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What Does a Diesel Mechanic Do?

Diesel is considered the ideal fuel to power the nation’s buses and tractor-trailers, and keeping those vehicles on the road requires a steady flow of diesel mechanics. Sometimes referred to as diesel service technicians, diesel mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing vehicles and machinery that run on diesel fuel. A diesel mechanic may work in a variety of industries on many different types of heavy equipment, including trucks, buses, bulldozers, cranes and tractors. These mechanics possess in-depth knowledge of vehicle electrical systems, diesel engines and parts.

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$ 30,000 - $ 74,000
$ 49,000
24,100+
Diesel mechanic inspects a truck engine
A diesel mechanic is a good problem-solver, performing basic maintenance on one vehicle and using a computer to adjust engine functions on another. (Credit: Kot500/Shutterstock)
A Day In the Life
Image
Drake Davis, diesel mechanic and instructor, works with a student to install king pins and spindles on a F100 Truck
A Day In the Life

Drake Davis has always loved fixing things. He turned a love for working with his hands into a career path, working on all types of agricultural equipment for Bane-Welker in Indiana.

And he's doing his part to bring others down that path with him.

"If you like working with your hands, like mechanics, like challenges, and like a fast-paced environment, this is the career for you," says Drake, who also became a high school instructor in 2020.   

He says he loves giving back and providing the mentoring that helped him along the way. Plus, he gets to keep on learning, which is important in an industry changing so dramatically with new technology.

Find out what else Drake has to say about being a diesel mechanic.

Job Responsibilities
  • Diagnose engine fault codes, wiring diagnostics, air brake system, exhaust filtration and regeneration systems
  • Perform thorough inspections of vehicle systems including steering and brakes
  • Carry out in-depth repairs 
  • Replace malfunctioning parts
  • Perform basic maintenance 
  • Test-drive vehicles to ensure everything is working properly
EDUCATION + TRAINING

Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent and provide on-the-job training. Some look for applicants who have completed training programs in diesel engine repair or service technology. These programs may lead to a certificate or an associate degree, depending on the program. New mechanics can expect about three to four years of on-the-job training to reach journey-level status. Training through a focused, brand-specific diesel engine repair program — which may be shorter — is another path to employment opportunities. Continuing education is encouraged, and many manufacturers offer special training classes that cover the latest innovations.

YOU MAY BE A GOOD FIT FOR THIS POSITION IF YOU
  • Have strong analytical skills 
  • Have the ability to think on your feet  
  • Possess mechanical and technical know-how
  • Have good attention to detail
  • Have good hand-eye coordination
  • Have strong communication skills
  • Are comfortable with changing technology

Diesel Mechanic Training in Your Area

Coordinates

Remanufacturing Technology, A.A.S.

Ozarks Technical Community College
Springfield (134.2 Miles)

Diesel Technology Certificate

Ozarks Technical Community College
Springfield (134.2 Miles)

Diesel Technology, A.A.S.

Ozarks Technical Community College
Springfield (134.2 Miles)

Diesel Technology Certificate

Arkansas State University - Newport
Newport (270.8 Miles)

Truck Service and Maintenance Certificate

Arkansas State University - Newport
Newport (270.8 Miles)

Diesel Technology Certificate

Seward County Community College
Liberal (286.9 Miles)

Diesel Technology, A.A.S.

Seward County Community College
Liberal (286.9 Miles)

Diesel Mechanics Diploma

Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs (289.0 Miles)

Diesel Technology, A.A.S

Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs (289.0 Miles)

Diesel Technology - Diesel Service, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (291.5 Miles)

Diesel Technology - Heavy Equipment, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (291.5 Miles)

Diesel Technology - Power Generation, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (291.5 Miles)

Find Diesel Mechanic Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Utility Worker

National Express Corporation
Greensboro ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 7 months 1 week ago

Maintenance Technician I

National Express Corporation
Greensboro ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 9 months 2 weeks ago

Service Apprentice

MHC Kenworth
Greensboro ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 7 months 1 week ago

School Bus -Head Mechanic

Bensenville School District
Bensenville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 year 3 months ago

Service Technician - CDL Required

UGI
Warrenton ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months 1 week ago

Service Technician

MHC Kenworth
Greensboro ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months 1 week ago

Diesel Mechanic

Greensboro Auto Auction
Greensboro ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 year 2 months ago

Field Service & Technical Advising Specialist

Wabtec Corporation
Remote ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 6 months ago