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

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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
Minnesota State Community Technical College - Moorhead Moorhead MN No Data
Morris County Vocational School District Denville NJ No Data
Career and Technical Center at Fort Osage Independence MO 5
Herndon Career Center Raytown MO 14
Northwest Technology Center - Fairview Fairview OK 21
Red River Technology Center Duncan OK 35
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center Monroeville PA 42
Northland Career Center Platte City MO 50
High Plains Technology Center Woodward OK 59
Northeast Technology Center - Kansas Kansas OK 69
Adult & Continuing Education - Bcts Hackensack NJ 77
Kiamichi Technology Center - Hugo Hugo OK 84
Engine City Technical Institute South Plainfield NJ 87
Mid - America Technology Center Wayne OK 90
Lebanon County Area Vocational Technical School Lebanon PA 92
Northeast Technology Center - Afton Afton OK 96
Ralph R Willis Vocational Center Logan WV 124
Northeast Kansas Technical College Atchison KS 130
Northeast Technology Center - Pryor Pryor OK 141
Southeastern Technical Institute South Easton MA 147
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center Willow Street PA 147
Ridge Career Center Winter Haven FL 156
Johnson College Scranton PA 166
Southern Oklahoma Technology Center Ardmore OK 172
Atlantic County Vocational Technical School Mays Landing NJ 175
Western Technology Center Burns Flat OK 179
Southwest Kansas Technical School Liberal KS 183
Mid - South Community College West Memphis AR 185
Central Technology Center Drumright OK 188
Canadian Valley Technology Center El Reno OK 198
Automotive Training Center Exton PA 198
Alaska Vocational Technical Center Seward AK 210
Louisiana Technical College - Avoyelles Campus Cottonport LA 219
Uintah Basin Applied Technology Center Roosevelt UT 223
Tennessee Technology Center at Harriman Harriman TN 230
Washington County Adult Skill Center Abingdon VA 231
North American Trade Schools Baltimore MD 232
Great Plains Technology Center Lawton OK 234
Washington County Community College Calais ME 239
Louisiana Technical College - Gulf Area Campus Abbeville LA 241
Baran Institute of Technology East Windsor CT 242
Tulsa Technology Center - Lemley Campus Tulsa OK 243
Louisiana Technical College - Acadian Campus Crowley LA 254
Louisiana Technical College - Lamar Salter Campus Leesville LA 259
Advanced Technology Institute Virginia Beach VA 273
Gordon Cooper Technology Center Shawnee OK 276
Foothills Technical Institute Searcy AR 279
Lincoln Technical Institute Philadelphia PA 283
Fred W Eberle Technical Center Buckhannon WV 285
Pennco Tech Blackwood NJ 289
Louisiana Technical College - Alexandria Campus Alexandria LA 300
Bridgerland Applied Technology College Logan UT 304
Salina Area Technical School Salina KS 310
Caddo Kiowa Technology Center Fort Cobb OK 311
Academy of Careers and Technology Beckley WV 320
Ilisagvik College Barrow AK 322
Davis Applied Technology College Kaysville UT 324
Ben Franklin Career Center Dunbar WV 362
Lincoln Technical Institute Oak Lawn IL 366
Denver Automotive and Diesel College Denver CO 390
Hazard Technical College Hazard KY 405
North Central Kansas Technical College Beloit KS 411
Metro Technology Centers Oklahoma City OK 434
Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton Elizabethton TN 458
Louisiana Technical College - Teche Area Campus New Iberia LA 460
Mesalands Community College Tucumcari NM 465
Douglas Macarthur State Technical College Opp AL 473
O C Collins Career Center Chesapeake OH 502
Cumberland Valley Technical College Pineville KY 516
Williston State College Williston ND 517
Ohio Technical College Cleveland OH 518
Louisiana Technical College - Lafayette Campus Lafayette LA 519
Somerset County Technology Institute Bridgewater NJ 532
Somerset Technical College Somerset KY 546
Louisiana Technical College - Tallulah Campus Tallulah LA 580
Northwest Kansas Technical College Goodland KS 593
Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis Memphis TN 604
Lincoln Technical Institute Union NJ 619
Maysville Community and Technical College Morehead KY 630
Elizabethtown Technical College Elizabethtown KY 637
Lake Technical Center Eustis FL 669
Louisiana Technical College - T H Harris Campus Opelousas LA 699
Lincoln Technical Institute Indianapolis IN 703
T H Pickens Technical Center Aurora CO 765
Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville Knoxville TN 779
Owensboro Technical College Owensboro KY 802
Louisiana Technical College - Sullivian Campus Bogalusa LA 849
Lee County High Tech Center Central Fort Myers FL 874
Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock AR 893
Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon IA 912
Rich Mountain Community College Mena AR 943
Texas State Technical College - West Texas Sweetwater TX 948
L E Fletcher Technical Community College Houma LA 950
Western Dakota Technical Institute Rapid City SD 966
John M Patterson State Technical College Montgomery AL 986
Mcfatter Technical Center Davie FL 986
Kaw Area Technical School Topeka KS 1013
Gateway Community and Technical College Covington KY 1024
Louisiana Technical College - Shreveport - Bossier Campus Shreveport LA 1067
Robert Morgan Educational Center Miami FL 1075
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