How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Arizona
Diesel engines are powerful and efficient engines that have become the standard in powering buses and trucks. This creates many opportunities to work as a diesel mechanic in Arizona, especially if you’re a detail-oriented person with mechanical aptitude and good troubleshooting skills. In this career, you would be responsible for repairing, inspecting and maintaining any type of diesel engine, which is an important skill for helping drivers of diesel-powered vehicles to be able to continually rely on their vehicles.
When you work as a diesel mechanic in Arizona, your job duties would include all aspects of servicing diesel engines, from basic care and maintenance to major overhauls. If you choose to pursue this career, you’ll find that your work skills are in high demand.
What’s Required for Becoming a Diesel Mechanic in Arizona?
Most diesel mechanics in Arizona have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. After high school, you may be able to find an opportunity to learn on the job, but employers are becoming more likely to prefer applicants who have completed vocational or postsecondary training in diesel engine repair. Certificate or degree programs are often offered at community colleges or trade schools, where classroom instruction is mixed with hands-on training.
Personal qualities that may be helpful in this field include manual dexterity, finger dexterity, arm/hand steadiness and skills in deductive reasoning. Clear vision and good hearing sensitivity can also be beneficial when working as a diesel mechanic.
Formal Diesel Mechanic Training in Arizona
Completing formal diesel mechanic training gives you a chance to have a thorough understanding of the skills needed to be a quality mechanic. Formal training also gives you a chance to be as competitive as possible in the job market. Some programs in Arizona that can give you the skills you need to start your career as a diesel service technician and mechanic include:
- Arizona Automotive Institute. Located in Glendale, AZ, AAI offers a diesel mechanic – heavy truck program. Experienced instructors at this school cover all major systems including engine performance, brakes, steering, tires, electrical and air conditioning, giving you thorough preparation for this in-demand field.
- Universal Technical Institute. Obtain the training you need for a career as a diesel mechanic in only 45 weeks at a convenient location within driving distance to Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale. You’ll receive hands- on training in diagnosing and repairing diesel fuel systems and performing hydraulic repair. Specialized classes are also available for advanced training in the field.
Licensing and Certification of Diesel Mechanics in Arizona
Obtaining a license or certification isn’t required to work as a diesel mechanic or service technician in Arizona. But one way to demonstrate your competence in the field to potential employers is by obtaining certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. While this certification isn’t necessary to work as a diesel mechanic in the state, it may lead to the best employment opportunities and may also bring higher pay.
Diesel Mechanic Job Outlook and Salary Expectations in Arizona
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the diesel service technician and mechanic field is anticipated to grow at a rate of approximately 5 percent, which is about as fast as average for all occupations. Specifically in Arizona, Career OneStop forecasts growth of approximately 14 percent between 2016 and 2026.
In 2018, the median annual salary for diesel mechanics in Arizona was $44,880, meaning that half of all those who had this position earned more and half earned less. The hourly mean pay the same year was $21.58.
What’s it Like to Work as a Diesel Mechanic in Arizona?
When you work as a diesel mechanic, you’ll make both major and minor engine repairs, read work orders and follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined. You’ll use a variety of power and machine tools as well as hand tools.
The environment of the repair shop may be noisy, and may involve heavy lifting, handling greasy equipment and working in uncomfortable positions at times. Repair shops often offer extended hours, so working hours may involve evenings and weekends. Job prospects are very good in this field all over the state of Arizona, particularly in large cities such as Phoenix and Tucson.