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

Thank you for sharing your preferences.
You can find other options through our sponsored listings below!
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
Alaska Vocational Technical Center Seward AK 210
Ilisagvik College Barrow AK 322
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage AK 14794
Bevill State Community College Sumiton AL 3558
Bishop State Community College Mobile AL 4058
Central Alabama Community College Alexander City AL 1577
Douglas Macarthur State Technical College Opp AL 473
George C Wallace Community College - Dothan Dothan AL 3612
George C Wallace State Community College - Hanceville Hanceville AL 4696
Harry M Ayers State Technical College Anniston AL 1112
John M Patterson State Technical College Montgomery AL 986
Lawson State Community College - Bessemer Campus Bessemer AL 1314
Shelton State Community College Tuscaloosa AL 5330
Arkansas State University - Beebe Beebe AR 4899
Black River Technical College Pocahontas AR 1239
Foothills Technical Institute Searcy AR 279
Mid - South Community College West Memphis AR 185
Northwest Technical Institute Springdale AR 1755
Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock AR 893
Rich Mountain Community College Mena AR 943
University of Arkansas Community College - Hope Hope AR 1176
Central Arizona College Coolidge AZ 4536
Universal Technical Institute of Arizona Inc Avondale AZ 2091
Citrus College Glendora CA 11486
College of Alameda Alameda CA 5088
College of the Redwoods Eureka CA 6986
Golden West College Huntington Beach CA 13538
Long Beach City College Long Beach CA 20926
Los Angeles Trade Technical College Los Angeles CA 18164
Oxnard College Oxnard CA 7105
Palomar College San Marcos CA 21062
San Diego Miramar College San Diego CA 8439
San Joaquin Delta College Stockton CA 16973
Santa Ana College Santa Ana CA 27571
Shasta College Redding CA 9112
West Hills Community College Coalinga CA 4344
Denver Automotive and Diesel College Denver CO 390
San Juan Basin Technical College Mancos CO 1198
T H Pickens Technical Center Aurora CO 765
Trinidad State Junior College Trinidad CO 1921
Baran Institute of Technology East Windsor CT 242
First Coast Technical Institute Saint Augustine FL 1634
Florida Community College at Jacksonville Jacksonville FL 20838
Lake Technical Center Eustis FL 669
Lee County High Tech Center Central Fort Myers FL 874
Manatee Technical Institute Bradenton FL 2721
Mcfatter Technical Center Davie FL 986
Mid Florida Tech Orlando FL 1927
Pinellas Technical Education Center - Clearwater Clearwater FL 1417
Ridge Career Center Winter Haven FL 156
Robert Morgan Educational Center Miami FL 1075
Albany Technical College Albany GA 2444
South Georgia Technical College Americus GA 1319
Hawaii Community College Hilo HI 2090
Honolulu Community College Honolulu HI 4487
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny IA 10998
Eastern Iowa Community College District Davenport IA 6179
Hawkeye Community College Waterloo IA 4263
Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa IA 3615
Iowa Western Community College Council Bluffs IA 4503
Northeast Iowa Community College - Calmar Calmar IA 3480
Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon IA 912
Western Iowa Tech Community College Sioux City IA 4365
Boise State University Boise ID 16287
College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls ID 5452
Idaho State University Pocatello ID 13040
North Idaho College Coeur Dalene ID 4049
Black Hawk College Moline IL 6118
Carl Sandburg College Galesburg IL 3220
Illinois Central College East Peoria IL 11053
Illinois Eastern Community Colleges - Olney Central College Olney IL 1648
Lake Land College Mattoon IL 5925
Lincoln Technical Institute Oak Lawn IL 366
Southeastern Illinois College Harrisburg IL 2508
Uti of Illinois Inc Glendale Heights IL 1407
Lincoln Technical Institute Indianapolis IN 703
Oakland City University Oakland City IN 1418
Vincennes University Vincennes IN 9169
Barton County Community College Great Bend KS 4612
Kaw Area Technical School Topeka KS 1013
North Central Kansas Technical College Beloit KS 411
Northeast Kansas Technical College Atchison KS 130
Northwest Kansas Technical College Goodland KS 593
Salina Area Technical School Salina KS 310
Southwest Kansas Technical School Liberal KS 183
Cumberland Valley Technical College Pineville KY 516
Elizabethtown Technical College Elizabethtown KY 637
Gateway Community and Technical College Covington KY 1024
Hazard Technical College Hazard KY 405
Maysville Community and Technical College Morehead KY 630
Owensboro Technical College Owensboro KY 802
Somerset Technical College Somerset KY 546
West Kentucky Technical College Paducah KY 1518
L E Fletcher Technical Community College Houma LA 950
Louisiana Technical College - Acadian Campus Crowley LA 254
Louisiana Technical College - Alexandria Campus Alexandria LA 300
Louisiana Technical College - Avoyelles Campus Cottonport LA 219
Louisiana Technical College - Gulf Area Campus Abbeville LA 241
Louisiana Technical College - Lafayette Campus Lafayette LA 519
Louisiana Technical College - Lamar Salter Campus Leesville LA 259
 1 2 3 >