As the national economy continues to rebound, more trucks, buses, and other diesel-powered vehicles will be used on the road. Thus, there is a great demand for diesel mechanics or diesel-engine technicians to service such vehicles. These individuals are trained and skilled in working with, repairing, and maintaining diesel-powered engines. These engines are constructed and designed differently than tradition gasoline-powered or electric-powered engines; therefore, diesel mechanics must receive formal training and attain certification before working on the job. In Louisiana, the following community colleges and vocational/technical schools offered an accredited diesel mechanics program:
Before an applicant can enroll in either of the above schools, he/she must have successfully attained a high school diploma or a GED. In addition, some schools required applicants to have taken and passed certain high school subjects, including two years of science and math as well as four years of English. In addition, all of the above schools required applicants to have passing ACT or COMPASS Placement scores.
All the above schools offer a certification or diploma program in specialized hands-on training and coursework in diesel mechanics. The length of the curriculum is 1-2 years or 2-4 semesters with a course credits range of 30-45 credit hours. Some of the common required courses trainees will have to complete before graduating include
• Diesel engine technology
• Power transmissions
• Power trains
• AC systems
• Heavy duty brakes
• Fuel systems
• Electrical systems
Application Process & Costs
All the above schools have an online application process for applicants to complete. In addition, applicants can apply online for financial aid as well. The application fee at these schools is either free or no more than $10. Tuition costs at these schools are within the range of $1,186 – $2,885 per semester (in-state, excluding additional fees).
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Currently, none of the available schools have online programs in diesel mechanics. Perhaps, some will be established in the near future.
Maintaining Certificates/License & Renewal
Although the state of Louisiana does not require certification for diesel mechanics, most employers do via ASE certification. This national certification test is now computer-based and offer year-round testing dates at selected test centers for convenience. Test registration is done online and applicants must pay a $36 registration fee. In addition, applicants are required to pay the following fees for certification tests:
• $35 per certification test (47 different certification tests available)
• $70 per advanced level certification test (L1, L2, and L3)
• Up to $105 fee cap on re-certification tests
Salary & Job Prospects
Nationwide, it is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) over 35,000 diesel mechanics jobs will be available between 2010 and 2020; that is a 15% expected growth rate. However, in Louisiana, the BLS projected about 3,300 diesel mechanics jobs available, with an average annual salary of $40,850. Generally, the more formal training, certification, and job experience attained, the more employable one becomes and the more money one will make in diesel mechanics. In Louisiana, most of these jobs are found in its major cities, like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, and Alexandria; typical employers include trucking and bus companies, auto dealerships, and repair shops. Plus, mechanics can run and own their independent garage or service centers.
With the cost of living in Louisiana is one of the lowest in the country and its reputation as a popular tourist destination, diesel mechanics is a great career path for those individuals who like working with their hands, helping other people, and earning some good money. In Louisiana, training is very affordable and brief, while job opportunities here are plentiful. Consider becoming a skilled and certified diesel mechanic for a technical, substantive, and prosperous career.
More Diesel Mechanic Schools in Louisiana
|SCHOOL NAME||CITY||PHONE NUMBER||STREET ADDRESS||WEBSITE|
|Fletcher Technical Community College||Schriever||985.448.7900||1407 Highway 311 | Schriever LA 70395||http://www.fletcher.edu/|
|Northwest Louisiana Technical College||Minden||(318) 371-3035||9500 Industrial Drive |
Minden, LA 71058
|South Louisiana Community College||Lafayette||337-521-9000||1101 Bertrand Dr, Lafayette, LA 70506||http://solacc.edu/|
|Louisiana Delta Community College||Monroe||318-345-9000||7500 Millhaven Rd, Monroe, LA 71203||http://www.ladelta.edu/|
|Northshore Technical Community College||Bogalusa||225-222-4251||7067 Highway 10, Greensburg, LA 70441||http://northshorecollege.edu/|
|Central Louisiana Technical Community College||Alexandria||318-487-5443||4311 South MacArthur Drive|
Alexandria, LA 71302
|South Central Louisiana Technical College-Young Memorial Campus||Morgan City||985-380-2957||900 Youngs Rd, Morgan City, LA 70380||http://www.scl.edu/|