The Complete Guide

How to Become a Diesel Mechanic

How To Become A Diesel Mechanic and save time and money on your certification
February 14, 2024

Why We Love Diesel Mechanic

$50,000 - $75,000
Estimated Salary
Certification Online
Education Needed
No Prior Experience
3-4 Months

Do you love working with your hands and fixing things? Do you have a passion for understanding how mechanical things work? If you answered yes, then a career as a diesel mechanic may be the perfect match for you!

Diesel mechanics inspect, maintain, and repair all different types of diesel engines. These skilled tradesmen and women often work in repair shops, but can also be found working for trucking companies and government agencies or at construction sites.

And great news, since the world heavily relies on the trucking and agricultural industries, both of which run on diesel engines, diesel mechanics are always in high demand!

If you’re starting to get excited, then keep reading to discover what a career as a diesel mechanic offers!

Chapter 1:

What Do Diesel Mechanics Do?

A Diesel Mechanic is responsible for inspecting, diagnosing, maintaining and repairing diesel powered machines and vehicles. These can include trucks, trailers and forklifts.

On any given day, these tradesmen and women collaborate with team members to ensure the machines in their care are operating safely and efficiently. Some of the specific duties they are responsible for include:

·         Running diagnostic tests on vehicles

·         Replacing the engines in vehicles

·         Replacing the transmission, steering mechanism or braking system on diesel vehicles

·         Test driving vehicles to determine if the issue has been properly fixed

·         Preparing work plans

·         Conducting field visits in case of a sudden vehicle breakdown

·         Maintaining records of parts inventory and serviced vehicles

·         And much more!

So lets say you work for your city’s transportation agency. You and your team are responsible for servicing the city’s buses that take people to and from each day.

Some days you may find yourself working in a large repair shop, conducting regular servicing on the city’s many public buses.

Other days, you may be sent out to fix a bus that has broken down during morning commute. These days are actually fun for you because people are always happy when you show up, and you feel like a local superhero!

No matter where you decide to dedicate your skills and knowledge, you can be certain that each day poses challenges but makes you feel great about the work you do!

Chapter 2:

5 Best Reasons to Become a Diesel Mechanic

Here are 5 reasons you should consider a career as a diesel mechanic:

  1. High Demand

The United States is seeing an increasing demand for diesel mechanics for a couple of different reasons. One is that many baby boomers are retiring out of the industry and will need to be replaced.

In fact, it is thought that roughly 10,000 baby boomer mechanics are retiring out each day.

In addition, this country is in the process of building new infrastructure, which requires diesel vehicles and equipment during the process. These will need to be maintained and repaired during the ongoing construction projects.

  1. No Need for Student Debt

You can have a fantastic career without going to college for 4 years and going into debt. Do you know how long it takes the average college graduate, who holds $40,000 worth of debt, to pay it all off? And that’s IF he or she can find a decent job right away.

You can become trained and certified as a diesel mechanic in as little as 6 months and do so for a fraction of the cost of a typical college education. No need for debt to have a lucrative career you love!

  1. Opportunities for Advancement

Diesel mechanics have the opportunity to work their way up the ladder and become master tradesmen or women. Master mechanics command higher salaries (I’ll get to salary in a moment) and have more job flexibility.

  1. A Lot of Job Variety

As I mentioned, diesel mechanics are needed wherever big, heavy equipment is used. You have the choice of working in numerous different industries and work environments.

You could even decide to work toward designing diesel engine systems for a living or developing new technologies. The sky is the limit in this field!


  1. Job Satisfaction

As I mentioned earlier, the world is completely reliant on buses, trucks, railways, bulldozers, and farming equipment. It is critically important that these machines always be up and running.

You can feel good each day that you are helping to keep the economy going!

Chapter 3:

How to Get a Diesel Mechanic Certification

Whether you choose to work for a government agency, a private repair shop, or in the agricultural industry, prospective employers like to see job candidates hold a diesel mechanic certification.

In fact, some downright require it. This certification shows that you have taken the time to learn the fundamentals. So we recommend certification as it is the best way to get started on this new and exciting career.

We recommend you take our certification savings quiz to get started.

Our quiz could help you save time and money on a certification program from an accredited university – and it takes less than a couple minutes to complete.

5 Things to Look for In A Certification Program

  1. Be Sure the University is Accredited


While it’s important to get certified, understand that not any old certification training will do. You should absolutely look for a training from a university that has been accredited. This ensures the coursework has been found to be comprehensive.

  1. Look for Discounts, No Upfront Payments, And a Low Monthly Payment Plan

We believe higher education should be affordable for everyone. That’s why we have partnered with those schools who not only offer an already affordable training program, but also discounts and low monthly payment plans for those who need it. There’s no need to go into debt to have an amazing career!

  1. Opt for a program That Offers an Externship

Getting certified is your first step toward a career as a diesel mechanic. But how can you make yourself really stand out from other job candidates?

