How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Pennsylvania
Are you good with tools and like to work on engines? Do you regularly do your own vehicle repairs? Perhaps you should consider a career as a diesel mechanic.
Becoming a diesel mechanic requires good manual dexterity and the ability to use complex tools and equipment. Diesel mechanics work to diagnose, maintain, troubleshoot and repair diesel engines and other related systems. Those who pursue this career should expect to frequently use computer diagnostics, pneumatic tools, welding equipment and precision equipment.
Diesel Mechanic Requirements in Pennsylvania
Although diesel mechanics do not require licensure in the state of Pennsylvania, it is important for mechanics to seek the proper training. At minimum, a high school diploma or equivalent is required along with either on-the-job training or the completion of a reputable educational program. Those already working within the field can also seek additional certifications for career advancement.
Available Training Programs for Diesel Mechanics in Pennsylvania
Training programs help candidates master the necessary skills to succeed as diesel mechanics. A few of the many programs available in Pennsylvania include:
- Clearfield County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC) in Clearfield offers a certificate in Diesel Equipment Maintenance and Repair Technology. The course includes instruction on both diesel and gasoline engine troubleshooting and repair. Students are able to receive their PA Inspection Mechanic Certificates, Brake Certifications and OSHA certifications as well as a commercial driver’s licenses.
- Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport offers a Diesel Mechanic certificate. Students learn how to diagnose, troubleshoot, repair and maintain diesel engines. All students will participate in courses designed to improve practical skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, quantitative thinking and technical literacy.
- Johnson College in Scranton offers training in both Diesel Preventative Maintenance Technology and Diesel Truck Technology. The Diesel Preventative Maintenance Technology program requires 20 credits to complete and prepares students to perform routine repair procedures, preventative maintenance and safety applications. The Diesel Truck Technology program requires 42 credits and prepares graduates for -evel work in the field.
Helpful Certifications for Career Advancement
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is the industry standard for mechanics. Acquiring ASE certification allows diesel mechanics to apply for more jobs and present a higher level of professionalism to potential employers and clients. In order to obtain certification, candidates will need to be able to pass an exam and work a minimum number of hours in the field.
Pennsylvania Salary Expectations and Job Growth Predictions
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diesel mechanics made a reported average annual income of $46,960 and an average hourly income of $14.75. Top-paying industries for diesel mechanics are listed as natural gas distribution, metal ore mining, electric power generation, transmission and distribution, and delivery services.
Career One Stop predicts a nine percent growth rate for diesel mechanics in Pennsylvania from the years 2016 to 2026, slightly below the national average of 9.3 percent.
Opportunities in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is listed by the BLS as one of the top five states for employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics, which is a favorable outlook for diesel mechanics in the state. Diesel engines are needed in many industries due to their ability to power heavy equipment including transportation, farming and construction. Due to the requirement for diesel engines in so many industries, work as a diesel mechanic can be found in many sectors, both public and private. Some potential employers in Pennsylvania include Penske, AAA Allied Group, Stericycle, Eastern Lift Truck Company, Inc., Waste Management, Fedex Freight, Army National Guard Units, Verizon and Defense Logistics Agency.