How to Become a Diesel Mechanic

Diesel mechanics do repair work on diesel powered vehicles and engines. Their line of work has most to do with heavy machinery, trucks and other vehicles that are large in size. Diesel mechanics have are sought after for their expertise on transmissions, brake systems and other parts of diesel vehicles. With the right amount of planning and passion, a diesel mechanic career isn’t impossible to obtain. Preparation for this career can start as early as high school, and the formula for becoming a diesel mechanic consists of traditional as well as unconventional steps. In the sections below, the steps that should be taken toward becoming this type of mechanic will be further explained.


If the individual in pursuit of a diesel mechanic career is still attending high school, certain courses will steer that person in the right direction when it is time to submit applications for vocational and college programs. Physics, math and computers are among the core classes and diesel repair courses are more specific classes to take but are not available at every high school. Another thing that can be done during high school years is volunteer work at a local mechanic shop or working under a mentor. This provides hands-on experience and a better understanding of what the line of work as a diesel mechanic consists of. This experience falls under the category of unconventional steps because volunteering can sometimes be done on unofficial terms. Also, diesel mechanics spend a great deal of their time taking part in maintenance inspection which is a frequent service. So exposing oneself to this during the last stage of grade school is important.

The previous section is targeted toward high school students, but if the person isn’t attending grade school and has already reached the stage of adulthood in which they may attend college and other programs that require a diploma or an equivalency, then it is okay to search for vocational and college programs. The top technician and mechanic schools can be found on competent lists all over the web. There are also forums and discussion boards that allow consumers and curious minds to come together and brainstorm where the best places are for training. Also, since there are much more electronic components involved with the mechanic field it is important to now which schools will provide experience and knowledge in that area as well.

Mechanicschools.us is a great site with ratings of the top automotive mechanic schools. Education-portal.com is another website with the same type of information. Certification programs usually take as little as 6 months and Associate’s Degree programs can last up to 2 years.

A CDL or commercial driver’s license is important to have. It will be needed when for test driving when a vehicle has either been repaired or needs to undergo the process. When attending these programs, it is important to still volunteer or seek out professional training because new technology is always being introduced into the field and if a mechanic is not up to date with the most modern information it will be difficult to land or keep a job. A bit of advice to mechanics who complete all of the required programs and licenses is to stay away from all types of drugs. Drug tests are required of applicants of all professional diesel mechanic positions.

The certifications, degrees and licenses mentioned above are not the last step to becoming a diesel mechanic. In order to be licensed to practice in this area once and for all, the individual needs to be certified under the ASE or Automotive Service Excellence. The National Institute administers the test and there are different categories for the test taker to choose from. Diesel engines should be the category chosen but there are other areas such as electronic systems and preventative maintenance.

Diesel mechanic work requires both physical and mental strength which is a rewarding experience for people who want to make a career out of their physical capabilities and intelligence at the same time. All that is required of anyone with this goal is persistence, patience and being aware of the fact that they will have to work hard to get to where they want to be.

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