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

1
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
2
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
3
Austin Community College
Austin, TX  |  Total Enrollment: 25735

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's
4
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
5
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
6
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
7
Palomar College
San Marcos, CA  |  Total Enrollment: 21062

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's
8
Utah Valley State College
Orem, UT  |  Total Enrollment: 20946

Degrees Offered: One but less than two years, Associate's, Bachelor's
9
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
10
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
High Plains Technology Center Woodward OK 59
Mid - State Technical College Wisconsin Rapids WI 2584
Ridge Career Center Winter Haven FL 156
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center Willow Street PA 147
Williston State College Williston ND 517
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport PA 5320
Century Community and Technical College White Bear Lake MN 6937
Mid - South Community College West Memphis AR 185
Mid - America Technology Center Wayne OK 90
Hawkeye Community College Waterloo IA 4263
North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton ND 2425
Texas State Technical College - Waco Waco TX 3814
Advanced Technology Institute Virginia Beach VA 273
Vincennes University Vincennes IN 9169
Clark College Vancouver WA 8241
Lincoln Technical Institute Union NJ 619
College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls ID 5452
Shelton State Community College Tuscaloosa AL 5330
Tulsa Technology Center - Lemley Campus Tulsa OK 243
Mesalands Community College Tucumcari NM 465
Trinidad State Junior College Trinidad CO 1921
Kaw Area Technical School Topeka KS 1013
College of the Mainland Texas City TX 3358
Texarkana College Texarkana TX 3735
Louisiana Technical College - Tallulah Campus Tallulah LA 580
Bates Technical College Tacoma WA 14808
Texas State Technical College - West Texas Sweetwater TX 948
Southwest Mississippi Community College Summit MS 1651
Bevill State Community College Sumiton AL 3558
San Joaquin Delta College Stockton CA 16973
Northwest Technical Institute Springdale AR 1755
Spokane Community College Spokane WA 7767
Engine City Technical Institute South Plainfield NJ 87
Southeastern Technical Institute South Easton MA 147
Raritan Valley Community College Somerville NJ 5751
Somerset Technical College Somerset KY 546
Southeast Technical Institute Sioux Falls SD 2283
Western Iowa Tech Community College Sioux City IA 4365
Louisiana Technical College - Shreveport - Bossier Campus Shreveport LA 1067
Sheridan College Sheridan WY 2674
Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon IA 912
Gordon Cooper Technology Center Shawnee OK 276
Alaska Vocational Technical Center Seward AK 210
Seattle Community College - South Campus Seattle WA 5738
Foothills Technical Institute Searcy AR 279
Johnson College Scranton PA 166
Santa Ana College Santa Ana CA 27571
Palomar College San Marcos CA 21062
San Diego Miramar College San Diego CA 8439
St Philips College San Antonio TX 7921
Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City UT 21596
Salina Area Technical School Salina KS 310
Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College Saint Paul MN 5247
Saint Cloud Technical College Saint Cloud MN 2949
First Coast Technical Institute Saint Augustine FL 1634
Dakota County Technical College Rosemount MN 3086
Uintah Basin Applied Technology Center Roosevelt UT 223
Truckee Meadows Community College Reno NV 9930
Shasta College Redding CA 9112
Herndon Career Center Raytown MO 14
Western Dakota Technical Institute Rapid City SD 966
Northeast Technology Center - Pryor Pryor OK 141
College of Eastern Utah Price UT 2704
Portland Community College Portland OR 24209
Pearl River Community College Poplarville MS 2800
Idaho State University Pocatello ID 13040
Black River Technical College Pocahontas AR 1239
Northland Career Center Platte City MO 50
Cumberland Valley Technical College Pineville KY 516
Lincoln Technical Institute Philadelphia PA 283
Owens Community College Perrysburg OH 15845
Blue Mountain Community College Pendleton OR 1934
West Kentucky Technical College Paducah KY 1518
Oxnard College Oxnard CA 7105
Owensboro Technical College Owensboro KY 802
Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa IA 3615
Mid Florida Tech Orlando FL 1927
Utah Valley State College Orem UT 20946
Douglas Macarthur State Technical College Opp AL 473
Louisiana Technical College - T H Harris Campus Opelousas LA 699
Illinois Eastern Community Colleges - Olney Central College Olney IL 1648
Oklahoma State University - Okmulgee Okmulgee OK 2419
Metro Technology Centers Oklahoma City OK 434
Weber State University Ogden UT 16050
Oakland City University Oakland City IN 1418
Lincoln Technical Institute Oak Lawn IL 366
Mid Plains Community College North Platte NE 2607
Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock AR 893
Northeast Community College Norfolk NE 4520
Louisiana Technical College - Teche Area Campus New Iberia LA 460
Skagit Valley College Mount Vernon WA 5488
Northeast Texas Community College Mount Pleasant TX 1832
Morrisville State College Morrisville NY 3033
Maysville Community and Technical College Morehead KY 630
Minnesota State Community Technical College - Moorhead Moorhead MN No Data
Mississippi Delta Community College Moorhead MS 2673
John M Patterson State Technical College Montgomery AL 986
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center Monroeville PA 42
Black Hawk College Moline IL 6118
Bishop State Community College Mobile AL 4058
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