One of the best careers for someone with mechanical aptitude and dexterity involves working on diesel machinery. Skilled Diesel Mechanics help keep buses and trucks well maintained. Some work on diesel-powered boats.
If you enjoy inspecting and overhauling engines and other mechanical equipment, a fun career in this field offers rewarding job opportunities. Labor analysts expect that openings will arise for 21,600 new Diesel Mechanics soon. You’ll enjoy employment in a career with overtime pay schedules.
Although Diesel Mechanics do not need to meet formal eligibility requirements or hold a license to work in their field, they usually obtain at least a high school degree or GED. Many specialized training programs will not admit students without this level of education.
Additionally, today employers increasingly prefer to hire graduates who complete postsecondary classes in Diesel Technology. To obtain employment as a practical matter, Diesel Mechanics must demonstrate their experience and qualifications. They need to read well to understand technical manuals and perform electronic diagnostic tests correctly. Diesel Mechanics with two years of experience can apply to take an examination offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (“ASE”). Those who pass receive the designation “Certified Diesel Mechanic”.
Application Process & Costs
Many institutions in North Carolina train Diesel Mechanics. Costs vary depending on whether a student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition. A community college program may charge between $2,000 to $9,000 in annual tuition per semester.
Some colleges offer courses leading to a certificate in Diesel Mechanics. Many certificates reflect specializations. Schools in North Carolina with coursework in this field include:
Johnston Community College in Smithfield;
Cape Fear Community College in Cape Fear;
Ashville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
For example, at Cape Fear Community College, students study maritime Diesel Mechanics. Learners at Ashville-Buncombe Community College seek associates degrees in Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology.
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To become a Diesel Mechanic, a student must complete in-person class exercises or on-the-job assignments under the direction of a skilled experienced senior mechanic. Learning how to identify equipment and remove and clean mechanical parts requires practice.
Students can finish GED requirements online. A college or vocational school may allow students to undertake portions of Diesel Mechanics Technology associate or bachelor degree background prerequisites online, too, such as a History or Math course. Students typically study practical portions of applied Diesel Mechanics under the personal direction of a skilled instructor.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
The ASE expects its certification holders to successfully pass a skills test every five years in order to maintain their qualifications. Some Diesel Mechanics hold specialized certifications in Inspection, Drive Trains, and other technical areas.
Additionally, Diesel Mechanics who operate buses, trucks or other diesel equipment need to maintain any necessary commercial drivers licenses required to perform this work in North Carolina.
Salary & Job Prospects
In North Carolina, Diesel Mechanics earn an average salary of slightly over $38,000 per year. The national average for workers in this field in May, 2012 stood at $42,320, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for experienced and Certified Diesel Mechanics in this state often exceed the national average, while new graduates and less experienced employees can expect to earn slightly less than the average initially.
More Diesel Mechanic Schools in North Carolina
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