How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Colorado
Diesel engines are strong, efficient engines that are used to power many types of vehicles and machinery. Some examples include large trucks, buses, cranes, bulldozers and some smaller trucks or passenger vehicles. If you’re interested in a career that involves problem solving and mechanical ability, consider becoming a diesel mechanic.
If you become a diesel mechanic in Colorado, you’ll find that your expertise is in very high demand. Your job would involve maintaining, inspecting and repairing all types of diesel engines. Other job titles for a diesel mechanic include diesel service technician, truck mechanic, bus mechanic, fleet mechanic and diesel engine specialist.
Colorado Requirements for Becoming a Diesel Mechanic
Most people who work as a diesel mechanic in Colorado have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Obtaining formal training after high school isn’t a requirement, but since diesel engines are becoming more complex, many employers prefer candidates who’ve completed training through a community college or vocational school
Training to be a Diesel Mechanic in Colorado
Formal training programs in this field usually combine learning in a classroom setting with plenty of hands-on experience. In a school setting, you’re likely to learn how to service and repair several types of diesel engines. Completion of formal training can help to make you more competitive in the job market.
Some Colorado diesel mechanic training programs include:
- Colorado Northwestern Community College. Located in Rangely, CO, this community college offers a certificate in diesel technology. Students are thoroughly trained in skills needed to repair and maintain diesel engines, starting with the basics and working up to the knowledge needed to obtain national certification through ASE.
- Pickens Technical College. This college in Aurora, CO offers up-to-date training in their diesel mechanics program. This program is designed to prepare students to have the knowledge they need to work as medium and heavy-duty truck mechanics.
Diesel Mechanic Licensing or Certification in Colorado
Colorado doesn’t have licensing or certification requirements for diesel service technicians or mechanics. If desired, national certification can be obtained through National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). While this is completely optional, being able to pass a nationally recognized certification exam can help to prove your knowledge about diesel engines to potential employers and customers.
Expected Salary and Job Outlook for Colorado Diesel Mechanics
Career opportunities in the field of diesel mechanics is expected to grow across the United States at a rate of about 5 percent between 2018 and 2028, which is about average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the coming years, Colorado is expected to experience dramatic growth. According to Career OneStop, growth in this field is expected to be as high as 23 percent in this state between 2016 and 2026.
The median annual salary for diesel mechanics in Colorado was $51,270 in 2018. About half of the people who worked as diesel mechanics in this state made more than this salary and half earned less. The mean hourly pay in Colorado the same year was $25.17.
Typical Working Conditions for Diesel Mechanics in Colorado
A career as a diesel mechanic in Colorado can be very interesting and rewarding. You’ll be able to troubleshoot problems and come up with solutions for vehicles or equipment that aren’t running as smoothly as they should. You’ll plan procedures using technical manuals and charts. Your work will range from basic maintenance to major repairs and overhauls.
You may have to work long hours, possibly including nights and weekends. Many repair shops offer extended hours whenever service is needed, which may lead to overtime. You’ll usually work in a well-ventilated environment, but at times it may be noisy. The job outlook for skilled diesel mechanics in Colorado is excellent and is growing quickly, especially in large cities such as Denver, Colorado Springs and Aurora.