and employers expect students and workers to bring their own.

During school, students master the basics of diesel technology, from engines and transmissions to cooling, electrical and electronic systems. They learn to make diagnoses, do tune-ups, rebuild parts, and carry out preventative care. They learn how to follow vendor procedures for maintaining tools and equipment and how to troubleshoot problems quickly and effectively. Coursework at a diesel mechanic technical school might include:

  • Heavy-Duty Drivetrains
  • Diesel Service Techniques
  • Suspension, Steering & Brake Systems

The best diesel mechanic schools prepare students to take ASE certification exams. For example, mechanics can earn the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification by demonstrating they have the skills to assess problems of efficiency and performance on medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Other ASE certifications include:

  • Transit Bus Certification
  • Engine Machinist Certification
  • Specialist Exhaust Systems Certification

Some programs let students take electives in vendor products like Cummins, Paccar and Allison. Diesel mechanics with expertise in these areas are valuable to employers. Qualified technicians may pursue certification with the ASE in one or more specialties to demonstrate their prowess.

Diesel mechanics may need to obtain a certificate of fitness from a provider like the municipal fire department to ensure they can safely perform heavy manual labor. Depending on the work environment, some mechanics need to be medically qualified to wear a respirator, too. To get a head start, many mechanics-in-training earn these qualifications before they hit the job market. While they are in school, students should also work on getting a valid driver's license if they do not already have one. The ideal diesel technician has a commercial driver's license.

What jobs can you get with a certificate in Diesel Technology?

  • Fleet Mechanic
  • Diesel Truck & Trailer Mechanic
  • Field Service Technician

Associate Degrees

Associate credentials help applicants compete for desirable positions and promote within organizations once they are hired. The degree also affords mechanics the opportunity to expand their background knowledge and workplace communication skills. That is, diesel mechanics are not only gearheads. They need excellent writing and verbal abilities. Many employers also expect computer proficiency. Students have more time to learn such 'soft' skills in an associate's program. These programs also let students dive more deeply into the underlying physics and mathematics of diesel tech.

There are many pathways for advancement in this field that can lead to surprisingly high salaries. The more experience and specialized skills diesel mechanics acquire, the more opportunities are available. Diesel mechanics who have welding certification, fabrication skills or DOT approval to perform brake inspections, for example, are perfect for positions with these specifications.

Courses for an Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology typically includes:

  • Technical Algebra & Trigonometry I
  • Commercial Truck Powertrain Inspections
  • Technical & Professional Communication

What careers are open to those with associate degrees?

  • Stimulation Equipment Mechanic
  • Hydraulic Technician
  • Diesel Mechanic Instructor

Featured Schools

Programs offered:

We found 250 schools offering diesel mechanic degree programs in the U.S.

>> See all 250 Diesel Engine Mechanic And Repairer Colleges in the U.S.

Diesel Mechanic Schools By Total Enrollment

Houston Community College System
Houston, TX  |  Total Enrollment: 40929

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years
Santa Ana College
Santa Ana, CA  |  Total Enrollment: 27571

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years
Austin Community College
Austin, TX  |  Total Enrollment: 25735

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's
Portland Community College
Portland, OR  |  Total Enrollment: 24209

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years
Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills Campus
Bloomfield Hills, MI  |  Total Enrollment: 23188

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years
Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake City, UT  |  Total Enrollment: 21596

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years
Palomar College
San Marcos, CA  |  Total Enrollment: 21062

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's
Utah Valley State College
Orem, UT  |  Total Enrollment: 20946

Degrees Offered: One but less than two years, Associate's, Bachelor's
Long Beach City College
Long Beach, CA  |  Total Enrollment: 20926

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years
Florida Community College at Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL  |  Total Enrollment: 20838

