In this economy, diesel mechanics and repair technicians are a vital part of maintaining America’s transportation and energy infrastructure.
Because of the widespread use of diesel engines and generators, diesel mechanics find themselves working in a wide variety of regions with a number of different types of jobs available to qualified mechanics.
Diesel Mechanics and Vehicular Maintenance
The most common field that diesel mechanics work in is that of vehicular maintenance.
They help maintain trucks, cars and other vehicles on a regular basis in addition to repairing unexpected malfunctions.
In most cases, these mechanics work in a shop or garage, usually alongside other diesel mechanics.
In some cases, diesel mechanics in these shops will focus on a single procedure, such as ensuring that the diesel engines conform with local and federal pollution standards, while others will provide more general repair services.
Truck Stop and Depot Services
A common area of employment for those diesel mechanics that service commercial vehicles is as part of a truck stop or depot.
Because truck drivers usually have a schedule of delivery that they must keep, mechanics working in a truck stop will be required to be able to quickly diagnose and repair any malfunctions.
In many cases, these repair shops operate on a 24-hour basis and the mechanics may be required to work on an overtime basis in order to ensure that the client’s truck is repaired as quickly as possible.
Self-Employed Diesel Mechanics
Many diesel mechanics are self-employed, either owning their own garage or working at their client’s home or place of business.
Self-employed diesel mechanics usually focus on obtaining a number of long-term customers, rather than relying on walk in business. In addition, many self-employed mechanics travel to the worksite in order to repair disabled vehicles.
While self-employed mechanics enjoy a great deal of flexibility, the importance of providing reliable and satisfactory service to their clients often results in a long workday. In addition, self-employed diesel mechanics must be prepared to handle many management decisions that other diesel mechanics can leave to their employers.
Local Garage Mechanics
Due to the growing number of diesel-powered vehicles used by private individuals, many local garages have a diesel mechanic on their staff. These mechanics provide repair services for local residents who own diesel powered vehicles. Because many local garages have a small staff, most diesel mechanics will also have other duties in addition to repairing diesel engines.
One benefit of working at a local garage will be an opportunity to get to know and become part of the community. This is especially important due to the fact that most local garages are very dependent on word of mouth advertising in order to expand their business. This can be very important for individuals who wish to eventually raise a family in the community.
Train and Ship Diesel Mechanics
Trains and marine vessels commonly use diesel engines and thus require trained mechanics to maintain them. This field is somewhat different from working on automotive diesel engines and often requires extra training.
One main difference is that many train and marine diesel engines are actually diesel-electric systems, where the diesel drives a generator that provides electrical power to the vehicle.
Mechanics working on these engines must also understand how to maintain the generator in addition to the diesel engine.
In addition, many train and ship based mechanics are expected to remain with the vehicle in order to ensure that the engine remains in proper working condition.
This usually means that train and ship based diesel mechanics will spend long periods away from their home.
In addition, ship based mechanics may be required to obtain extra training in order to be able to function effectively while at sea. However, this field often has a higher rate of pay than other diesel mechanic specialties.
Small Engine Diesel Mechanics
In addition to vehicular diesel engines, many pieces of equipment, ranging from lawnmowers to electrical generators use small diesel engines.
Diesel mechanics who maintain small diesel engines usually work in a workshop or repair facility where the damaged engines are brought to them for service.
Diesel mechanics working in this field usually enjoy regular hours, in addition to working in a comfortable setting.
Fixed Diesel Engines
Finally, a number of private and government organizations make use of fixed diesel engines, whether it is to power water pumps at a remote pumping station or to provide emergency power for vital medical and law enforcement installations.
Diesel mechanics usually service these systems on an as needed basis, although some critical generators may have an on site diesel mechanic to ensure that they are always ready to operate.
In addition to being able to maintain the diesel engine, these mechanics may also be trained in how to maintain and repair the diesel engine’s associated equipment, such as the electrical generator or water pump.
Ultimately, the field of diesel engine repair and maintenance is a growing one that can provide an interested individual with a secure and well-compensated career. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating that over 277,000 diesel engine mechanics and technicians will be needed by 2020, this field is one with excellent employment prospects.
Furthermore, the median annual salary of over $40,000 for diesel mechanics makes this field one that can easily provide a secure living for individuals and families alike.
Becoming a diesel mechanic is an excellent way to enter a dynamic and rewarding career. Whether it is a newly graduated student, or an older individual seeking to enter a more rewarding field, entering this profession can be a very wise choice.View Auto and Diesel Schools By State