Considering a new career in the Tennessee area? The area of diesel mechanics is a growing field with great placement prospects. In a relatively short period of time with a moderate investment in education, you can be working in an exciting new career. Most institutions cover topics such as electrical, brake, hydraulic, transmission, and fuel systems. You will enter the workforce with experience in diagnostics, repair and maintenance. Everything you need to hit the ground running.
Although some employers are willing to sponsor their new hires as they obtain certification, most require the candidate to have completed their education. Tennessee offers three different types of programs. A certificate from a community college or trade school, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree from a university. The type of program you pursue is a personal decision. Review the schools and which each offer, and then decide what direction you want your career to take.
Receiving a certificate from a community college generally takes two years of training. An associate’s degree requires two to three years of classes. To receive a Bachelor of Science in Diesel Technology plan on spending four to five years in school.
Application Process & Costs
To continue with an education in Diesel Mechanics, a student must first have a high school diploma or GED. If planning to attend a University, there may be additional requirements, such as English and Math courses. Verify the requirements needed prior to submitting your application.
The average cost of completing diesel mechanic training is approximately $11,000. Tuition will vary between community college and Universities. A certificate will cost considerably less than a bachelor’s degree.
Financial aid is available i certain circumstances so be sure to discuss this with the Financial Aid Advisor. Scholarships are available, especially for woman as the industry is trying to attract more woman into the field.
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Online courses are generally not offered in Diesel Mechanic curriculums due to the extensive hands on nature of the field. Most classes are conducted in a garage setting. There may be exceptions to this depending on the courses offered. For example, Workplace Safety may be something that would be offered online. Check with your institution to be sure.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
The state of Tennessee requires education or training to work as a diesel mechanic. But employers tend to feel differently.
Once you have successfully completed your program, there is no other exam or licensing required. An optional exam is offered through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This exam covers steering systems, brakes and preventive maintenance. Taking the ASE exam shows a dedication and pride in your profession. Annual salaries are usually more for those who have received the ASE certification.
It is in the best interest of your career to keep abreast of industry changes and regulations. It is a competitive field and you must strive to keep up-to-date with current graduates.
Salary & Job Prospects
Job openings projected through 2010 show an increase of 13% in Tennessee according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not many employment areas can boast that type of increase. Currently Tennessee employs 5,200 diesel mechanics, so the projected increase in jobs is over 670.
The median starting wage for Diesel Mechanics in Tennessee is reported to be $38,500 based on 2012 data. What can expected will depend on the type of employer, your education level, your amount of experience and the number of hours worked per week.
Opportunities for mechanics exist in garages, trucking companies, leasing companies to name a few.
More Diesel Mechanic Schools in Tennessee
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