Job Description for Diesel Mechanics
A diesel mechanic repairs, preserves and overhauls diesel engines, which is the main source of power in automobiles, buses, and trucks. A diesel mechanic is so highly skilled, he can breakdown a diesel engine and put it back together. To find the basis of a diesel engine’s problem, the mechanic runs a series of tests, then repairs or overhauls the diesel engine. Since diesel engines are costly to replace, it is cost effective to repair a diesel engine. At various times, diesel mechanics must raise heavy parts, so they should be in good physical health.
Education and Training for Diesel Mechanics
Trainees should have strong mechanical aptitude. High school enrollment in automobile repair and machine shop will assist in the transition to diesel engine repair. Trade and technical schools can last anywhere from several months to two years.
Certification by the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) is the customary credential for diesel mechanics, with further on-the-job instruction. Qualification for ASE certification requires the diesel mechanic to pass one, or supplementary ASE exams, and show proof of practical experience i.e. two years or more.
Salary for Diesel Mechanics
The average salary in 2010 was $20.31 per hour; however, many diesel mechanics receive commission as well on their repair work. So the amount of work completed has a direct affect on compensation. Those diesel mechanics with skill and experience are compensated at a higher rate. If the diesel mechanic is a member of a union, the rate of pay is often negotiated. Union membership is optional; however, 23% of diesel mechanics are active members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Sheet Metal Workers International Association, or the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Each union offers supplementary benefits to its members.
Job Outlook for Diesel Mechanics
The need to fill vacated positions from retiring workers over the next decade generates a positive employment outlook. Employment prospects are more favorable for those with formal training however. Diesel mechanics with formal training are projected to have a healthy 6% growth in employment from 2008 to 2018. Diesel mechanics are employed by trucking companies and dealers, equipment wholesalers, companies that use diesel repair equipment, may be self-employed, or work for a supply broker.