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Diesel engines power some of the biggest players in our economy. From construction to agriculture, the number of industries that rely on diesel to keep them running is innumerable. For those who love the roar of a diesel engine and have a natural ability to problem solve, a career as a diesel mechanic can be the perfect choice.
The demand for skilled mechanics is high but you might be asking yourself, “Is being a diesel mechanic a good career?” and “What are the duties of a diesel mechanic?” Keep reading to learn all about what a diesel mechanic does, job opportunities in the industry, job outlook and more:
Our 45-week Diesel Technology program was created with input from the world’s leading manufacturers to prepare you to work on everything from big trucks and corporate fleets to farm equipment and oil rigs. Some of the biggest names in diesel choose UTI’s graduates to keep their engines running.
Diesel technicians (also known as diesel mechanics) inspect, repair and overhaul buses and trucks, and specialize in the maintenance and repair of any type of diesel engine. From boats to bulldozers, diesel mechanics aren’t afraid to get their hands
dirty to get the job done right.
Diesel mechanics have an in-depth understanding of a vehicle’s electrical system, engine and all of its working parts. They enjoy hands-on work yet also have an understanding of the technical systems that are used to make today’s vehicles
Diesel mechanics are trained to perform a variety of maintenance and repair services, from oil changes to full-on engine rebuilds.
As technology continues to evolve and customer demand increases, diesel careers are growing. Read on to take an in-depth look into various diesel jobs:
One of the most popular industries that diesel mechanics go into is trucking and transportation. Many mechanics are employed by trucking companies and transportation authorities. These jobs typically focus on maintenance and repair of semi-trucks, heavy
trucks, buses and construction vehicles.
Many entry-level diesel mechanics work for government departments. In these roles, mechanics may be assigned to various responsibilities such support of road crews, forestry equipment maintenance, and repairs of city vehicles and machinery. These are
important roles, as cities and states rely on these mechanics to keep their equipment running.
Some diesel technicians decide to apply their skills in auto shop environments. These technicians provide repair and maintenance for diesel-powered autos. Working in a shop means these techs must be able to keep up with a fast-paced environment and have
great teamwork and communication skills.
Mobile diesel mechanics bring the shop to their customers. Rather than traveling to a repair shop, customers can contact a mobile mechanic who can meet them roadside (or wherever they may be) to perform the repair. These mechanics specialize in getting
cars and trucks back on the road as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Believe it or not, diesel technicians play an important role in the railroad and marine industries. These careers require technicians to gain specialized training on equipment and tools they’ll be using.
Locomotive mechanics and marine technicians perform routine upgrades and tuning services on ships and trains, and often work in specially designed shops or ride with the vehicle as they monitor wear and tear to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Power generation technicians are responsible for the inspection, repair and maintenance, and modification of internal combustion engines, diesel generators and other gaseous engines. They possess the ability to troubleshoot and repair diesel and gas generators,
provide cost estimates for materials and services, use test equipment to determine the cause of breakdowns, and maintain records and files.
Service writers act as liaisons between the business and customers. They possess in-depth product knowledge and ensure customers’ needs are being met. Job duties include answering customer questions, writing job orders, dispatching work to technicians,
providing cost estimates, and facilitating the transaction process.
Diesel engines power many of the vehicles used in agricultural work. Agricultural mechanics fix tractors, combines and other types of farm equipment, which often involves replacing parts or upgrading outdated components. This career is ideal for those
who love agriculture, mechanics and transportation.
Diesel mechanics play a vital role in maintaining America’s transportation and energy infrastructure. Due to the widespread use of diesel engines, mechanics can find work in a variety of industries. Now that we’ve covered some common diesel
technician jobs, let’s talk about where diesel mechanics often work.
If you’re considering a career in this field, you may be wondering, ‘How much do diesel mechanics make?’ According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
the median annual salary for diesel service technicians and mechanics was $50,200 in May 2020.29 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.
When it comes to job outlook, there is a projected average number of annual job openings of 24,500 for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists, according to the BLS.43 As more freight is shipped across the country, additional diesel-powered trucks will be needed to carry freight wherever trains and pipelines are not available or economical. In addition, diesel cars and light trucks are becoming more popular, and more diesel technicians will be needed to maintain and repair these vehicles.
While some diesel mechanics learn on the job after high school, employers are increasingly preferring candidates who have completed a postsecondary program at a technical trade school like Universal Technical Institute (UTI).1
UTI’s 45-week Diesel Technology program is designed to teach students the fundamentals they need to service powerful trucks and engines.
In the program, students learn to diagnose and repair diesel fuel systems, perform hydraulic services, and receive hands-on training using equipment from leading brands in the industry.
The diesel mechanic career path can be exciting. After graduating from the core program, students can choose to continue their education by completing a Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training program.
These courses are created with leading manufacturers and designed to mimic workflows found in the real world, which can give you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs. Advanced training programs include:
When you choose UTI for your diesel mechanic school, you’re in good company. Some of the leading names in diesel look to UTI graduates to keep their engines running, which means you can feel confident that you’ll learn the skills that manufacturers
say matter most.
Overall, becoming a diesel mechanic is a great choice for those looking for a career with competitive pay and a variety of work environments. With the growing demand for diesel mechanics, there’s no better time than now to start your training!
UTI’s diesel program is offered at campus locations across the country. Classes begin at regular intervals, so you can start your training when it’s convenient for you.
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.
6) UTI graduates' achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages.
11) See program details for eligibility requirements and conditions that may apply.
13) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2018-2028), www.bls.gov, viewed September 10, 2019.
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) Estimated annual median salary for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. Entry-level salaries may be lower. UTI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as diesel technicians. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a diesel truck technician, such as maintenance technician, locomotive technician and marine diesel technician. 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 $34,323 to $70,713 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2019 data, viewed June 2, 2021, https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/OccupationalEmploymentAndWageSpecificOccupations#). North Carolina salary information: The U.S. Department of Labor estimate of hourly earnings of the middle 50% for skilled diesel technicians in North Carolina, published May 2021, is $23.20. 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 $19.41 and $16.18, respectively. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020. Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, viewed June 2, 2021.)
43) For Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an annual average of 24,500 job openings between 2019 and 2029. Job openings include openings due to net employment changes and net replacements. See Table 1.10 Occupational separations and openings, projected 2019–29, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed June 3, 2021. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
48) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that total national employment for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists will be 290,800 by 2029. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2019 and projected 2029, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed June 3, 2021. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
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