Diesel Mechanic Schools

A bright future working on diesel engines awaits you. Find the diesel mechanic schools that can get you there.

 

Becoming a Diesel Mechanic

Vehicles that use diesel engines can be found anywhere from city streets to the deep sea. Thousands of buses, trucks, boats and even private vehicles use diesel-powered engines as an alternative to gas. Because of their durability and fuel economy, diesel engines are used for commercial applications, so repairing these engines is a vital component to the American transport infrastructure. Interestingly, many businesses use diesel engines as backup generators in order to maintain power when the main power grid suffers an interruption. Because of the training they receive, there are a lot of different types of careers that diesel mechanics can pursue. These range from working as a mechanic in a local garage to a commercial fleet in large repair centers to being an on-site mechanic, including working on boats. Diesel mechanics enjoy high-paying careers that give them options for where they want to work and what type of vehicles or machines they want to work on.

Diesel Mechanic Schools

There are currently 279 diesel mechanic schools operating in the United States. All 50 states have at least one school that offers a diesel mechanic or service technician program. Some schools also offer relocation programs to help you with the expenses associated with moving. See some of the top schools below:

Diesel Mechanic Specialty Programs

Here is what you can expect to learn if you enroll in a Diesel Program. Be aware that some schools will offer some of these courses or may have slight variations on the type of courses that are part of the curriculum.

  • Engine Service and Repair
  • Truck Manual Transmission
  • Truck Brake Systems
  • Truck Steering and Suspension
  • Climate Control Systems and Repair
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Electronic Systems and Technology
  • Truck Transport Refrigeration
  • Truck Preventative Maintenance
Once you graduate from a Diesel program, you will receive a diploma or Associates in Occupational Studies (AOS). You can also become ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified since these schools prepare you to take the necessary exams to receive your certification. In some schools, you can even substitute your training for one or two years of work experience to become ASE certified.
There are not that many legal requirements to attend a diesel mechanic school but some of the basic requirements to enroll include:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have a clean background check (no felonies)
  • Must have a GED or high school diploma
For diesel mechanics, the median starting salary is $40,000 per year. This can increase fairly consistently over time, especially for diesel mechanics who become more specialized or are willing to travel to specific sites. Job availability is driven by the continued growth of shipping fleets, as additional mechanics become necessary to maintain them. An avenue which yields some of the higher-paying diesel mechanic jobs is working for the government. This would include city, state and federal government and many different departments within each. Other popular paths to employment include working in a shop, working on small or large shipping fleets, or even starting a shop or service business of your own.

Diesel Mechanic Specialty Programs FAQs

How much does a diesel mechanic program cost?

A certificate program for diesel mechanics typically ranges from $1,000 – $5,000, while an associate’s degree typically ranges from $10,000 – $30,000. This varies based on the school of your choice and whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student. This, however, does not include the price of housing, if you choose to pay for housing provided through the school.

Do I need to have a college degree?

No. The only requirements to start the program are to be 18 years of age or older, have a clean record and have received a GED (General Education Diploma) or a high school diploma. Some schools may require drug testing or background checks as well but not every school.

Is there an interview process?

Most schools do not require an interview. Most diesel mechanic schools only require an application and submission of documents as part of the enrollment process while some may require an interview with an admissions representative to ensure you are a good fit for the school.

When does the program start?

Start dates will vary by program and location. Because of the high volume of schools that offer the Diesel specialization, you should be able to find a school near you starting fairly frequently. Unlike many traditional colleges and universities, vocational or trade schools have more frequent class starts, so you don’t always have to wait for a new semester or school year.

How long is the Diesel Mechanic or Service Technician program?

Most diesel mechanic programs are built into an Associates Degree program which lasts about two years. If you already have your Associates Degree and are just going back to school to earn your diesel mechanics specialization, the certificate program lasts from about six months to a year.