Diesel engines are found in large vehicles like buses, trucks, boats, garbage and dump trucks, cranes and bulldozers. Today even some small trucks and cars have diesel engines. If you have an interest in being a diesel mechanic, you’re not alone. This career is vital in an arena as diverse and spread out as Hampton Roads.
What Does a Diesel Mechanic Do?
If you’re thinking about a career in the automotive industry and trying to decide which area you want to specialize in, you should learn all you can about the different career paths you can take.
Those interested in becoming a diesel mechanic typically will get a degree in Heavy Vehicle Technology. This degree will teach the student about different vehicles’ electrical system, and all the working parts of the diesel engine as they are different from gas powered engines. They will also learn how to work on all the systems and equipment needed to be a good service manager and run a financially sound business.
Skilled diesel mechanics may have to rebuild engines and will need to know how to use complex diagnostic computer equipment to help them diagnose the issue. Most mechanics will work for automotive dealerships and private repair shops.
Those that choose a career in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management will be expected to have the following skills to be successful:
- Customer Service: As a diesel technician, you will have to speak to customers about their vehicle issues and repair options. They should be able to communicate clearly and make their customers feel secure about their industry knowledge and skills.
- Attention to Details: The technician will need to look at the most minor detail and accurately assess the issue. A skilled mechanic will not only look at the big picture and major repairs but also be able to spot possible future issues.
- Work with their Hands: Mechanics are constantly working with their hands and good hand-to-eye coordination is key.
- Skills and Knowledge: Because they are often tasked with complex issues such as breaking down and repairing diesel engines and using computer diagnostic equipment, a solid education background and strong skills are critical.
- Management: In addition to physical skills and knowledge understanding business management, employee relations, inventory control and being able to lead a team is especially important for those that wish to one day run or own their own company.
Because of the vast number of vehicles that have diesel engines, the need for diesel mechanics is growing. With the growth in freight being moved by trucks, there are more diesel-powered trucks on the roads, so more technicians will be needed to keep them maintained and running at peak performance.
The most attractive job candidates are those that have completed post-secondary education and accredited automotive programs. Employers look for trained workers to reduce the time needed for in-house training, which is both time consuming and expensive for the employer.
Local Need in Hampton Roads
While the demand for skilled diesel mechanics is widespread, it is very important in the Hampton Roads area. According to the Virginian Pilot, the area is growing and the need for a new bridge and more transportation options are paramount.
The Daily Press reports that some of the fastest growing local careers include machinists, engineering technicians and automotive service technicians and mechanics.
Where to go for Your Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management Degree
Are you interested in becoming a diesel mechanic? If you want to earn an Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management, ATI offers this exciting program. Connect with us today for more information!