How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in South Carolina
Diesel engines are vital to many industries in this country, both to aid transportation of materials and run the heavy equipment needed to get a job completed. Diesel mechanics work in high-tech environments to ensure diesel engines remain in optimal working order. If you have an aptitude for machine repair and enjoy working in an active environment, it might be a good career choice for you.
Those pursuing this career should possess a high level of technical ability and be prepared to train to develop the skills needed to work with diesel engines. Mechanics can expect to regularly work with many varied tools including pneumatic tools, analytical software, welding equipment and grinding machines. Due to the increasing complexity of diesel engines, a career in this field will require ongoing continuing education and the ability to adapt to industry changes.
Requirements for Diesel Mechanics in South Carolina
Although there is no licensing requirement for diesel mechanics in South Carolina, there is a minimum level of education and training needed to become one. Candidates are required to possess a high school diploma or equivalent, and seek either on-the-job training or an accredited training program. It is also recommended that those wishing to further their careers after entry-level training pursue additional certifications to showcase their abilities and expertise.
South Carolina Training Programs for Diesel Mechanics
South Carolina has a few training programs available for those interested in obtaining a certificate level education. These include:
- Greenville Technical College in Greenville offers a certificate in Diesel Equipment Technology. The program promises to give students the experience they need to succeed as a mechanic and seek further certification, through classroom instruction and hands-on experience.
- Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in Orangeburg offers a Basic Diesel Mechanic Certificate. Students will learn basic diesel engine theory and diesel operation as well as how to service diesel equipment, run diagnostics and repair fuel systems, preparing them for entry-level work in the field.
- Florence Darlington Technical College in Florence offers a Certificate in Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment. The school not only prepares students to work in the field upon graduation but also offers a job match program within the community.
Once entry-level requirements are met, those wishing to increase employability should consider obtaining additional certifications through The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Acquiring certification allows a technician to guarantee the quality of their work and give confidence to both potential employers and the general public. ASE certification is an industry standard and requires a minimum level of work experience and the ability to pass an examination.
Salary Expectations and Job Growth Predictions
Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a favorable outlook for diesel mechanics in South Carolina. According to their research, the average annual income for diesel mechanics in 2018 was $44,910, with a mean hourly wage of $21.59. The natural gas distribution industry reported the highest wages in the field, nationwide.
Within the state, the diesel mechanics industry is predicted to experience a 15.9 percent growth from 2016 to 2026, which is above the national average.
Diesel Mechanic Jobs in South Carolina
Diesel engines are needed in a large variety of industries, from transportation to construction to farming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest numbers of diesel mechanics are employed by the truck transportation industry, followed by the automotive repair and maintenance industry and local governments. Potential employers within the state of South Carolina include United Site Services, KBR, 84 Lumber, Northland Communications, National Express and South Carolina Department of Public Safety.