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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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Median Salary $
49,000
Jobs Available
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)
Duties + 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

Automotive Technology, A. A. S.

Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque (0.0 Miles)

Diesel Mechanics-Engine Specialist Short Certificate

Shelton State Community College
Tuscaloosa (0.0 Miles)

Diesel Equipment Technology Certificate

Greenville Technical College
Greenville (0.0 Miles)
Mesa Community College logo

Catepillar Technician, A.A.S

Mesa Community College
Mesa (0.0 Miles)

Diesel Applied Technology, A.A.S.

Del Mar College
Corpus Christi (0.0 Miles)

Diesel Equipment Technology Associate Degree

Madison Area Technical College
Madison (0.0 Miles)

Diesel and Heavy Equipment Mechanics Short Certificate

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College
Andalusia (0.0 Miles)

Diesel Technician- Advanced Certificate

Midland College
Midland (0.0 Miles)

Heavy Diesel Service Technician Certificate

Albany Technical College
Albany (0.0 Miles)

Diesel Truck Maintenance Technician Certificate

Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta (0.0 Miles)

Diesel Heavy Equipment Master Technician, A.A.S.

College of Southern Nevada
Las Vegas (0.0 Miles)

Fuel Injection, Electrical, and Electronics Certificate

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Drake Davis
Image
Drake Davis, diesel mechanic and instructor, works with a student to install king pins and spindles on a F100 Truck
Meet Ambassador
Drake Davis

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.

Find Diesel Mechanic Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Maintenance Trailer Technician

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc
West Valley City ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

Bristol - School Bus Technician

FirstGroup plc
Bristol ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

Diesel Mechanic Technician - $2,000 Sign on Bonus

Ryder System
Columbus ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

Mechanical Express Specialist

U-Haul
Inkster ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

Technician-Mechanic

TravelCenters of America
Ashland ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

91H Track Vehicle Repairer

Army National Guard
Kingwood ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

91H Track Vehicle Repairer

Army National Guard
San Angelo ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

91H Track Vehicle Repairer

Army National Guard
Amanda ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago