Diesel Electrician

Tune up electronics and wiring on diesel-powered cars and machines.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$29,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Diesel Electricians do?

A Diesel Electrician maintains the electrical systems used by diesel-electric vehicles. Just as love “makes the world go ’round,” electricity powers everything from clocks to cell phones to computers. But what powers electricity? For diesel-electric vehicles like certain cars, ships, submarines, trucks, and buses, it’s the Diesel Electrician.

The most common type of diesel-electric vehicle, however, is the train. As a Diesel Electrician, therefore, you’re most often hired by railroad companies to troubleshoot the electrical systems on diesel-electric locomotives. These trains run on a diesel-powered electric generator whose output provides power to the motors that move their wheels.

Although you don’t work on the engine — that’s the responsibility of a Diesel Mechanic — you work on all the various electrical parts that are connected to it, such as the alternator, rectifier, and inverter. Because a train without power is like a car without gas, you make sure all those parts are in tip-top shape by inspecting, repairing, replacing, and maintaining them.

Like other Electricians who work in the transportation industry — for instance, Aviation Electricians and Marine Electricians — you’re basically the electrical equivalent of a Neurosurgeon, paid to operate on a vehicle’s brain when its circuits are fried!

Should I be a Diesel Electrician?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.

  • How to become a Diesel Electrician

    Most Diesel Electricians have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:g9qaaa&chl=no+college+%2829%25%29|certificate+%2856%25%29|associate%27s+%2815%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,29,56
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