Is becoming a diesel mechanic right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming a diesel mechanic is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a diesel mechanic or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become a Diesel Mechanic
There are two educational pathways to a career in diesel mechanics. Certificate programs last from six to nine months. Associate degree programs, which incorporate some general education classes, are typically two years in duration.
Students are encouraged to seek out a program which prepares them for the exams administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE certification exams related to diesel mechanics cover light vehicle diesel engines, diesel engines (transit bus), electronic diesel engine diagnosis specialist, diesel engines (school bus), and diesel engines (medium-heavy truck). Licensing and certification requirements for diesel mechanics vary from state to state.
The core curriculum of both certificate and associate degree programs is designed around classroom and hands-on learning. Per the sample program summary below, heavy truck maintenance is often the focus of these programs.
• Diesel Mechanics / Heavy Truck Maintenance
• Diesel Truck Operation, Safety, and Technology
• Diesel Engine Fundamentals
• Truck Engine Lubrication, Cooling, and Exhaust Systems
• Truck Fuel Systems
• Truck Electronics and Engine Controls
• Truck and Trailer Maintenance
• Truck Electrical Systems
• Truck Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning (HVAC) Systems
• Tires, Suspension and Steering
• Truck / Bus Heavy Duty Brake Systems
• Drivelines and Transmissions
• Troubleshooting and Repair
If diesel mechanics sounds like it may be the right career for you, take high school classes in mathematics and science and electronics or auto shop, and stay physically fit.