By getting some hands-on experience before hitting the job market. We have also partnered with schools that offer an externship, helping you get some hands-on experience.

  1. Look for an Online, Mentor Supported Course You Can Take at Your Own Pace

If you are an adult student, an online program is absolutely the way to go. Online degrees allow you to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

As an added benefit, online programs are typically far more affordable than traditional brick-and-mortar tuitions.

  1. Make Sure Textbooks are Included

Textbooks can be very expensive. Make sure the program you choose includes textbooks and all learning materials are included in the price of tuition.

  1. (Bonus!) Use our free quiz to find a certification program that meets all of these criteria 

It could take you a long time to come up with a list of certification programs that offer everything I just mentioned. So we went ahead and did this research for you.

All you have to do is take just a few moments and take this quiz. It will match you with the absolute top Diesel Mechanic certification programs. All programs meet the above criteria and are chosen for you based on your career goals and life situation.

Take the Quiz! >

Chapter 4:

Diesel Mechanic Salary Data

How much do diesel mechanics make? Here is the salary and growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

The median annual wage for diesel mechanics was $50,200 in May 2020, with the highest 10% earning more than $76,460.

The BLS also reports the top paying industries for diesel mechanics are:

  • Local government agencies – $59,790
  • Wholesale trade – $51,910
  • Automotive repair and maintenance – $47,730
  • Truck transportation – $46,390

It’s also worth mentioning that diesel mechanics, particularly the ones employed by truck fleet dealers and repair shops, receive a commission in addition to their base salary, according to the BLS.

Chapter 5:

Diesel Mechanic Job Growth Projections and Forecast

How fast is the diesel mechanic field growing?

According to the BLS, employment of diesel mechanics is projected to grow 8% over the coming decade. This translates into roughly 28,000 job openings each year for these tradesmen and women.

As I mentioned, this growth is due in large part to baby boomers who are retiring out of the industry, as well as the many new infrastructure project that will be happening around the country over the next ten years.

While demand is growing in this industry, those candidates who have trained and received their certification should have the easiest time landing a job in the market. Luckily we can connect you with accredited universities that offer this training!

Chapter 6:

How to Find a Job as a Diesel Mechanic

Your first step on your journey to becoming a diesel mechanic is to complete your certification training through an accredited university. This will give you a leg up on the competition and make sure you have a far easier time landing that first job.

Next, you’ll want to give some thought as to the kind of working environment that best suits your personality and preferences.

As I’ve mentioned, diesel engines are standard in trucks and buses as well as agricultural equipment. But you can find these engines on bulldozers and cranes and even commercial boats.

So you have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the type of daily work you do and the environment you do it in.

Once you’ve determined your preferred work environment, you’ll definitely want to gain some critical hands-on experience before starting your job search.

The good news is we’ve partnered with quality certification programs that include an externship. This will get you some important hands-on experience!

Chapter 7:

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional questions and answers you may have about becoming a Diesel Mechanic, or getting certified.

Q: What Does a Diesel Technician Do Every Day?

A: These tradesmen and women inspect, repair, maintain, and overhaul buses and trucks and other vehicles and equipment that are powered by diesel engines.

Q: What is Diesel Mechanic Certification?

A: This certification is really great to have because it helps you stand apart from other job candidates. Certification shows prospective employers that you have taken the time to obtain the skills and knowledge needed to add value to their team of mechanics.

Q: What Skills Will I Learn in Diesel Technician Training?

A: This training program will teach you the basics about inspecting, maintaining and repairing diesel engines. Some of the specific topics covered are:

  • Fuel injection systems
  • On-board computers
  • Batteries
  • Electrical networks
  • Ignition systems
  • Handheld diagnostic equipment usage
  • Detroit diesel electronic reader interpretation
  • Dial gauge understanding
  • Engine diagnosis
  • And more!

Q: What Are the Prerequisites for Enrollment in a Certificate Program?

A: The only requirement for enrollment in these programs is a high school diploma or equivalent.

Chapter 8:

How to Start Towards a Diesel Mechanic Career In 4 Months

Even if you don’t have any prior experience or degree – you could start towards a career as a diesel mechanic in just 4 months!

That’s one of the coolest things about this profession.

So here’s what we recommend you do to get started: Take this quiz to see if you qualify for an online certification program from an accredited university.

Take the Quiz! >

A diesel mechanic certification is required or preferred by most employers. Plus, taking a certification program could be the best way to get your foot in the door, build your network, get training, and work experience.

Take this quiz to see if you qualify for:

  • 10% Off A Certification Program From An Accredited University
  • An Externship For Real Work Experience
  • $0 Upfront Tuition and Low Monthly Payments
  • A FREE Laptop To Take The Course If You Don’t Have One
  • No Extra Cost For Textbooks – All Included and Shipped To Your Door
  • Online, Mentor Supported Courses You Can Take 24/7 At Your Own Pace

If you are ready to get started on an exciting and rewarding career as a diesel mechanic, then take this short quiz to get started toward your dream!