Diesel Technology

AWARD OFFERED Certificate (4 semesters)

The diesel engine is the workhorse powering the nation’s trucks and buses because it delivers more power, is more efficient, and is more durable than its gasoline-burning counterpart. Diesel-powered engines also are becoming more prevalent in light vehicles, including passenger vehicles, pickups, and other work trucks.

Diesel service technicians and mechanics, which includes bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists, repair and maintain the diesel engines that power transportation equipment such as heavy trucks, buses, and locomotives. Some diesel technicians and mechanics also work on heavy vehicles and mobile equipment, including bulldozers, cranes, road graders, farm tractors, and combines. Technicians need a state commercial driver’s license (CDL) to test-drive trucks and buses on public roads. Wallace State offers a certificate in Diesel Mechanics and provides CDL training and testing for those interested in a career in Diesel Mechanics or truck driving.

Increasingly, technicians must be versatile in order to adapt to customers’ needs and new technologies. It is common for technicians to handle all kinds of repairs, from working on a vehicle’s electrical system one day to doing major engine repairs the next. In modern shops, diesel service technicians use hand-held or laptop computers to diagnose problems and adjust engine functions. Because of continual advances in automotive technology, technicians must regularly learn new techniques to repair vehicles.

Employment of diesel service technicians and mechanics is expected to grow as freight transportation by truck increases. Due to the greater durability and economy of the diesel engine relative to the gasoline engine, buses and trucks of all sizes are expected to be increasingly powered by diesels.

Careers as diesel service technicians attract many because they offer relatively high wages and the challenge of skilled repair work. Opportunities should be very good for persons who complete formal training in diesel mechanics at community colleges or technical schools.

Median annual earnings of service technicians and mechanics, were $42,320 in May 2012 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $25.67 an hour. Highest 10% earned more than $63,250 annually in May 2012. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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Jeremy Smith, Department Chair