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UTI Grad Nestor Martinez: Our World Relies on Diesel Technicians

Apr 15, 2020 ·

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  • UTI Grad Nestor Martinez: Our World Relies on Diesel Technicians

Nearly every aspect of our daily lives relies on the diesel industry in some way. Whether it’s by truck, train or boat, diesel-powered equipment keeps our world moving at the speed and convenience to which we’re accustomed.

Even during times of crisis, the need for diesel technicians remains. In fact, the demand often increases during these times, as trucks carrying freight are vital in delivering goods to consumers and helping move our economy forward. With more and more trucks on the road, the need for diesel techs only increases.

If there’s anyone who knows this to be true, it’s Universal Technical Institute grad Nestor Martinez. For the past five years, he’s worked as a diesel technician for Rush Truck Centers and has traveled around the country for his career. He’s seen the demand for diesel techs firsthand and is glad he’s chosen a career that he can always count on.

Keep reading to learn about Nestor’s inspiring story and some of the exciting opportunities technicians can pursue.1

Getting Started in the Diesel Industry

Nestor grew up on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas. His family raised cattle, so he was used to working on various types of equipment and fixing it himself when things would break down. His grandpa and uncles drove trucks, so he was familiar with the industry.

When he graduated high school in 2013, Nestor knew he didn’t want to take a traditional path by going to college. He wanted to do something hands-on and turn his love for diesel—which came naturally to him—into a career.

Nestor first heard about UTI while in high school. He was familiar with the school’s programs and curriculum, so when it came time to choose where to pursue his training, he enrolled in the Automotive and Diesel Technology program at the Dallas/Fort Worth campus to gain a comprehensive set of skills. He loved diesel but wanted to learn as much as he could about the industry as a whole to prepare for success.

While his parents were hesitant about Nestor’s decision to go to UTI at first, he knew it was the place for him. He had the goal of becoming a diesel technician. But to get there, he needed the right training.

Training to Become a Technician

Nestor went into his UTI experience knowing he eventually wanted to complete the Peterbilt Technician Institute program. He lived down the street from a Rush Truck Centers location, and his ultimate goal was to end up working there.

Throughout his core program, Nestor worked hard and did everything he could to ensure he would be qualified for the Peterbilt program. While he had the option to complete several other programs, his heart was set on Peterbilt from day one.

The year Nestor graduated UTI was the first year UTI’s Dallas/Fort Worth campus offered the Peterbilt Technician Institute (PTI) program. The timing couldn’t have worked out better! Nestor applied for the program and loved everything he learned in what ended up being the highlight of his UTI experience.

According to Nestor, completing a Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training (MSAT) program is great for those who are driven and have a vision for where they want to go in their career. In his case, completing the PTI program opened the door to a career with Rush Truck Centers. As PTI is a manufacturer-paid program, Nestor was also able to save money by having the tuition covered for his specialized training.15

From UTI to Rush Truck Centers

After finishing his training, Nestor signed on with Rush Truck Centers. He started working as an entry-level tech and excelled in his new role. There was a lot to learn at first but his passion for the industry drove him to succeed. “I always knew I wanted to do more, so I kept pushing myself,” he shares.

Nestor quickly leveled up in the organization and, after two years, was given the opportunity to go into the mobile department. This meant he got his own truck to use for work! He ended up signing a contract to work for another company through Rush and traveled to Oklahoma, where he worked seven-day shifts.

After doing this for about a year, Nestor got the opportunity to work in west Texas on a contract for a company that purchases its trucks from the Rush dealer in Fort Worth. He’s been doing this for three years now!

Nestor works on a 14-day rotation, meaning he’ll work for a 2-week period then have 2 weeks off. During his time off at home in Fort Worth, he occasionally goes in and helps at the Rush dealer nearby.

Thanks to his employer, Nestor has had the opportunity to travel to different parts of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, and is currently working out a deal to go to Wyoming. “I’m glad Rush has given me the opportunity to travel,” he shares. “If you’re willing to work and train yourself, they will gladly give you the opportunity.”

Rush has really invested in Nestor and his training, allowing him to learn something new on the job every day. “It’s hard to find a company that competes like they do,” he shares.

The Growing Demand for Diesel Technicians

According to Nestor, the demand for skilled diesel technicians is high. While many industries have come to a standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the diesel industry keeps moving. “Especially right now with the virus going on, trucks need to be on the road,” he says.

“With the world moving as fast as it is, the diesel industry is going to be even more critical than it is now,” Nestor continues. A lot of companies are starting to put diesel engines in everything from cars to forklift trucks, which means more diesel techs will be needed to maintain this equipment. “The industry as a whole is evolving so much,” he says.

Nestor shares that in today’s world, learning to work on diesel engines can make you much more versatile and in-demand. Companies are always looking for candidates with diesel backgrounds because they realize the value they can bring into the workplace.

Nestor is very happy with his decision to pursue a career in diesel. “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” he shares. “I couldn’t stand sitting in a cubicle all day. I need to be out on the road, out in the open working with my hands.” He’s thankful to have chosen a career path that he can always count on. 

Advice for Aspiring Diesel Techs

Nestor’s advice for those considering a career in diesel is to make sure it’s something you’re really passionate about. “You have to put your heart into it,” he shares. “If it’s something you want to do, you have to find a way to do it no matter what.”

In this industry, success won’t be handed to you. It’s important to realize that there is always more learning to do. “Every day, there’s something new. If you close yourself off, this industry will leave you behind,” Nestor says.

Nestor shares that while UTI taught him the basics of what he needed to know to start his career, it was up to him to take this knowledge and run with it. When he first started working, he spent a lot of time with older technicians in the shop to soak up as much knowledge as he could.

While his first few months at the dealership were challenging, Nestor’s hard work has certainly paid off. He started as an entry-level technician, and today he’s a Level 4 technician. He’s already accomplished incredible things in his career—and he’s just getting started.5

What’s Next for Nestor?

Nestor enjoys working as a technician and being fully immersed in the industry. “I feel like I’m never done learning,” he says. Working for Rush has provided him with a lot of great training opportunities, and he’s excited to continue growing with the company. 

In addition to his technician career, Nestor would love to one day start a business and open a shop of his own. Having already accomplished so much at the young age of 26, he has plenty of time to turn this dream into a reality.

Learn In-Demand Skills at UTI

UTI’s programs are designed to build your base knowledge from the ground up. Whether you’re passionate about the diesel industry like Nestor or love working on motorcycles, our programs can teach you the fundamentals you need to know to prepare for a career.2

To learn more, visit our programs page and request information to get in touch with one of our Admissions Representatives today.
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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

5) UTI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a technician, such as: parts associate, service writer, fabricator, paint and paint prep, and shop owner/operator. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

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.

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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