How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in New York State
Do you like to do your own car repairs? If so, have you ever considered taking your interest to the next level? A career as a diesel mechanic may be a good choice for anyone with an appreciation and aptitude for engine repair, especially those who would like to work on heavy equipment and specialized engines.
Diesel mechanics generally perform repairs on large vehicles such as busses, bulldozers, cranes, large trucks and farm equipment. As engines become more and more complex, so does the technician’s job. Today’s technician can expect to perform repairs using a variety of tools, including pneumatic wrenches, welding equipment, grinding machines and computer diagnostics.
New York Requirements for Diesel Mechanics
Those interested in working as a diesel mechanic in New York will need a high school diploma or GED, at minimum. Candidates will also be required to complete additional training either on the job or through an accredited training program. Mechanics who wish to show potential employers their commitment to excellence may also wish to consider certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
Programs for Diesel Mechanics in New York
New York has diesel mechanic training available in both certificate and associate degree level programs in various locations throughout the state. A few of the programs available include:
- New York Automotive and Diesel Institute in Jamaica offers a certificate program in Diesel Mechanics. Training prepares students for five areas of automotive certification and seven areas of medium/heavy truck certifications through the ASE.
- State University of New York in Morrisville (SUNY Morrisville) offers both an Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) and Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Diesel Technology. While either program allows graduates to transition smoothly to a technical career after graduation, the A.A.S. program prepares students to pursue management positions or continue to a bachelor level program if they want to further their education.
- Alfred State College of Technology in Alfred offers an A.O.S. degree in Heavy Equipment, Truck and Diesel Technology. The program includes 1,800 hours of practical experience and classroom training to prepare students for their careers. The curriculum begins with a foundation in automotive repair, with a second-year concentration in heavy vehicles and diesel-powered equipment.
As mentioned, pursuing additional certification through an organization like ASE could provide a boost to your career as a diesel mechanic. Certification serves as a guarantee and assurance to employers and to the general public of a mechanic’s expertise and level of professionalism. In order to qualify for certification, candidates must reach the required level of training as well as be able to pass an exam.
Job Growth and Salary Expectations in New York State
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, diesel mechanics in New York made an average annual salary of $55,340 in 2018. Since diesel engines are necessary for all kinds of heavy equipment, those with skills in maintaining them should expect a reasonably good employment outlook. In New York, a 12.5 percent predicted growth rate from 2016 to 2026 makes a career as a diesel mechanic appear very promising.
Opportunities for Diesel Mechanics in New York
Diesel mechanics work in a variety of jobs and are employed in both the private and public sectors. A large variety of industries rely on working diesel engines, including construction, farming and transportation. As such, diesel mechanics should expect many opportunities for employment in all areas of the state. A few possible employers include Cummins, Inc., General Mills, Ryder System, Manpower Group, National Express, Safe Harbor Marina and Ostrom Enterprises.