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
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center Willow Street PA 147
Lane Community College Eugene OR 9957
Lansing Community College Lansing MI 16011
Laramie County Community College Cheyenne WY 3394
Lawson State Community College - Bessemer Campus Bessemer AL 1314
Lebanon County Area Vocational Technical School Lebanon PA 92
Lee College Baytown TX 5932
Lee County High Tech Center Central Fort Myers FL 874
Lincoln Technical Institute Oak Lawn IL 366
Lincoln Technical Institute Indianapolis IN 703
Lincoln Technical Institute Union NJ 619
Lincoln Technical Institute Philadelphia PA 283
Linn - Benton Community College Albany OR 4443
Long Beach City College Long Beach CA 20926
Los Angeles Trade Technical College Los Angeles CA 18164
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
Louisiana Technical College - Shreveport - Bossier Campus Shreveport LA 1067
Louisiana Technical College - Sullivian Campus Bogalusa LA 849
Louisiana Technical College - T H Harris Campus Opelousas LA 699
Louisiana Technical College - Tallulah Campus Tallulah LA 580
Louisiana Technical College - Teche Area Campus New Iberia LA 460
Lower Columbia College Longview WA 3248
Madison Area Technical College Madison WI 14474
Manatee Technical Institute Bradenton FL 2721
Massasoit Community College Brockton MA 6706
Maysville Community and Technical College Morehead KY 630
Mcfatter Technical Center Davie FL 986
Mesalands Community College Tucumcari NM 465
Metro Technology Centers Oklahoma City OK 434
Mid - America Technology Center Wayne OK 90
Mid - South Community College West Memphis AR 185
Mid - State Technical College Wisconsin Rapids WI 2584
Mid Florida Tech Orlando FL 1927
Mid Plains Community College North Platte NE 2607
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee WI 14296
Minnesota State Community Technical College - Moorhead Moorhead MN No Data
Mississippi Delta Community College Moorhead MS 2673
Morris County Vocational School District Denville NJ No Data
Morrisville State College Morrisville NY 3033
North American Trade Schools Baltimore MD 232
North Central Kansas Technical College Beloit KS 411
North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton ND 2425
North Idaho College Coeur Dalene ID 4049
Northeast Community College Norfolk NE 4520
Northeast Iowa Community College - Calmar Calmar IA 3480
Northeast Kansas Technical College Atchison KS 130
Northeast Mississippi Community College Booneville MS 2796
Northeast Technology Center - Afton Afton OK 96
Northeast Technology Center - Kansas Kansas OK 69
Northeast Technology Center - Pryor Pryor OK 141
Northeast Texas Community College Mount Pleasant TX 1832
Northland Career Center Platte City MO 50
Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon IA 912
Northwest Kansas Technical College Goodland KS 593
Northwest Technical Institute Springdale AR 1755
Northwest Technology Center - Fairview Fairview OK 21
Nunez Community College Chalmette LA 1884
O C Collins Career Center Chesapeake OH 502
Oakland City University Oakland City IN 1418
Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills Campus Bloomfield Hills MI 23188
Ohio Technical College Cleveland OH 518
Oklahoma State University - Okmulgee Okmulgee OK 2419
Owens Community College Perrysburg OH 15845
Owensboro Technical College Owensboro KY 802
Oxnard College Oxnard CA 7105
Palomar College San Marcos CA 21062
Pearl River Community College Poplarville MS 2800
Pennco Tech Blackwood NJ 289
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport PA 5320
Pinellas Technical Education Center - Clearwater Clearwater FL 1417
Portland Community College Portland OR 24209
Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock AR 893
Ralph R Willis Vocational Center Logan WV 124
Raritan Valley Community College Somerville NJ 5751
Red River Technology Center Duncan OK 35
Rich Mountain Community College Mena AR 943
Ridge Career Center Winter Haven FL 156
Riverland Community College Austin MN 3182
Robert Morgan Educational Center Miami FL 1075
Rogue Community College Grants Pass OR 4071
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
San Diego Miramar College San Diego CA 8439
San Jacinto College - North Campus Houston TX 4947
San Joaquin Delta College Stockton CA 16973
San Juan Basin Technical College Mancos CO 1198
San Juan College Farmington NM 4282
Santa Ana College Santa Ana CA 27571
Seattle Community College - South Campus Seattle WA 5738
Shasta College Redding CA 9112
Shelton State Community College Tuscaloosa AL 5330
Sheridan College Sheridan WY 2674
Skagit Valley College Mount Vernon WA 5488
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