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What Is a Diesel Generator Technician?

Dec 22, 2020 ·

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Diesel engines are important for providing power and are used in a variety of systems and equipment. A diesel generator technician is someone responsible for servicing and installing these types of systems so they can operate efficiently.

Those interested in the transportation industry might consider a job as a diesel generator technician because diesel power is reliable and used for so many things. Diesel generator technicians are helping to provide a necessary service for a range of applications.

It’s important for those interested in pursuing a career as a diesel generator technician to get proper training and experience working on these types of engines and equipment. Those who enjoy working with their hands and problem solving are likely a great fit for the role.

If working as a diesel generator technician sounds like it would interest you, keep reading to learn more about the role and the steps you might take to get there!

Diesel Generator Technician Job Description

Knowing what a generator service technician’s responsibilities and duties are is helpful for those thinking about pursuing it as a career. As diesel engines provide power to a range of sources, a technician is going to help ensure that they are running properly.

Diesel generator technicians need to be able to perform a variety of duties related to diesel engines and related systems. Some of their daily tasks might include:

  • Installing new equipment and systems
  • Running load bank tests on generators
  • Performing voltage changes
  • Rewiring and installing control panels and voltage regulators
  • Preparing generators for shipment
  • Performing preventative maintenance, including checking for worn parts and leaks
  • Maintaining records of repairs and maintenance performed on equipment
  • Calibrating and inspecting equipment
  • Transporting equipment and tools from various work sites

Electrical Troubleshooting and Safety

A diesel generator technician needs to take into account electrical safety and electrical troubleshooting protocols. Technicians need to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when working on these systems.

Different levels of PPE exist depending on the flash and shock hazard boundaries of the job. Before working, inspections of the tools, cables and equipment take place to ensure things do not look incomplete, damaged or worn.

Electrical equipment, including conductors and circuit parts, are put into a safe working condition before being worked on. This means de-energizing these parts. Energized work is only permitted when it’s determined a greater risk exists otherwise, or equipment design prevents de-energized work.

Technicians perform job safety plans before starting work, which includes describing the job, identifying hazards, performing shock and arc risk assessments, and listing work procedures. Doing these things helps ensure everyone is safe while working.

How to Train to Become a Diesel Generator Technician

Becoming a diesel generator technician is something that requires training and education. It’s crucial that those pursuing this career have a knowledge of how diesel systems work and operate. Hands-on experience is extremely important so things are done right in the field.

Attending a trade school like Universal Technical Institute (UTI) can help prepare students for a career as a generator mechanic.1 The Diesel Technology program is designed to build a foundation of knowledge that can be applied to jobs in the industry moving forward.

Having a core foundation of knowledge and hands-on experience from a trade school can set you up for success when pursuing a career as a diesel generator technician. Some schools, like UTI, offer additional manufacturer-specific programs that can further your education and give you a head start before you head into the job market.15

The Cummins Power Generation program is a specialized 12-week program offered at UTI’s Avondale campus in Arizona. The course focuses on Cummins systems, allowing students to work on their world-class equipment.46

Diesel students work on a project in a UTI lab.

Upon completion of the program, students will be classified as CMI Level 1 Technicians. Those who have completed the core curriculum program from UTI or other National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) education courses can apply. While the training program is highly selective, it can help give those who are selected a head start working on some of the best equipment available.

Whether you choose to learn the basics and attend trade school for diesel technology or take things a step further with more specific training down the line, UTI can help prepare you for a rewarding and exciting career as a diesel generator technician.

Diesel Generator Technician Salary and Job Outlook

When pursuing any career, it’s helpful to know what the job outlook is and what your expected salary might be. This allows you to prepare for the future and determine if it’s the right fit for you. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a helpful resource, though there is no specific information for diesel generator technicians.

BLS data does give some insight into the expected median salary for diesel service technicians and mechanics, however. These jobs are closely related and can be used as a guide to what might be possible for a diesel generator mechanic.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists was $48,690 in May 2021.29 This means half of diesel technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

Diesel generator technician roles are extremely important. They work on equipment that helps to provide power to a range of sources and keep things running smoothly. The number of industries that utilize diesel engines helps contribute to the need for technicians.

Take the Next Steps to Become a Diesel Generator Technician

If you think pursuing a career as a diesel generator technician is right for you, training at a trade school is a great place to start. Investing time in a diesel technology program like the one offered from UTI can allow you to get the hands-on experience you need that can translate to the job market when you graduate.

You have the option to add to your experience with a range of specialized diesel training programs. These will help you narrow your focus to specific kinds of equipment, including Cummins and Peterbilt.

Find out more about how to train for a career as a diesel generator technician by visiting our website to request more information about UTI’s diesel programs.

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.

15) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation. Programs available at select locations.

29) UTI’s Diesel Technology Program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as diesel technicians. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as diesel truck technicians, including in industries such as heavy equipment repair, power generation, and agriculture. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists (49-3031) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $32,360 to $94,400 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/OccupationalEmploymentAndWageSpecificOccupations#). Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled diesel technicians in North Carolina is $22.89 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $18.59 and $17.03, respectively.

46) Students must maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA and 95% attendance rate.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

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