Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty? Then you should consider becoming a diesel mechanic. Diesel mechanics inspect, maintain and repair diesel engines. Diesel engines are very powerful and are found in big vehicles like buses, bulldozers, large trucks, marine vessels, cranes, dump trucks, and sometimes in light-duty cars and trucks. These engines are quite different from gasoline powered engines. Therefore, they have different mechanical needs when being serviced.
As a diesel mechanic, you will handle everything from conducting oil changes to rebuilding engines, which means that you should understand the vehicle’s engine, electrical system, brake and other working parts. Diesel engines have to drive millions of miles without breaking down. To conduct repair or maintenance, you should be able to troubleshoot the underlying issues by running diagnostic tests and ensure that only the malfunctioning parts are replaced.
Benefits of Becoming a Diesel Mechanic
Diesel mechanics are in high demand and approximately 25,800 mechanics will be employed in the industry by the year 2026 (according to the BLS). The demand for these mechanics is high in Hampton, but you need to have the right educational training to attain your desired position.
In the U.S. trucks never stop driving which means mechanics will never stop working. Most mechanic shops in the U.S. are 24- hours and you will be able to work in shifts thus allowing you to have time to spend with your family.
As a diesel mechanic, you should be able to disassemble and assemble part or the entire engine. Regardless of your position in a company, you will be required to have a variety of both mechanical and interpersonal skills for you to be successful in this industry. Other skills that you will need include:
An analysis is important when it comes to diagnosing diesel engine issues even when a diesel mechanic uses diagnostic equipment. Whether it’s a semi-truck or a railway car, a diesel mechanic should be able to thoroughly examine and diagnose the vehicle to identify the primary source of the issue. For a diesel mechanic to be able to diagnose diesel engine malfunctions, they will rely on previous educational and hands-on training, and experience.
The recent advancement in diesel technology has led to diesel-powered engines being made up of both electrical and mechanical components. Therefore, diesel mechanics should have an understanding of how electrical components like computer systems and software programs work. Some software covers enterprise management, databases, and word processing.
Diesel mechanics should also be able to understand diagnostic reports and other technical manuals for them to maintain diesel-powered engines. This means that a diesel mechanic should have knowledge of computerized systems for them to understand the electronic reports produced by the diagnostic equipment.
These skills go hand in hand with analytical skills. A diesel mechanic should possess both of these skills to successfully repair a diesel-powered engine. After the malfunction has been analyzed, the mechanic will need to implement the right repair plan and take into account all components that may be causing the malfunction.
How can you Know Whether this is the Right Field for you?
Let’s face it; figuring out the right career path can be quite stressful. However, if you love trucks and discovering how engines work, then you may be the perfect candidate to join this industry. There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to maintain and repair trucks and helping grow the nation’s economy. Considering that the job market has become very competitive, you have to think about your career as early as possible. According to a Millennial Branding study “High School Careers,” it was discovered that high school students are becoming more entrepreneurial as they seek internships to get work experience and new skills and to also network.
Importance of Focusing on Your Career before Starting School
You’ll learn a lot: Applying for internships in the diesel mechanic field will provide you with a great learning experience. Going through an internship program will offer you with valuable decision-making lessons, which can be useful when applying for your diesel mechanic college application. This will also make you a valuable employee.
You’ll grow your network: When thinking about your career, you should make a point of networking as early as possible. By attending school-sponsored events, workshops and connecting with your teachers, you will create a powerful network that will support you when it comes to getting a job.
Virginia, particularly Hampton Roads, is an excellent place for diesel mechanics. If you have a love for diesel engines and you’re ready to work as a diesel mechanic, consider getting an Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Heavy Vehicle from Advanced Technology Institute where you will learn from experienced instructors. In case you have more questions about joining this career, contact an ATI academic counselor today.