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Have you ever thought about becoming a diesel mechanic?

As a diesel mechanic, you can work on so much more than just trucks. Diesel engines power some of the biggest players in our economy and play a vital role in a wide variety of industries. From farms to construction sites to even harbors, diesel mechanics can apply their skills to many different environments.

If you have considered becoming a diesel mechanic, you’ve come to the right place. Here are answers to five commonly asked questions about the profession:

What Is a Diesel Mechanic?

Diesel mechanics (commonly referred to as diesel technicians) inspect, repair, and overhaul buses and trucks, as well as specialize in the maintenance and repair of diesel engines. From bulldozers and cranes to passenger vehicles and pickups, diesel mechanics have the skills to repair many different types of equipment.

Diesel mechanics possess a deep understanding of a vehicle’s electrical system, engine and working parts. This career requires dexterity and an in-depth knowledge of the technical systems that make today’s vehicles run.

Diesel mechanics are trained to complete a variety of maintenance and repair services, including changing oil, checking fluid levels, rotating tires and even full-on engine rebuilds.

How Do You Become a Diesel Mechanic?

Some diesel mechanics are trained on the job after high school. However, today's employers are continuing to prefer 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 teaches students the fundamentals they need to service powerful trucks and engines.7 In the program, students learn to diagnose and repair diesel fuel systems, perform hydraulic services and receive hands-on training with equipment from leading brands in the industry.

After graduating from their 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 top manufacturers say matter most.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Diesel Mechanic?

The length of time it takes to become a diesel mechanic depends on the school. At Universal Technical Institute (UTI), you can train to become a diesel mechanic in less than a year (45 weeks).7 As a student, you’ll gain the fundamentals you need to service powerful trucks and engines.

After completing your core training, you can advance your education with specialized training created in conjunction with leading manufacturers. UTI’s Diesel Manufacturer-Specific Advanced training programs take from 8 to 15 weeks to complete.

How Much Does a Diesel Mechanic Make, and What Is the Job Outlook?

If you’re considering a career in this field, you may be wondering how much diesel mechanics make? Salary depends on several factors, including education, skill level, work experience and profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for diesel service technicians and mechanics in the United States was $54,360 in May 2022.29 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 are more than 24,000 estimated average annual job openings in the U.S. for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists, according to the BLS.43 As freight continues to be shipped across the country, more diesel-powered trucks will be required to carry freight to locations where trains and pipelines are not available.

Additionally, diesel cars and light trucks are becoming more popular, which contributes to the need for skilled technicians who can work on these vehicles. Workers who have completed postsecondary education are expected to have better job opportunities than those who don’t.

How Do You Get ASE Certification to Become a Diesel Mechanic?

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) promotes excellence in vehicle repair, service and parts distribution. ASE tests and certifies automotive professionals in order to protect consumers, shop owners and technicians. Certification provides a way for technicians to offer tangible proof of their technical knowledge.

At Universal Technical Institute, we understand the importance of certification for technicians. Our Diesel Technology program is Master Certified by the ASE Education Foundation.

Graduates of UTI’s Diesel Technician Training program are well prepared to complete ASE examinations and can substitute their training for one of the two years of work experience required to become ASE certified.

Ready to Get Started?

Want to learn more about training for a career as a diesel mechanic at Universal Technical Institute? Check out our Diesel Technology program page and request more information today.

Want to Learn More About the Diesel Technology Program?

If you're interested in learning how you can register for the Diesel Technology program Just click the link below or call (800) 834-7308 to speak with one of our friendly Admissions Representatives.