Make the Most Out of A Diesel Mechanic Career with Mechanic School!
Do you want to become a diesel mechanic? There are lots of reasons to go into the field, including flexibility, high pay, and even full benefits depending on your employer. The lifestyle isn't for everyone, though, and you'll need to go to mechanic school if you want to find success right out of the gate.
But if you're willing to work hard to establish yourself at the beginning and take the time to go to mechanic school, then you will find becoming a diesel mechanic highly rewarding and profitable. That's because you'll be one of the most desirable mechanics around, and have your pick of jobs – so you can choose the ones that match your needs the most.
The Truth About Working as a Diesel Mechanic
What is it really like being a diesel mechanic, and is it worth going into the industry? Let's take a look!
Diesel mechanics enjoy a similar lifestyle to auto mechanics, but with higher pay in exchange for slightly less flexibility. This is because many diesel mechanics either work for the government or for large companies – either hauling companies or manufacturers. You are much less likely to work in independent shops or part stores, where mechanics are often treated as independent contractors with flexible hours but few benefits. That being said, becoming a diesel mechanic isn't for everyone, and the pay, benefits, and flexibility largely depends on your employer.
One thing is for sure: the diesel mechanic industry is safe. America's economy depends on long-haul trucking, and the trucks depend on diesel mechanics to keep running. There is no indication that America's dependence on trucks to ship everything from food to cars is going anywhere. Mechanics' jobs are even more secure than truckers – even if trucks become self-driving, someone will still need to repair them. The job market is also growing 28% faster than average at 9% compared to 7%.
So, your employment prospects are good if you become a diesel mechanic and your job should be stable. But what is the compensation like? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay is $46,360 per year or $22.29 per hour – more than auto, small motor, and motorcycle mechanics but less than airplane mechanics. It's also about on-par with HVAC mechanic salaries, so if you want to combine the benefits of working in HVAC with the experience of working in an auto shop, you might want to consider going into diesel.
There are a lot of reasons to go into diesel maintenance and repair beyond just the pay. Diesel mechanics are frequently members of a worker's union, meaning that they have greater protections than independent operators. Better still, many if not most mechanics also work for the government or larger companies that provide benefits like paid time off, health insurance, and 401k matching. That means that you can truly make a career as a diesel mechanic that will take care of your family and your health, and provide for you after retirement.
Great pay and benefits don't come without a cost, though. Since long-haul trucking is so vital to the economy, trucks are on the road 24/7 and cannot afford to wait until the morning if they run into issues overnight. That means that if you work for a trucking company, you may enjoy stability and high pay but you will also often have to work irregular hours, especially when you start out. Some people don't mind working night shifts, and you will get your pick of shifts as you gain seniority over your career. But you may want to consider another path if you value having a set schedule.
All in all life as a diesel mechanic seems pretty great. You can make good money, enjoy more flexibility than at traditional jobs, and even get great benefits. But how do you start your career and make sure you land those high-reward jobs?
Mechanic School is the First Step to a Successful Career
You only technically need a high school diploma to work as a diesel mechanic, but employers are increasingly looking to hire people who have a degree from a mechanic school. Formal training at a trade school or community college will make it easier to get hired, lead to better job stability, and allow you to get those high-paying jobs with good benefits.
As we've already mentioned, the best pay and benefits come from working for the government or large companies. These employers offer such high pay because they are willing to pay for the best, and competition for these jobs is stiff. So, if you want to get one of these jobs it's important to get the best training possible. You should not only go to mechanic school but also do your research to find the school that will give you the right training. Look for schools that provide lots of hands-on lessons and practical experience.
Going to mechanic school will benefit your career even after you land your first job. Many employers use a tiered pay scale, meaning you make more the more you know and the more you can do. The training that mechanic schools provide will give you a leg up and help you start higher up in the pay scale, even at the most desirable employers. Plus, mechanics who open their own shops tend to make the most money overall, and you need a lot more formal training to run an entire shop. This also means that even established diesel mechanics might find it worthwhile to go to school and learn the skills they'll need to open their own business.
Ready to Get Started?
So a career as a diesel mechanic can give you the kind of success and stability that few people can hope for – and mechanic school is the way to make sure that you find success in your new career. But with so many mechanic schools out there, it can be hard to find the right one. That's why MechanicSchool.com has created the most comprehensive database around – so you can find the school that meets your specific needs and ambitions. We make it easy to start your career the right way.