How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Delaware
If you’re looking for a fast-paced career that enables you to problem solve and work with your hands each day, you may want to consider becoming a diesel mechanic. In this role, you’ll maintain, repair and troubleshoot problems with diesel engines, which are used to power heavy machinery in a variety of industries. Mechanics use a range of tools, including computer diagnostics and welding equipment, along with their mechanical knowledge and analytical skills to complete their work. The job is ideal for people who seek challenging and hands-on work.
Licensing and Certification
Delaware does not require diesel mechanics to obtain a license or other certification before beginning work. However, many employers require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED for consideration. Some jobs provide on-the-job training once hired, but you can also learn about the field through a formal certificate or associate’s degree program. While certification is not necessary, several professional organizations offer exams and certificates as a way to prove your skills to potential clients and employers.
Degree and Certificate Programs
Community colleges and technical schools throughout the Delaware area offer associate’s degrees and certificates in fields related to diesel technology. You may want to consider the following:
- Delaware Tech. Students in the automotive technician studies program at Delaware Tech undergo classroom instruction, lab assignments and an internship before graduation. The program also emphasizes professional conduct and safety practices.
- Community College of Baltimore County. In nearby Maryland, the Community College of Baltimore County offers hands-on training in diesel technology. Students can choose an entry-level program or continuing education programs to further their skills.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a well-respected organization within the diesel mechanic field, offers testing and certification in 50 specialties. These certifications can show potential employers and clients that you have advanced skills and knowledge relevant to your work. To receive a certification, applicants must have at least two years of work experience and pass an exam.
Career and Salary Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that diesel mechanics in Delaware should expect an average annual salary of $49,450, or $23.77 per hour.
Jobs for diesel mechanics are expected to grow by 9.3 percent nationwide in the 10 years from 2016 to 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. In Delaware, job growth is expected to reach 7.4 percent during the same time period.
Working as a Diesel Mechanic in Delaware
Diesel mechanics can find work in the farming, automotive and trucking industries, among others, with roles in the automotive field being the most common. Most mechanics choose to work for repair shops and similar businesses, though many find success as independent contractors or business owners. Jobs and clients are typically abundant in urban areas, such as Wilmington and Dover.
As a diesel mechanic, you can expect a dynamic career that allows you to work with your hands and mind. While work hours can be long thanks to the extended hours many shops offer, the daily challenge the work provides can be rewarding for those who enjoy problem solving and physical tasks.