The modern field of diesel repair and maintenance is showing sustained and robust growth, especially due to the growing popularity of commercial and private diesel engines.
Trained diesel mechanics face quite promising employment and professional advancement options in this field.
For this reason, obtaining effective training in the field of diesel engine repair is becoming increasingly important for those interested in this career.
Diesel Engine Mechanic Training
Although it is possible to become a diesel mechanic without formal training, most companies prefer to hire individuals who have received some degree of formal training.
Not only have diesel engines become more complex, but many mechanics will also work with emission control and other secondary systems that require a great degree of skill in order to effectively maintain.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to become a trained diesel engine mechanic. However, it is important to note that a diesel mechanic does not need to be licensed by the state in order to work in this field.
Diesel Engine Training Centers
A wide number of community colleges, vocational training centers and adult education schools offer training for individuals wishing to become a diesel mechanic. In most cases, the program takes anywhere from six months to two years to complete, depending on the student’s schedule and the nature of his or her training course.
In most cases, these training courses cover how diesel technology works, repair techniques, ranging from simply component repair to how to full-scale engine rebuild procedures and preventative maintenance techniques.
In addition, students learn how to use electronic diagnostic systems in order to determine if an engine is malfunctioning and if so, what the likely source of the malfunction is.
Because there is a very wide range of diesel engine models in use, most of these programs work to help their students learn how to work on all types of diesel engines. In addition, some programs train their students in how to repair and maintain engine-related equipment such as emission control systems.
Most diesel mechanic training programs provide a mixture of academic classroom instruction and hands-on work in fully equipped garages.
By doing so, the mechanic not only learns the theory behind how a diesel engine operates, but also comes to understand the practical aspects of engine repair and maintenance.
In some cases, a school may have a formal or informal relationship with a local repair shop that can allow students to work at the shop as part of an externship or internship program, obtaining valuable experience under the supervision of trained mechanics.
While some classes may be taken online, the emphasis on practical experience does generally require that students attend at least part of the program in person. However, many diesel mechanic training programs have flexible scheduling options for their students in order to allow working students to attend their classes.
Certification and Accreditation
A potential student should check to see whether or not the program that he or she is considering entering is accredited. While accreditation is not mandatory, many businesses and organizations prefer to hire individuals who have graduated from an accredited program.
Currently, the primary accreditation agency for automotive repair and technical programs is the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). The NATEF provides voluntary accreditation services for programs that seek to provide a superior level of education to their students. By doing so, the student can be assured that his or her program provides up to date information on modern repair techniques and has highly qualified educators to impart that information to their students.
Finally, diesel mechanics desiring to further improve their qualifications may seek certification in a number of areas. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provides certification services in a variety of areas for diesel repair technicians.
By becoming an ASE certified technician, a mechanic can drastically improve his or her professional options.
A primary factor to consider is that the ASE certifies technicians, rather than repair facilities, so having certified diesel mechanics on the staff can help improve a garage’s standing in the community.
Preparing for a Career as a Diesel Engine Technician
In addition to entering a program, individuals interested in a career as a diesel mechanic should prepare ahead of time.
Many high schools offer auto repair and technology classes, which can provide a future mechanic with a strong grounding in the basic principles of diesel engine repair techniques.
Many private garages will employ individuals while they are working in a diesel-engineering program. This provides the student with extra practical instruction, in addition to helping forge personal connections that could result in swift employment after he or she graduates from the program.
This is especially important for those individuals seeking to gain employment at a small neighborhood garage as opposed to working for a larger organization.
Finally, even after he or she has become a professional diesel engine mechanic, it is important to remain current with modern diesel engine technology.
Those individuals who have been ASE certified will have to renew their certification at regular intervals and this will involve examinations to ensure that they are still highly qualified in the field.
Even those individuals who choose not to obtain certification will have to remain capable of providing high-quality service to modern diesel engine systems. By studying and remaining informed about developments in this field, a diesel engine technician can be assured that he or she will remain a valuable employee.
Diesel engines are an important part of the economy, and diesel engine mechanics and technicians play a vital role in their maintenance. By becoming a trained diesel mechanic, an individual can enter a dynamic and growing field with excellent salary and professional options.
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