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How to Prepare for a Career as a Diesel Mechanic

Are you a car enthusiast?  Do you have a passion for fixing things?   If so, you would probably enjoy a career as a diesel mechanic.  To help you prepare for this career, we've put together the following guide, adapted from the article How to Become a Diesel Mechanic

1. High school students prepare future diesel mechanics for careers with courses like: algebra, geometry, physics, physical education, English, and computer courses. Students may also access trade or vocational programs during high school that provide automotive repair, electronic programs, or diesel engine repair courses. Participating in extracurricular activities or gaining part time employment at farms, car repair shops, construction sites, or gasoline service stations allow students hands on experience for future training programs and careers.

2. An apprenticeship program is often difficult to secure but is an option when there are vacancies within a car repair business. Individuals train under an experienced diesel mechanic as a mechanic's helper to learn basic skills, like cleaning parts and refueling vehicles, to advance to more complicated tasks like repairing or maintaining diesel engines. Completion of an apprenticeship program allows individuals to become journeymen and begin their careers as a diesel mechanic or advance into formal, college level training programs.

3. A certificate training course offered through a trade or vocational school or online college often qualifies an individual for employment as a diesel mechanic. Students take courses in automotive repair, English, mathematics, physics, customer relations, fuel systems, electrical systems in addition to the specialized mechanical training with brakes, alignment, and suspension courses.

4. College level degree programs are offered through 2 and 4 year online or traditional universities. Students in an associates degree program take courses in introduction to diesel mechanics, hydraulics and pneumatics, diesel engine electronics and electrical systems, power train equipment repair, air conditioning systems, diesel trade and technical knowledge, diagnostic techniques for diesel mechanics, and diesel engines and support systems. Students can advance to 4 year programs in diesel technology to more specialized courses, including welding, to gain skills necessary to operate, lease, sell, and repair diesel equipment.

5. Certification is available through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence after candidates meet the two year work experience requirement. Students must complete a written exam in any of the six training areas including: heavy duty truck repair, brakes, gasoline engines, diesel engines, drive trains, electrical systems, and/or suspension and steering.

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