Many diesel mechanics will learn their skills informally while working on the job, but employers are continually looking for those who have already completed their post secondary training in the field of diesel engine repair. Even though this isn’t required, it is important for those who are looking to work as a diesel mechanic.
What Education is needed to Work in the Field?
Most of the time, an employer will require at least a GED or high school diploma. Earning your diesel mechanics certification will require classes in automotive repair, mathematics and electronics. Many employers want someone who has completed some post secondary education in the field. Numerous colleges and vocational schools offer programs in diesel repair. On average, the program will last anywhere from six months up to two years. In the end, you will receive your diesel mechanics certification to show to a prospective employer.
Programs will often mix hands-on training with classroom training, which will include repair techniques, equipment, the basics of diesel technology and a number of practical exercises. Students will also gain an understanding of how to interpret all of the different technical manuals and various diagnostic reports. Graduates will often advance to journey-worker status, which in turn, means a minimal amount of supervision is required.
What Type of Training is Necessary?
Some diesel mechanics will begin working in the field without having any post secondary education and they receive their training on-the-job. As a trainee, you will be assigned basic tasks, such as checking oil and fuel levels, cleaning parts and driving vehicles into and out of the shop. After learning routine repair and maintenance tasks, as well as demonstrating competence, trainees will be able to move forward to some of the more complicated jobs. The process can take anywhere from three to four years, which is when the trainee will be considered a journey-level mechanic.
Over the course of your career as a diesel mechanic, you need to learn all of the newest equipment and techniques. Employers will often send experienced mechanics to specialized classes offered by the vendors and manufacturers to learn all about the new technology for diesels.