• Careers and Employment Outlook

    A diesel technician may get a job repairing and maintaining diesel powered equipment, such as heavy trucks, buses; construction equipment such as bulldozers, crane, and road graders; and farm equipment such as tractors and combines. A small number work on diesel-powered automobiles. Diesel technicians also service a variety of other diesel-powered equipment, such as electric generators and compressors and pumps used in oil well drilling and irrigation systems.

    The Diesel technology field is changing every day. Today’s diesel technicians need to have special skills. They have to have a basic knowledge of computers, basic electricity, troubleshooting skills and how to use the latest software to troubleshoot today’s electronic engines. Our program trains students on the latest electronic engines like Cummins, Caterpillar and Detroit. Students also learn how to use the latest software like Cummins Insite, Cat Electronic Technician, Detroit Diesel Diagnostic Link and other software’s used today. Because of proposed emissions requirements, diesel technicians have to be able to service the engines that are used today and in the future.

    Good reading and basic mathematics skills are needed to study technical manuals to keep abreast of the new technology and learn new service and repair procedures and specifications. Computer skills are also useful, as many truck, diesel engine and equipment manufactures provide specialized, updated service and repair procedures and specifications on the Internet.

    Employers sometimes send experienced technicians to special training classes conducted by truck, bus, diesel engine, parts, and equipment manufacturers, where they learn the latest technology. Certain truck, diesel engine and equipment manufactures also require technicians to undergo computerized training to keep up with today’s ever changing technology.

    Earnings 

    Median hourly wages of bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists, including incentive pay, were $18.94 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $15.25 and $23.58 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12.50, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.41 an hour. 

    For more information visit Occupational Outlook Handbook.