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
Williston State College Williston ND 517
Western Wisconsin Technical College La Crosse WI 4928
Western Technology Center Burns Flat OK 179
Western Iowa Tech Community College Sioux City IA 4365
Western Dakota Technical Institute Rapid City SD 966
West Kentucky Technical College Paducah KY 1518
West Hills Community College Coalinga CA 4344
Weber State University Ogden UT 16050
Wayne County Community College District Detroit MI 9008
Washington County Community College Calais ME 239
Washington County Adult Skill Center Abingdon VA 231
Vincennes University Vincennes IN 9169
Uti of Illinois Inc Glendale Heights IL 1407
Utah Valley State College Orem UT 20946
University of Northwestern Ohio Lima OH 2046
University of Arkansas Community College - Hope Hope AR 1176
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage AK 14794
Universal Technical Institute of Texas Inc Houston TX 1625
Universal Technical Institute of Arizona Inc Avondale AZ 2091
Uintah Basin Applied Technology Center Roosevelt UT 223
Tulsa Technology Center - Lemley Campus Tulsa OK 243
Truckee Meadows Community College Reno NV 9930
Trinidad State Junior College Trinidad CO 1921
Texas State Technical College - West Texas Sweetwater TX 948
Texas State Technical College - Waco Waco TX 3814
Texas Southmost College Brownsville TX 7776
Texarkana College Texarkana TX 3735
Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis Memphis TN 604
Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville Knoxville TN 779
Tennessee Technology Center at Harriman Harriman TN 230
Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton Elizabethton TN 458
T H Pickens Technical Center Aurora CO 765
Suny College of Technology at Alfred Alfred NY 2735
Suny College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill Cobleskill NY 2303
St Philips College San Antonio TX 7921
Spokane Community College Spokane WA 7767
Sowela Technical Community College Lake Charles LA 1243
Southwest Mississippi Community College Summit MS 1651
Southwest Kansas Technical School Liberal KS 183
Southern Oklahoma Technology Center Ardmore OK 172
Southeastern Technical Institute South Easton MA 147
Southeastern Illinois College Harrisburg IL 2508
Southeast Technical Institute Sioux Falls SD 2283
Southeast Community College Area Lincoln NE 7396
South Texas College Mcallen TX 11319
South Plains College Levelland TX 6731
South Georgia Technical College Americus GA 1319
Somerset Technical College Somerset KY 546
Somerset County Technology Institute Bridgewater NJ 532
Snow College Ephraim UT 2999
Skagit Valley College Mount Vernon WA 5488
Sheridan College Sheridan WY 2674
Shelton State Community College Tuscaloosa AL 5330
Shasta College Redding CA 9112
Seattle Community College - South Campus Seattle WA 5738
Santa Ana College Santa Ana CA 27571
San Juan College Farmington NM 4282
San Juan Basin Technical College Mancos CO 1198
San Joaquin Delta College Stockton CA 16973
San Jacinto College - North Campus Houston TX 4947
San Diego Miramar College San Diego CA 8439
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
Rogue Community College Grants Pass OR 4071
Robert Morgan Educational Center Miami FL 1075
Riverland Community College Austin MN 3182
Ridge Career Center Winter Haven FL 156
Rich Mountain Community College Mena AR 943
Red River Technology Center Duncan OK 35
Raritan Valley Community College Somerville NJ 5751
Ralph R Willis Vocational Center Logan WV 124
Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock AR 893
Portland Community College Portland OR 24209
Pinellas Technical Education Center - Clearwater Clearwater FL 1417
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport PA 5320
Pennco Tech Blackwood NJ 289
Pearl River Community College Poplarville MS 2800
Palomar College San Marcos CA 21062
Oxnard College Oxnard CA 7105
Owensboro Technical College Owensboro KY 802
Owens Community College Perrysburg OH 15845
Oklahoma State University - Okmulgee Okmulgee OK 2419
Ohio Technical College Cleveland OH 518
Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills Campus Bloomfield Hills MI 23188
Oakland City University Oakland City IN 1418
O C Collins Career Center Chesapeake OH 502
Nunez Community College Chalmette LA 1884
Northwest Technology Center - Fairview Fairview OK 21
Northwest Technical Institute Springdale AR 1755
Northwest Kansas Technical College Goodland KS 593
Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon IA 912
Northland Career Center Platte City MO 50
Northeast Texas Community College Mount Pleasant TX 1832
Northeast Technology Center - Pryor Pryor OK 141
Northeast Technology Center - Kansas Kansas OK 69
Northeast Technology Center - Afton Afton OK 96
Northeast Mississippi Community College Booneville MS 2796
Northeast Kansas Technical College Atchison KS 130
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