How to Become a Diesel Mechanic

Diesel Mechanics (DMs) are also referred to as diesel technicians. Diesel engines are more efficient and durable and are generally used in machines or equipment of the transportation and shipping industries. These engines are subjected to large  strain and heavy loads. Without such heavy duty diesel engines, global transportation would be significantly curtailed. If the engines break down, DMs fix them by repairing or replacing the broken components. They are also responsible for the regular maintenance and preventive care of diesel machines.

The mechanics need lots of on-the–job training. You can volunteer to work part time at any machine shop that will allow you to tear down engines without there being too much risk. Even a nearby farm may let you pick apart some of their tractors so that you can gain experience with engines. Or, if you know someone who needs some help restoring a car or rebuilding an engine, you can practice with tools, develop dexterity and to see the inwards of a machine.

The Department of Labor advises you to complete a diesel mechanic training program from any of the diesel mechanic schools. The reason behind this is that modern machines are sophisticated and complicated. So, employers prefer trained and certified mechanics.

The Road to a DM Career

  • High School education and working hard in mechanics class at every school level is required. You should be cognizant in physics, algebra, geometry and English.
  • Study and understand the differences in the fundamentals of auto and diesel machines. Observe the tactics and execution of a DM and listen to what they have to say.
  • Acquire practical experience by handling tractors or anything with your hands. You can obtain training by working on cars.
  • Enroll yourself in a DM training program offered by a college or a university. You can also opt for associate’s degree or diploma program which gives specialized training in different areas of diesel mechanics; heavy, agricultural, mining or construction equipment for example.
  • Join a company which offers to train you in the training and certification of this profession directly after high school.
  • Understand some complex mathematics and certain computer software. The purpose of this training is to be proficient and to cover all the necessary bases so plan on being involved in some intense learning. It is not all about moving parts, there is a lot of electronics involved with diesel machines. Computer software is needed to decode and diagnose the problem, if there is one.


DMs are normally paid on an hourly basis and the average hourly wage is about $16 an hour. The mechanics usually work 40 hours a week.

Job Prospects

Over next several years, there is sluggish job growth in this field. This might increase in the future when bigger machines are built on the diesel engine power train or when the economies of the world improve.

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