How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Nevada
If you enjoy working with your hands and can’t imagine a life spent behind a desk, consider training to become a diesel mechanic. These specialized mechanics work with vehicles that have diesel engines: buses, heavy trucks and some kinds of equipment. Industry growth in Nevada is strong and salaries are competitive, so this is a great new career choice if you’re willing to put in a year or two of training and learning first.
Nevada Diesel Mechanic Requirements
There is no need to hold any specific licensing or certification in order to work as a diesel mechanic in Nevada. The state doesn’t list any particular training requirements either, so you have a couple of options:
- After finishing high school or earning a GED, enroll in and complete a post-secondary academic and training program in diesel technology. These programs take one to two years to complete and include hands-on practice with tools and vehicles.
- You could also find a mechanic prepared to take you on in an apprentice role. You’ll work for the mechanic and earn a salary while training. After a couple of years, you will be a full mechanic and ready to earn more.
Training Programs to Learn to Become a Diesel Mechanics
An academic program is a great way to start a diesel mechanic career, because it will provide you with both foundational knowledge and hands-on experience. Choose from among a few programs in Nevada, including:
- The College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas. This Nevada-area career school offers an associate’s degree program in diesel heavy equipment master technician, which takes two years to complete. There is also a certificate program that takes less time and will prepare you to work as a technician in the diesel industry. Both include classroom time and hands-on lab work.
- Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno. Truckee Meadows also offers students the choice of a shorter certificate program and an associate’s degree program. The benefit of a degree is that it can lead to advancement into leadership roles at work or be a stepping stone to earing a four-year degree. With the certificate you can begin working as a technician, and with the degree you can start out as a mechanic.
National Diesel Mechanic Certifications
The state of Nevada does not require you to hold any specific certifications to work in this industry, but most employers do. The certifications most well-known and recognized by employers are from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE. Through ASE you can get certified in school bus, transit bus, medium-heavy duty truck, electronic diesel engines or truck equipment. Each of these is relevant to diesel mechanics. You should be prepared to pass the exams after completing your training.
Nevada Salaries and Job Outlook
Job growth in diesel mechanic careers is steady across the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The solid growth of five percent on average, however, is nothing compared to the booming 23 percent growth for this field in Nevada. You should enjoy great job security in the state as a qualified diesel mechanic.
Salaries in the state are also higher than the national average. While the BLS reports $47,350 as the mean national salary per year for diesel mechanics, in Nevada this figure is $57,250. The highest earners in the state make nearly $80,000 annually.
Beginning a Diesel Mechanic Career in Nevada
Diesel mechanics can find work wherever diesel vehicles are used. This means you can look for a job with a public bus system or school transportation company, a trucking company, a heavy equipment manufacturer or any company with its own fleet of trucks.
Nevada’s population is sparse and concentrated in and around Las Vegas and Reno. These are great places to start your job search. Some recent job listings for diesel mechanics in these cities were for Penske, United Road Towing, California Freight, SNK Repair and Loan Mountain Truck Leasing, to mention just a few. Landing your first position shouldn’t be difficult if you’ve trained.