How to Become a Diesel Mechanic in Utah
If you are interested in a job that has security and pays a decent salary, one choice you might consider would be working as a diesel mechanic. This job field is currently experiencing a growth spurt across the country and some states, like Utah, will see massive growth in the number of jobs for qualified diesel mechanics in the coming years. If you like working with your hands and fixing things, you’re ready to get started. Training for this career can be done on the job, or you can enroll in a formal training program that can be completed in a year or less.
What You Need to Work as a Diesel Mechanic in Utah
There is no certification, educational or licensure requirements to work in the state of Utah as a diesel mechanic. However, you do need to have at least a high school diploma or a GED to get started. Many employers may require that diesel mechanics have a valid driver’s license and some may prefer employees who have a commercial driver’s license, or CDL.
Some training will also be needed to learn the specific skills necessary to work in this job field. You can either find a mechanic who will let you work with them as an apprentice and train you on the job, or you can complete a program offered by a post-secondary institution. If you know a mechanic, then training under them would be a way for you to work, learn and earn money at the same time. However, you may not be able to find a mechanic who can train you, so then you would need to consider the academic option. These programs can generally be completed in one to two years.
Post-Secondary Programs for Diesel Technology in Utah
Utah is a great place to complete formal training as a diesel mechanic, because the state offers several programs. Here are examples of a few of them:
- Salt Lake Community College. Salt Lake Community College offers a Certificate of Completion in Diesel Technology that can be completed in 905 clock hours (approximately 10-11 months). This program trains students to repair and perform maintenance on diesel equipment. They will learn how to operate dynamometers and computer-based diagnostic equipment. Students must have essential reading and math skills to enter this program. They must also have Class A learner’s permit because they will be trained to earn their CDL as well.
- Davis Technical College. Davis Technical college offers a 10-month, or 900 clock hour, program in Diesel/Heavy Duty Technology. Students are trained on the proper maintenance, repair and use of diesel-powered vehicles and engines. Students are taught through a combination of classroom lecture and hands-on work.
- Mountainland Technical College. Mountainland Technical College (MTECH) offers a program certificate in diesel mechanics that can be completed in 11 months. This program is available at the Spanish Fork campus. Students at MTECH will learn necessary shop skills as well as how to perform PM inspections, brake repairs, engine tune-ups, component inspections and electrical troubleshooting. Students will also complete a class project in which they will diagnose and repair a real problem with a diesel engine in a shop environment.
Certifications for Diesel Mechanics
In Utah, diesel mechanics are not required to hold certification to find work. However, some employers do offer bonuses to certified diesel mechanics. The leading certification agency for diesel mechanics is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. (ASE). You must pass the examination for the endorsement you are seeking.
The ASE offers the following certification exams for diesel mechanics: school bus, transit bus, medium-heavy duty trucks, truck equipment and electronic diesel engines. You must have at least two years of work experience in the files, or a two-year degree in diesel technology and a year of work experience, in order to take a certification exam.
Utah Diesel Mechanic Salary and Outlook
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the national average annual salary for diesel mechanics is $47,350. In Utah, the annual average wage for this profession is $48,360, or $23.25 hourly. With experience and certifications, you can potentially earn as much as $64,920 annually in the state.
Growth is steady overall for diesel mechanics, but some states are experiencing rapid growth. Utah is one of those states. Almost 1,000 new jobs in this field are expected to become available in the state by the year 2026, which is a 30 percent growth rate.
Finding Work as a Diesel Mechanic in Utah
The future is bright for diesel mechanics in Utah. With excellent salary options and stable growth rates, jobs are likely to be available throughout the state. However, you may want to start with some of the higher populated cities such as Provo, Salt Lake City and West Valley City.
Examples of places that diesel mechanics may work include auto dealerships, repair shops, trucking companies, construction sites, local school districts and garages. Some of the significant diesel mechanic employers in the state are Henry Day Ford, Rush Truck Centers, Saia LTL Freight and the United States Army.