There are some recognizable traits associated with the kind of people who work as diesel mechanics. These professionals are self-directed, detail-oriented, and analytical; they can assess a problem or situation and make logical decisions based on real-world information. Perhaps these qualities are hard to find in the workforce, because diesel mechanics are in great demand.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates diesel mechanic jobs will grow approximately 12% through 2024, faster than most occupations. The BLS attributes some of that job outlook growth to the increased popularity of diesel vehicles in the U.S. as well as the increase of shipping freight to places where “trains and pipelines are not available or economical.”
Based on the laws of supply and demand, it’s reasonable to assume diesel mechanics’ salaries will increase as the need for their skills increases. The most recent annual salary data from two years ago indicated that state and local government employees earned $50,680/year; wholesale trade was $44,610/year; automotive, $40,630/year and truck transportation, $39,800/year.
Diesel Mechanic Jobs That Pay Better
The challenges of being a diesel technician are very real, but what if your job takes you to the Antarctic, where “heavy equipment” mechanic jobs are needed at research stations? Too cold? You could work on a ship in the Caribbean too. The Diesel Mechanic Guide lists some top-paying jobs for diesel technicians that include:
- Marine/Ships – Whether you live aboard a tanker at sea or spend your days working on coastal vessels, freshwater (The Great Lakes) and saltwater transportation engines need ongoing maintenance and repair. The Marine Diesel Mechanics Guide says, “Individuals who wish to enter this line of work must have decent manual dexterity, problem-solving, and technical skills, especially when the tasks performed require the mechanic to be in excellent physical condition.” This is another job where you can work in foreign or domestic ports. The BLS estimates the (May 2015) annual mean wage for Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation marine diesel engine technicians at $54,500.
- Express Delivery and Courier Services – Local, statewide and national courier service fleets employ diesel mechanics to repair, maintain, and overhaul their delivery trucks and semis. The BLS has data for courier diesel mechanics jobs, but the salary estimates (2015) are still pending. The BLS estimated 2014 median annual wage for ten percent of our country’s courier diesel mechanics was $65,360 per year.
- Natural Gas and Oil Industry – Pipelines are used to convey gas and oil, but the equipment needed for onsite gas and oil production is hauled by heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks. If you would like to travel, you could possibly work for one of these industry-specific companies in another country; for example, British Petroleum regularly conducts a mechanical technician recruitment program. The BLS cites the mean annual wage for these gas and oil industry diesel engine technicians at $68,480.
- Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Services – Working for one of these national, industry-specific employers can be challenging on a daily basis, as you perform diagnostics, repair and maintenance on diesel engines plus a variety of heavy machinery equipment components. Diesel mechanics working in the natural gas industry may earn as much as $67,300 annual mean wage.
- Mobile Equipment – Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, an experiment in ways to collect ocean debris and garbage for removal is underway. This venture and others, including Federal Aquaculture programs require marine and mobile equipment diesel engine professionals. The BLS data from 2014 indicated the highest ten percent of heavy vehicle and mobile equipment diesel technicians could earn approximately $67,070/year.
Time Doesn’t Stand Still – and Neither Should You
Today’s diesel mechanics are educated and enjoy the challenges of working hands-on. The value of on-the-job training is well recognized, but your grandparents’ days, when you could get a lifelong job straight out of high school and see steady advancement and pay, are long gone. Employers are seeking automotive diesel technology professionals who have a thorough knowledge of diesel engines and the equipment that uses them.
With Advanced Technology Institute, in approximately 18 months (about 75 weeks), you can be ready for an entry-level job doing something you enjoy, working as a diesel technician. The training for a Diploma in Heavy Vehicle Technology itself can be an exciting experience, but as a diesel technician, you may find that your days are interesting and too short. It’s time to make the move you’ve been thinking about for so long because time flies, and you’re the pilot! Contact us at 800-468-1093 or request information today.
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