How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Maine
Do you enjoy working with machines? Do you like to do your own car repairs and wish you could work on more complex engines? If so, you might want to consider a career as a diesel mechanic.
Diesel engines are vital to many industries, as they provide the power needed for heavy machinery, such as faming equipment, construction equipment and large transportation vehicles. A trained diesel mechanic has the knowledge and expertise to keep diesel engines in optimal running order. A few possible job duties for diesel mechanics include running computer diagnostics, welding, using pneumatic tools and inspecting and repairing brake systems, emissions, steering mechanisms and wheel bearings.
Maine Regulations for Diesel Mechanics
Those interested in pursuing training as a diesel mechanic will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, at minimum. Once obtained, candidates can pursue training either on the job or through an accredited training program. Although no licensing is required in Maine, candidates with proper training and credentialing will enjoy better prospects for employment.
Training in Maine for Diesel Mechanics
In Maine, there are a few possible training programs for diesel technicians:
- Northern Maine Community College in Presque Island offers students either a certificate or an Associates in Applied Science in Diesel Hydraulics Technology. Students will build on the basic fundamentals of preventative maintenance, diagnostics and tune-ups with courses on hydraulics, welding and drive train systems. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to pursue additional certifications through the National Institute for Automotive Excellence (ASE).
- Washington County Community College in Calais offers an Engine Specialist certificate. The program covers both gas and diesel engines and trains students to disassemble, inspect, reassemble and troubleshoot engines. Graduates should expect to be employed in the construction, logging, farming, heavy equipment or marine industries.
Those who wish to better their employment opportunities, may choose to seek additional certification from a reputable organization. One popular organization through which mechanics seek credentialing is the National Institute for Automotive Excellence (ASE). Seeking certification through ASE is a mark of professionalism that gives confidence to both potential employers and clients, and allows a technician to showcase their expertise and experience. ASE requires technicians to have completed a minimum number of hours as pass an exam.
Career Projections and Salary Information
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show an average annual income of $44,530 for diesel technicians in Maine in 2018, with the top-paying industries listed as natural gas transportation, the federal executive branch and electric power distribution.
While BLS reports the national expected growth for this field at five percent, as fast as average in all industries, Career One Stop projects a 2.2 percent growth rate in the state of Maine during from 2016 to 2026, which is below the national projected rate.
Working as a Diesel Mechanic in Maine
Those who complete post-secondary education can expect the best job opportunities within the field, while workers without this type of education will need more on-the-job training and supervision. Acquiring ASE certifications can also improve employment outlooks, as employers will generally prefer to hire those with credentialing.
Due to the reliance of many industries on diesel engines, diesel mechanics may find employment opportunities in various sectors, both public and private. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the highest number of diesel mechanics are employed by the truck transportation industry followed by the automotive repair industry and local governments, respectively. In the state of Maine, some of the potential employers of diesel mechanics include Manpower Group, Casella Waste Systems, Inc., Sullivan Tire, U-Haul, The Goodyear Tire Company and Chapman Trucking.