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Diesel engines power some of the biggest players in our economy. From construction to agriculture, a vast number of industries rely on diesel to keep them running. And there’s a demand for skilled diesel technicians.
In fact, there are more than 28,000 estimated average annual job openings in the United States for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).43
Explore the variety of careers that diesel technician school can lead to, what the role requires and how you can set yourself apart when looking for a job.1
Our 45-week Diesel Technology program7 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. They also specialize in the maintenance and repair of any type of diesel engine.
From boats to bulldozers, diesel mechanics have an in-depth understanding of a vehicle’s engine, including the electrical system and all of its working parts. They enjoy hands-on work and also understand the technical systems that make today’s vehicles run smoothly and efficiently.
Diesel mechanics play a vital role in maintaining America’s transportation and energy infrastructure. Most of our grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. As with any industry, over time, you may be able
to advance in your career with hard work.
Diesel mechanics can be found in a variety of industries, including:77
One of the most popular industries that diesel technicians go into is trucking and transportation. Many techs 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 like support for road crews, forestry equipment maintenance, and repairs of city vehicles and machinery.
These technicians repair and maintain diesel-powered automobiles. Working in a shop means diesel technicians must be able to keep up in 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 repairs.
Power generation technicians are responsible for the inspection, repair, 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.
Diesel mechanics often end up working in these places:
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 $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.
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.
When it comes to becoming a diesel technician, there aren’t any official requirements for education, certifications or licenses. The only thing most employers require is a high school diploma. However, you can boost your prospects with the right
diesel technician school and certifications.
Here are some of the steps you can take to stand out as a diesel technician.
Many employers increasingly prefer candidates who have completed a postsecondary program at a diesel technician school, according to the BLS.
The Diesel Technology program at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is designed to teach the fundamentals you need for an entry-level role as a diesel mechanic. In the 45-week Diesel Technology program,
you’ll learn to diagnose and repair diesel fuel systems, perform hydraulic services, and receive hands-on training using equipment from leading brands in the industry.18
One of the top certifications that employers look for is an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. It shows that you’re highly qualified and have the expertise and skills necessary to work
on diesel engines.
UTI’s Diesel Technology program prepares students to complete ASE examinations. Graduates can even substitute their training for one of the two years of work experience
required to become ASE certified.16
Another way to increase your value as an employee and your earning potential is through specialized training, like the Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training (MSAT) programs available
to UTI students who have completed the Diesel Technology program.11
The courses have been created in conjunction with leading manufacturers, including Cummins, Daimler, Fendt and Peterbilt. They’re designed to provide hands-on experience and mimic real-world workflows, which can give you a competitive advantage
when applying for jobs.15
Even if you have the exact qualifications and experience needed for a position, you’ve still got to know how to make good impression in an interview. Here’s a checklist of how to prepare to put your best foot forward.
Some of the biggest names in diesel look to UTI Diesel program graduates to help keep their engines running. Here, you’ll learn the skills top manufacturers say matter most for diesel technicians.
To learn more about diesel mechanic school at UTI, contact us today. We’ll connect you with an Admissions Representative who can answer your questions and help you get started.
Click the button and tell us what program you're interested in!
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.
7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.
13) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2020-2030), www.bls.gov, viewed August 4, 2022.
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.
16) Not all programs are accredited by the ASE Education Foundation.
18) UTI now offers all of its automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technician training in a blended learning format consisting of online lecture courses along with in-person, hands-on lab training.
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.
43) For Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an annual average of 28,500 job openings between 2021 and 2031. Job openings include openings due to net employment changes and net replacements. See Table 1.10 Occupational separations and openings, projected 2021-31, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed October 13, 2022. 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 305,800 by 2031. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2021 and projected 2031, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
77) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI prepares graduates for entry-level careers using the provided training. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than those listed.
Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.