How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Maryland
Trucks, buses and heavy equipment are often powered by diesel engines. If you’re intrigued by learning how things work and figuring how to fix them, consider becoming a diesel mechanic. In this career, you’ll perform a wide variety of tasks related to maintaining and repairing these powerful engines. In Maryland, people who are skilled at servicing and repairing diesel engines have opportunities to work in repair shops, dealerships and sometimes even on roadsides or at worksites.
Requirements for Becoming a Diesel Mechanic in Maryland
Having a high school diploma or the equivalent is an important first step toward becoming a diesel mechanic in Maryland. Attending further schooling isn’t a requirement, but many employers are more interested in hiring applicants who can demonstrate their interest in the field by completing formal training. Vocational schools and community colleges are places that frequently offer programs in diesel technology.
Maryland Training Programs to Become a Diesel Mechanic
Diesel engines are becoming more and more complex. Completing formal training gives you the opportunity to thoroughly understand the workings of different types of diesel engines and can give you the skills you need to be as competitive as possible in the job market. Training programs that are available in Maryland include:
- Community College of Baltimore County. The diesel technician training program at this college is a 300-hour course that prepares students for entry-level jobs in the field. You’ll learn professional skills to help operators of bus, tractor trailers or heavy equipment fleets to keep their vehicles running smoothly and safely.
- North American Trade Schools. Located in Baltimore, this program trains students in all aspects of diesel repair including diagnosis, maintenance and failure repair. You’ll learn how diesel engines work along with specialized skills in electrical and electronic fundamentals, powertrain systems, suspension systems, braking systems and more.
Do You Need Licensing or Certification to Work as a Maryland Diesel Mechanic?
There are no licensing or certification requirements for Maryland diesel mechanics. After you gain some work experience, though, you may choose to pursue certification through a nationally recognized organization such as National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Attaining national certification proves that you’re committed to learning all you can to work on all types of diesel engines and may also increase your salary potential.
Maryland Diesel Mechanics Job Outlook and Salary Information
Job growth for diesel service technicians and mechanics across the United States is projected to be about 5 percent between 2018 and 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics This is about average for all occupations. Growth in this career field in the state of Maryland is also projected to be about 5 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to Career OneStop.
The average salary earned by diesel mechanics in Maryland in 2018 was $51,890. The median hourly wage in this state the same year was $25.34. Candidates who complete postsecondary training are likely to have the best job opportunities and highest potential income.
Working as a Maryland Diesel Mechanic
When you work as a diesel mechanic in Maryland, you’ll inspect diesel engines and determine the work required, which may be anything from simple maintenance to major repair. You’ll read and interpret diagnostic tests and use manuals and technical charts to assist you in planning procedures. You’ll use many types of tools, from small handheld tools to machine tools.
As a diesel mechanic, your working environment may be noisy at times, and you may work with greasy equipment. Hours may not be predictable and may include evenings and weekends. You may also be able to work overtime if desired.
Large cities such as Baltimore and Columbia are likely to have many available opportunities for diesel service technicians and mechanics, but you’ll find your skills are in demand all across the state of Maryland.