While most people associate diesel engines with trucks and other commercial vehicles, the fact is that diesel engines are commonly used in a wide variety of fields.
Diesel powered vehicles are found in construction roles, trains, marine applications and are commonly used in the military. In addition, fixed diesel engines are widely used as a power source for generators, pumps and other applications requiring a dependable and economical source of power.
Because of this, individuals considering becoming a diesel mechanic can find employment in a wide range of fields and areas.
Whether they are interested in working in a small garage or as part of a large technical team, the field of diesel repair and maintenance can provide a long-term and secure career.
Types of Diesel Mechanic Jobs
Because diesel engines are used for such a wide range of applications, there are many specific jobs available to skilled diesel mechanics. In some cases, these fields may require specialized knowledge or extra experience when compared to other diesel mechanic jobs.
Large and Commercial Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
Due to the number of commercial and large vehicles that are powered by diesel engines, this is one of the most common fields for diesel mechanics. These vehicles include large commercial trucks, buses, and construction vehicles.
Diesel mechanics working in this field must be prepared to work with large and heavy engines, in addition to having an in-depth knowledge of how these systems interact with the vehicle.
In addition, mechanics that work with construction vehicles may be required to have an understanding of the vehicle’s ancillary systems, especially if they are directly powered by the diesel engine.
Depending on his or her specific job, a diesel mechanic specializing in this field may either work in a shop or travel to the work site. Field mechanics must be prepared to work in inclement weather while being prepared to handle a wide variety of potential malfunctions. Furthermore, remote construction or mining locations may require extensive travel and some businesses may require that the mechanic remain on site at all times.
Marine and Railroad Engine Diesel Mechanics
Diesel engines are widely used in both marine and rail transport applications. Diesel mechanics in this field must learn a number of different skills when compared to diesel mechanics that work on traditional trucks and cars in order to effectively maintain these systems.
In many cases, a diesel mechanic will be assigned to the vessel or train in order to provide on site monitoring and maintenance for the engine. Because these vehicles often operate for extended periods, their engines are subject to long-term stress and must closely monitored by the mechanic.
In addition, many trains and boats use diesel electric systems, where the diesel engine drives a generator in order to generate the electricity needed to operate the vehicle.
Mechanics assigned to these types of engines must also be experienced in how to safely operate and maintain the generator and any subsidiary systems.
Finally, large ocean going cargo vessels usually require extra training in the field of marine engineering, in addition to the basic training all sailors require. In many cases, especially for large commercial ships, the employer may require that any marine diesel mechanics have experience or certification in their field. Individuals considering this field should be aware that it marine engineers often spend long periods away from home in the course of their profession.
Fixed Diesel Mechanics
Many businesses and organizations make use of fixed diesel engines, usually as a part of an electrical generation system. These systems are most commonly used to provide emergency power, or to provide power to instillations that are not connected to the local power grid.
Because these systems must be reliable when called upon, they must be regularly maintained. Some businesses may keep a diesel mechanic on site at all times, while in other cases the mechanic may work at several locations.
Small Engine Diesel Mechanic
There are a number of small diesel engine applications, ranging from portable diesel generators to diesel-powered equipment. A mechanic specializing in this field will usually work at a repair shop rather than in the field.
Small engine mechanics must be prepared to work on a wide variety of sizes and types of diesel engines.
Types of Employment Options
In addition to the specific type of diesel engine systems a mechanic may work on, there are a number of potential employment options for diesel mechanics.
In many cases, the mechanic will work at a garage or other type of repair installation, either alone or as part of a larger team of mechanics. In many cases, the mechanic may be required to work over time in order to effectively meet the business’s equipments.
However, a number of diesel mechanics are self-employed. These individuals either own their own repair shop, or work at their client’s establishment providing maintenance services.
Self-employment can provide a number of benefits, including flexible work hours and the ability to develop direct contacts with the mechanic’s clients, but it also requires that the mechanic provide his or her own tools.
As can be seen, there are a wide range of jobs available to individuals wishing to become a diesel mechanic.
Becoming a diesel mechanic allows the individual to enter a secure and rewarding career that is an increasingly vital part of maintaining America’s transport and energy infrastructure.
This field can be an excellent choice for a newly graduated adult seeking to enter the job market or an individual who is interested in transitioning to a more professionally and personally rewarding career alike.