Inside Diesel Mechanic Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Unexpected Job Satisfaction...
When I first joined the Air Force, I took the job that would get me in the quickest because I had a high mechanical and electrical aptitude from tests. I never knew how much I would enjoy working with my hands, and I could no longer imagine coming home from work without being covered in oil, grease and grime knowing that I had accomplished something that day." (Diesel Generator Mechanic; 2014)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Minnesota, male
School: Studied Electrical And Mechanical Systems at USAF Power Production Technical School in Texas; completed Certificate degree in 2007

"The Draw Backs To Being A Diesel Mechanic And The Laws You Have Too Learn...
I was surprised at all the laws that you have too know and what all comes with this field of work the dangers of the diesel fumes to the harmful impact on nature" (Mine Mechanic; 2013)

Career: 14 years of experience, currently based in Kentucky, male
School: Studied Drafting/Mining at Letcher County Vocational School in Kentucky; completed Certificate degree in 1992

"Bad Employers...
Surprised how hard it is to find a great job with a reputable employer. They are all cheap and bad out here." (Ford Diesel Tech; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Arizona, male
School: Studied Diesel at Until in Arizona; completed Certificate degree in 2006

"Need To Stay Current...
I was surprised on how much diesel mechanics needs to be updated on rules and regulations. Also the amount of interaction that is involved with customers. You really need to be very clear and understandable while explaining what is going on." (Diesel Mechanic; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Diesel Technology at Wyotech in California; completed Certificate degree in 2007

"It was a surprise to me the amount of travel required. Sometime I may be across the country for a few months at a time. You meet and work with a lot of different people." (Diesel Mechanic / Locomotive Engineer; 2013)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Locomotive Technology at Northern Illinois University in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

Career Background

Diesel Mechanic

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Quick Interest Task...
If you are thinking about becoming a mechanic, pick up a detailed manual for your car, and do some maintenance on it. This is a very easy way to tell if you enjoy working with your hands turning wrenches." (Diesel Generator Mechanic; 2014)

"Diversify Yourself...
Learn all you can on all the different manufactures. Don't specialize in one or two take them all and you will be able to market yourself better!" (Ford Diesel Tech; 2013)

"Learn All Your Laws...
To become a diesel mechanic in today's world you need to know as much about the law as you do diesel engines the laws are changing all the time and they are as important as the job you are doing." (Mine Mechanic; 2013)

One piece of advice to take to heart is to find and befriend someone in the field and ask if you can apprentice with that person. Practice is so important in this field. Last piece of advice is to love what you do. I do so well in this field because I love what I do." (Diesel Mechanic; 2013)