How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in North Dakota
If you are looking to start a career or change careers in North Dakota, consider working as a diesel mechanic in the state. If you enjoy working with your hands and like working on vehicles and machinery, this could be the career for you. Diesel mechanics are auto mechanics who are specially trained to work on buses, trucks and other equipment and vehicles that have diesel engines.
Working as an entry-level diesel mechanic requires minimal advanced training. You can either train on the job or complete a formal training program, which can usually be completed in one to two years.
What You Need to Know to Become a Diesel Mechanic in North Dakota
A license or certification isn’t required to work as a diesel mechanic in North Dakota. However, unless you already have some exposure to working on diesel engines, a little training is necessary to learn the basic skills of this job.
If you already know a diesel mechanic, see if they will be willing to let you work with them as an apprentice so you can learn on the job. Or you can complete a certificate or degree program in diesel technology at a local technical school or college. Completing one of these programs will prepare you for entry-level work as a diesel mechanic as well as prepare you to take the certification exam if you wish to become certified. Additionally, you must be a high school graduate or have a GED. Many employers require a valid driver’s license and some prefer to hire employees who have a CDL.
Diesel Mechanic Programs in North Dakota
If you prefer to go the post-secondary route for training in North Dakota, the choices are limited within the state. There are several automotive technology training programs, but fewer train specifically in diesel technology. Your best option is North Dakota State College of Science. This school offers an Associate of Applied Science diploma program in Diesel Technology at their Wahpeton campus. Students receive hands-on instruction on how to work on agricultural, construction and industrial equipment in addition to training in engines, drive trains, hydraulic systems and electrical systems. This program is taken over four quarters, and students may complete at their own pace, starting in August, October, January or March and stopping or continuing after each eight-week quarter.
Diesel Mechanic Certifications
Certification isn’t mandatory for diesel mechanics in North Dakota. However, especially with the limited training options in the state, certification can be beneficial. The certification that auto and diesel mechanics most commonly use is that given by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). You must pass an examination to become certified. The ASE offers the following certifications for diesel mechanics: electronic diesel engines, medium-heavy duty truck equipment, school bus, transit bus and truck equipment.
Job and Salary Outlook for Diesel Mechanics in North Dakota
Careers for diesel mechanics are experiencing steady growth across the country, and North Dakota is no exception. The state is expected to see a 25 percent increase in the number of diesel mechanics working there within the coming years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that diesel mechanics across the country make a mean annual salary of $47,350. By comparison, the mean yearly wage for the state of North Dakota is $54,080. The top-earning diesel mechanics in the state make over $77,000 annually.
How to Start a Career as a Diesel Mechanic in North Dakota
In the United States, North Dakota has the second-highest concentration of jobs for diesel mechanics by state. Therefore, finding work as a diesel mechanic in the state should not be difficult. Some of the more populated areas like Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo and Williston would be great places to start. Diesel mechanics may find work in truck transportation, with local school districts, bus transportation companies, automotive dealerships, diesel equipment manufacturers and repair shops.
If you are looking for a well-paying career with good job security, this may be the career for you. With just four quarters of formal training or a few months working as an apprentice, you could soon be employed as a diesel mechanic in North Dakota.