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's

Browse All 250 Colleges With Diesel Mechanic Programs

Title City State Enrollment
George C Wallace State Community College - Hanceville Hanceville AL 4696
Tennessee Technology Center at Harriman Harriman TN 230
Southeastern Illinois College Harrisburg IL 2508
Hazard Technical College Hazard KY 405
Hawaii Community College Hilo HI 2090
Honolulu Community College Honolulu HI 4487
University of Arkansas Community College - Hope Hope AR 1176
L E Fletcher Technical Community College Houma LA 950
Houston Community College System Houston TX 40929
San Jacinto College - North Campus Houston TX 4947
Universal Technical Institute of Texas Inc Houston TX 1625
Kiamichi Technology Center - Hugo Hugo OK 84
Golden West College Huntington Beach CA 13538
Career and Technical Center at Fort Osage Independence MO 5
Lincoln Technical Institute Indianapolis IN 703
Florida Community College at Jacksonville Jacksonville FL 20838
Blackhawk Technical College Janesville WI 2472
Northeast Technology Center - Kansas Kansas OK 69
Davis Applied Technology College Kaysville UT 324
Kilgore College Kilgore TX 4000
Central Texas College Killeen TX 14636
Lake Washington Technical College Kirkland WA 3917
Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville Knoxville TN 779
Western Wisconsin Technical College La Crosse WI 4928
Louisiana Technical College - Lafayette Campus Lafayette LA 519
Sowela Technical Community College Lake Charles LA 1243
Lansing Community College Lansing MI 16011
Great Plains Technology Center Lawton OK 234
Lebanon County Area Vocational Technical School Lebanon PA 92
Louisiana Technical College - Lamar Salter Campus Leesville LA 259
South Plains College Levelland TX 6731
Southwest Kansas Technical School Liberal KS 183
University of Northwestern Ohio Lima OH 2046
Southeast Community College Area Lincoln NE 7396
Bridgerland Applied Technology College Logan UT 304
Ralph R Willis Vocational Center Logan WV 124
Long Beach City College Long Beach CA 20926
Lower Columbia College Longview WA 3248
Los Angeles Trade Technical College Los Angeles CA 18164
Angelina College Lufkin TX 4412
Madison Area Technical College Madison WI 14474
San Juan Basin Technical College Mancos CO 1198
Lake Land College Mattoon IL 5925
Atlantic County Vocational Technical School Mays Landing NJ 175
South Texas College Mcallen TX 11319
Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis Memphis TN 604
Rich Mountain Community College Mena AR 943
Eastfield College Mesquite TX 7873
Robert Morgan Educational Center Miami FL 1075
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee WI 14296
Bishop State Community College Mobile AL 4058
Black Hawk College Moline IL 6118
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center Monroeville PA 42
John M Patterson State Technical College Montgomery AL 986
Minnesota State Community Technical College - Moorhead Moorhead MN No Data
Mississippi Delta Community College Moorhead MS 2673
Maysville Community and Technical College Morehead KY 630
Morrisville State College Morrisville NY 3033
Northeast Texas Community College Mount Pleasant TX 1832
Skagit Valley College Mount Vernon WA 5488
Louisiana Technical College - Teche Area Campus New Iberia LA 460
Northeast Community College Norfolk NE 4520
Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock AR 893
Mid Plains Community College North Platte NE 2607
Lincoln Technical Institute Oak Lawn IL 366
Oakland City University Oakland City IN 1418
Weber State University Ogden UT 16050
Metro Technology Centers Oklahoma City OK 434
Oklahoma State University - Okmulgee Okmulgee OK 2419
Illinois Eastern Community Colleges - Olney Central College Olney IL 1648
Louisiana Technical College - T H Harris Campus Opelousas LA 699
Douglas Macarthur State Technical College Opp AL 473
Utah Valley State College Orem UT 20946
Mid Florida Tech Orlando FL 1927
Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa IA 3615
Owensboro Technical College Owensboro KY 802
Oxnard College Oxnard CA 7105
West Kentucky Technical College Paducah KY 1518
Blue Mountain Community College Pendleton OR 1934
Owens Community College Perrysburg OH 15845
Lincoln Technical Institute Philadelphia PA 283
Cumberland Valley Technical College Pineville KY 516
Northland Career Center Platte City MO 50
Black River Technical College Pocahontas AR 1239
Idaho State University Pocatello ID 13040
Pearl River Community College Poplarville MS 2800
Portland Community College Portland OR 24209
College of Eastern Utah Price UT 2704
Northeast Technology Center - Pryor Pryor OK 141
Western Dakota Technical Institute Rapid City SD 966
Herndon Career Center Raytown MO 14
Shasta College Redding CA 9112
Truckee Meadows Community College Reno NV 9930
Uintah Basin Applied Technology Center Roosevelt UT 223
Dakota County Technical College Rosemount MN 3086
First Coast Technical Institute Saint Augustine FL 1634
Saint Cloud Technical College Saint Cloud MN 2949
Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College Saint Paul MN 5247
Salina Area Technical School Salina KS 310
Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City UT 21596
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