How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Ohio
Diesel engine systems are increasingly reliant on complex computer systems, and with this industry growth comes a demand for trained and certified diesel mechanics in Ohio. Diesel mechanics are those responsible for the inspection, repair and maintenance of diesel engine systems in vehicles such as buses, heavy trucks and agricultural equipment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 19 percent of diesel mechanics works for trucking companies, while others are self-employed, work for the government or work in the agricultural industry.
It doesn’t take much to get started in this field, as you’ll gain most of your skills on the job. However, attending classes at a technical college can help you earn certification to advance in a robust diesel mechanics career. Helpful skills for diesel mechanics include great attention to detail, the ability to work with their hands and the ability to lift heavy objects.
Quick Summary of the Diesel Mechanic Career Path
There aren’t any certification or licensing requirements for diesel mechanics in Ohio, but certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is preferred by many employers in the field. To get started, you’ll at least need to graduate high school or earn your GED. Then, you can enroll in classes at a community college or work in an apprenticeship with an experienced diesel mechanic to begin learning valuable skills.
Diesel Mechanic Schools and Programs
Ohio has many educational options for diesel mechanics, including:
- Ohio Technical College (OTC). OTC is a private, for-profit automotive technical college in Cleveland. The 18-month diesel technology career training is taught by ASE Master Certified Diesel instructors. You can also earn your CDL license in this program, so you can road test your repair work. Hands-on training with opportunities for specialized manufacturer training is included, and all required tools are provided for you.
- Great Oaks Career Campuses. Located in the Cincinnati area, this school offers a 45-week, full-time Industrial Diesel Mechanics program on its Scarlet Oaks campus. The program totals 900 hours and meets Monday through Thursday from 4:30 P.M. to 10:30 P.M.
- Washington State Community College. Earn a one-year Truck Maintenance Certificate that teaches the fundamentals for entry-level diesel mechanic jobs at this Marietta school.They also offer a two-year Diesel Truck Systems degree that teaches even more, including business management skills.
ASE Diesel Certifications
The best way to prove your skills to potential employers and customers is to become certified by the ASE. To do this, you first need two years of relevant diesel mechanic experience, and you need to pass a multiple-choice exam. There are numerous ASE credentials available for diesel mechanics, including transit bus, school bus and medium-heavy truck certifications. Those who pass multiple tests in an ASE test series can earn ASE Master Status to become even more prominent in the field. The more credentials you earn, the better your chances for employment and higher income.
Diesel Mechanic Salary and Job Outlook
In 2016, the Projections Management Partnership (PMP) reported that 12,380 diesel mechanics were employed in Ohio, with an estimated 5.6 percent increase in employment predicted by 2026. This means that the growth rate for Ohio diesel mechanic employment is right on track with the national predicted growth rate of 5 percent.
In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that Ohio diesel mechanics earned a median annual income of $46,340. Ohio diesel mechanics seem to enjoy well-paying careers with a good employment outlook.
Where to Begin
As you begin your diesel mechanic career, you might be wondering which are best places to find work. In Ohio, the highest numbers of diesel mechanics work in the large cities of Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. In 2018, the highest paid diesel mechanics were employed in Cleveland and Dayton, where they earned median annual incomes of $52,370 and $51,900. The highest density of diesel mechanic employment per 1,000 jobs was found in the eastern Ohio nonmetropolitan area. These numbers should give you an idea of where to search for work, and in no time you’ll be well on your way to becoming a diesel mechanic in Ohio.