Diesel Mechanic

Take care of cars and trucks that run on diesel.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $60,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Diesel Mechanics do?

Diesel Mechanics repair and rebuild diesel engines, which means they spend their days in a shop running diagnostic tests, finding the sources of problems, then removing and replacing faulty parts. They’re special Mechanics because they fix special engines used to power large vehicles.

If you’re driving your average sedan, SUV, or pickup truck, a standard gasoline engine is ideal. When you’re behind the wheel of anything bigger, however — a bus, big rig, ship, train, or tractor — you need a diesel engine, which uses compression, as opposed to spark plugs, to ignite fuel and create energy.

As a Diesel Mechanic, you’re basically in charge of checking every inch of the equipment that comes into your shop — everything from water-cooling systems and oil filters to fuel-injection systems and cylinder heads. Your goal is make sure it’s working and wearing correctly. In that sense, being a Diesel Mechanic is very similar to being a standard Auto Mechanic (or any other kind of Mechanic, for that matter). While the process is the same, however, the skill set is not, as diesel-powered equipment demands specialized knowledge about diesel engine fuel, parts, and components.

Because of that specialized knowledge, you’re a diesel do-gooder: You keep the world’s farms, highways, rails, and waterways running!

Should I be a Diesel Mechanic?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Diesel-Engine-Mechanic Apprentice, Diesel Mechanic Apprentice, Heavy Duty Mechanic

    How to become a Diesel Mechanic

    Most Diesel Mechanics have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:f9caaa&chl=no+college+%288%25%29|certificate+%2888%25%29|associate%27s+%284%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,8,88
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