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What A Diesel Mechanic Job Is Like


Interest in diesel can run deep—as in, ‘it’s a lifestyle’ deep. Even before training, you may have dynos on the brain and tuning knowledge down cold. Nearly every hour spent on modifications is already enjoyable on your vehicle. But what’s it like working on others’ trucks and equipment every day?

Short answer: It’s just as fun. For those just getting curious, the career can be for you, too. No prior experience is necessary to train! And through one of our partner schools, you can become an expert quickly and be career-ready in as few as 10 months. Find your mechanic training program now.

On The Job | What You’ll Do

When you go into diesel mechanics, you’re choosing to turn tinkering into an income stream, putting money into your pocket. In 2019, diesel mechanics had a median annual pay of $48,500 (bls.gov). There’s high earning potential beyond that, too. In fact, the top 10% made more than $74,090.

As a diesel mechanic, you can work on light, medium, or heavy-duty equipment. Light vehicles are diesel cars and heavy duty pickups. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles are school buses, semis, construction equipment, etc.

You’ll be responsible for the upkeep and repair for all diesel vehicle systems—brakes, electrical, drive train, and more—just as mechanics do with gas-fueled cars.

On the job, you’ll:

  • run tests
  • diagnose problems
  • replace parts
  • test equipment
  • communicate with vehicle owners

You can be hired at dealerships, auto shops, and really, any company with a fleet and a garage. Eventually, once you have the space and tools, you could work for yourself. Many diesel mechanics, if they are entrepreneurial as well, look forward to opening their own performance shop.

Job Training & Certification

A lot of mechanical knowledge can be picked up outside of a training program, but it’s important to go through a class, especially if you’re seeking ASE certification (which you should be—more on that in a minute). In many cases, employers look for formal training among applicants. Training helps set you apart from the others, and it can help command a higher pay rate.

After you’re done with a training program and meet the necessary work experience as a diesel mechanic, you’ll want to pursue your ASE certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

Becoming ASE certified is one of the best ways to increase your pay and work responsibilities throughout your career.

Diesel mechanics can become ASE master certified by taking tests T2-T8:

  • T2 – Diesel Engines
  • T3 – Drive Train
  • T4 – Brakes
  • T5 – Suspension & Steering
  • T6 – Electrical/ Electronic Systems
  • T7 – Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning
  • T8 – Preventive Maintenance Inspection

These skill assessment tests are the automotive industry’s gold standard, and your training program will prepare you for these.

Diesel Mechanic: A Job That’s In Demand

You’ll be making a great career choice by choosing to become a diesel mechanic. The solid salary and fast time to train sweeten the benefit of doing something you enjoy. The perks don’t stop there, either.

Diesel mechanics are projected to stay in high demand, with a 5% growth in employment expected through 2028 (bls.gov).

Diesel mechanics are essential to keeping semi trucks on the road and construction equipment moving—two areas that never power off in America.

Between heavy and passenger vehicles, you can be confident you’ll always have something to work on.

Find training to become a diesel mechanic now.

Reference: BLS.gov

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