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

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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
Academy of Careers and Technology Beckley WV 320
Adult & Continuing Education - Bcts Hackensack NJ 77
Advanced Technology Institute Virginia Beach VA 273
Alaska Vocational Technical Center Seward AK 210
Albany Technical College Albany GA 2444
Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute Albuquerque NM 17265
Alexandria Technical College Alexandria MN 2192
Amarillo College Amarillo TX 8422
Angelina College Lufkin TX 4412
Arkansas State University - Beebe Beebe AR 4899
Atlantic County Vocational Technical School Mays Landing NJ 175
Austin Community College Austin TX 25735
Automotive Training Center Exton PA 198
Baran Institute of Technology East Windsor CT 242
Barton County Community College Great Bend KS 4612
Bates Technical College Tacoma WA 14808
Bellingham Technical College Bellingham WA 3682
Ben Franklin Career Center Dunbar WV 362
Bevill State Community College Sumiton AL 3558
Bishop State Community College Mobile AL 4058
Black Hawk College Moline IL 6118
Black River Technical College Pocahontas AR 1239
Blackhawk Technical College Janesville WI 2472
Blue Mountain Community College Pendleton OR 1934
Boise State University Boise ID 16287
Bridgerland Applied Technology College Logan UT 304
Caddo Kiowa Technology Center Fort Cobb OK 311
Canadian Valley Technology Center El Reno OK 198
Career and Technical Center at Fort Osage Independence MO 5
Carl Sandburg College Galesburg IL 3220
Casper College Casper WY 3972
Central Alabama Community College Alexander City AL 1577
Central Arizona College Coolidge AZ 4536
Central Community College Grand Island NE 7126
Central Technology Center Drumright OK 188
Central Texas College Killeen TX 14636
Centralia College Centralia WA 3063
Century Community and Technical College White Bear Lake MN 6937
Citrus College Glendora CA 11486
Clark College Vancouver WA 8241
College of Alameda Alameda CA 5088
College of Eastern Utah Price UT 2704
College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls ID 5452
College of the Mainland Texas City TX 3358
College of the Redwoods Eureka CA 6986
Cumberland Valley Technical College Pineville KY 516
Dakota County Technical College Rosemount MN 3086
Davis Applied Technology College Kaysville UT 324
Del Mar College Corpus Christi TX 9936
Denver Automotive and Diesel College Denver CO 390
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny IA 10998
Douglas Macarthur State Technical College Opp AL 473
Eastern Iowa Community College District Davenport IA 6179
Eastfield College Mesquite TX 7873
Elizabethtown Technical College Elizabethtown KY 637
Engine City Technical Institute South Plainfield NJ 87
First Coast Technical Institute Saint Augustine FL 1634
Florence - Darlington Technical College Florence SC 3814
Florida Community College at Jacksonville Jacksonville FL 20838
Foothills Technical Institute Searcy AR 279
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center Monroeville PA 42
Fox Valley Technical College Appleton WI 6806
Fred W Eberle Technical Center Buckhannon WV 285
Gateway Community and Technical College Covington KY 1024
George C Wallace Community College - Dothan Dothan AL 3612
George C Wallace State Community College - Hanceville Hanceville AL 4696
Golden West College Huntington Beach CA 13538
Gordon Cooper Technology Center Shawnee OK 276
Grays Harbor College Aberdeen WA 1950
Great Basin College Elko NV 2978
Great Plains Technology Center Lawton OK 234
Greenville Technical College Greenville SC 10786
Harry M Ayers State Technical College Anniston AL 1112
Hawaii Community College Hilo HI 2090
Hawkeye Community College Waterloo IA 4263
Hazard Technical College Hazard KY 405
Hennepin Technical College Brooklyn Park MN 5843
Henry Ford Community College Dearborn MI 12742
Herndon Career Center Raytown MO 14
High Plains Technology Center Woodward OK 59
Honolulu Community College Honolulu HI 4487
Houston Community College System Houston TX 40929
Idaho State University Pocatello ID 13040
Ilisagvik College Barrow AK 322
Illinois Central College East Peoria IL 11053
Illinois Eastern Community Colleges - Olney Central College Olney IL 1648
Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa IA 3615
Iowa Western Community College Council Bluffs IA 4503
Itawamba Community College Fulton MS 3467
John M Patterson State Technical College Montgomery AL 986
Johnson College Scranton PA 166
Kaw Area Technical School Topeka KS 1013
Kiamichi Technology Center - Hugo Hugo OK 84
Kilgore College Kilgore TX 4000
L E Fletcher Technical Community College Houma LA 950
Lake Land College Mattoon IL 5925
Lake Superior College Duluth MN 3972
Lake Technical Center Eustis FL 669
Lake Washington Technical College Kirkland WA 3917
Lamar University Beaumont TX 11550
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