Diesel Mechanic Career Profile

Diesel Mechanics (DMs) are sometimes referred as Diesel technicians. Diesel engines are more efficient and durable. So diesel engines are generally used in machines or equipment in the transportation and shipping industries where they are subjected to extreme strain and loads. If these engines break down, DMs fix them by repairing or replacing the broken components after doing the diagnostic tests. They are also responsible for the regular maintenance and preventive care of the diesel machines.

Daily Tasks

  • Assigned the repair of the vehicles with special job cards by their supervisors.
  • Running diagnostic tests on the engines in order to identify the source of the problem. Based on the source and nature of problem and the extent of damage, they either fix the engine or the worn out part or parts or completely replace the faulty components.
  • Cleaning the air, or oil filters, and check the water-cooling system in order to prevent further damage to the engine parts.
  • For regular maintenance of the machines, DMs need to comply with the check list and certain standards issued and explained to them, respectively.

Nature of Work

Their days are generally filled with the use of tools like pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, drills, lathes and so on. DMs should also keep dynamometers handy to check the power of engines. Though the work environment is well ventilated, they have to cope with the noise, grease and dirt in their scope of work. They are required to stand or lie down for a extended periods of time in order to check the faulty components of the engines. Moreover, they have to lift heavy machine components during the process of repairing the engine.

Some mechanics become specialists in a field of their choice. A few of them become specialists in areas such as: fuel-injection systems, starting systems, turbochargers and so on, while others are focus on rebuilding the engines.

Other Skills

  • DMs must be versatile and sophisticated enough to understand the working parts of a machine.
  • DMs should also know about the emission regulations and their control measures. Though the diesel engines are more durable and efficient, they emit more pollutants. Since governments have implied stringent rules for emission controls, most of the older diesel engines have to be retrofitted using emission filters and catalysts for compliance.
  • Knowledge of computers is also expected as large organizations use computers for diagnosing and precisely repairing the engines.


DMs can receive excellent employment opportunities in government agencies, automobiles parts wholesalers, mass transit corporations and in freight companies. They are normally paid on hourly basis and the median hourly wage is $17.30 an hour; they work for 40 hours a week in a standard environment.

Job Prospects

Over next several years, there is an average growth rate in this field. This might increase gradually, if an increasing amount of heavier machines are built utilizing the diesel engine standard.

You should devote at least two years of normal work experience after graduation before confronting the Automated Service exam. After this test, you will become a certified DM. Once you are certified your salary will rise slightly.  

Employment of diesel mechanics is expected to rise on par with all occupations until 2014 because of the expected rise of freight transport by trucks.