What Does the Future Look Like for Shipyard Welding?

The time: 1920. The place: Cammell Laird Company’s Birkenhead Works, alongside the River Mersey, England. The event: shipyard welders assemble the world’s first all-welded ship, the 620-ton coastal freighter, MS Fullagar. The technique was shielded arc welding, in which the steel welding rods were dipped in asbestos slurry. The ship plied the oceans for 17  [...]

Becoming a High Performance Mechanic: Everything You Should Know

Grinding through statistical tables at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is usually not very exciting. Sure, it is a handy way to find where folks are working hard, making good money, but the BLS is not a place to search for surprises. And then, one day, a surprise: the “Western Central North Carolina nonmetropolitan  [...]

What’s the Difference Between a Turbocharger and a Supercharger?

Few other countries have elevated shade tree mechanics and fast cars to the level of achievement we have in America. We not only turned bootlegging and running away from revenue agents into a sport—NASCAR—we have perfected high performance engines that fit snugly into tiny sports cars. We advertise with them, put them in movies, and—perhaps  [...]

What Does the Future Look Like for Commercial Truck Drivers?

Commercial truck drivers are a key cog in the national economy, facilitating the delivery and distribution of goods, supplies and equipment to population centers across the country. One of the most attractive features of a career as an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver is stability — there is always a need for their services, regardless of  [...]

What Are the Top Diesel Mechanic Certifications to Have?

One day, while taking courses in diesel mechanics and heavy equipment, you will wonder what certifications will land you the plum job you desire. The first step, of course, is that basic education in all things diesel. This requires some 75 weeks of diesel mechanic training four days a week, giving you plenty of time  [...]

How Long Does it Take to Become an Automotive Technician?

The outlook is good for automotive technicians, and that’s no surprise. In 2012 (the last year for which data is available), there were 253,639,386 registered vehicles in the United States (according to the U.S.. Department of Transportation). That’s a lot of potential maintenance and repairs, which means a lot of need for qualified people to  [...]

What Are The Best Commercial Truck Driver Certifications to Have?

A differential on a tractor-trailer combination means something very different from a pay differential, but the two are oddly related. A truck’s differential can mean the transmission’s differential, or the power divider, which is another differential altogether. A pay differential? That is how much more a truck driver might be able to make with certain  [...]

Conquering Heavy Machinery: How Hard Is Diesel Mechanic School?

If you’ve ever driven on a cross-country trip and caught the sight of a big-rig trailer truck roaring down the road, you might wonder about the mechanisms under the hood. There are folks out there, and you may be one of them, who carry within a passion for engines. If you’re willing to learn the skills,  [...]

The Road Ahead: Finding Automotive Technician Scholarships and Grants

When students invest money and time in a career, they expect it to support them through their working lives. Outsourcing and increased computerization have eliminated many good jobs that were available in the past, so a current challenge is to choose a field that offers long-lasting prospects. Automotive technology is one such field. A career in auto  [...]