Used to power trucks, buses, heavy equipment and some passenger vehicles, diesel engines are known for their sturdiness and reliability. In addition, these engines have traditionally been more fuel-efficient than their gasoline counterparts. With the increased awareness for bio-diesel, CO2 emissions have been reduced even further. Skilled diesel mechanics are required to diagnose, maintain and repair these complex engines.
The Skills of a Diesel Mechanic
The job of a diesel mechanic or technician may require some specialized knowledge. Mechanics must perform vehicle inspections, diagnose engine issues and make appropriate repairs. Related systems such as steering and brake systems may affect the diagnosis of an engine problem so mechanics should have some overall familiarity with all vehicle systems.
In newer engines some systems are controlled by computers, requiring mechanics to use electronic diagnostic equipment and tools. In addition to diagnosing and repairing engines based on manuals and schematics, diesel mechanics may need to be able to read and apply data from computer diagnostic equipment.
The Tools of a Diesel Mechanic
Diesel engine specialists, including bus and truck mechanics, will be required to use the standard tools of the automotive repair trade including hand tools such as wrenches and screwdrivers. Some of these tools may be pneumatic, making the tool easier to operate. Some welding may be required, as well as using lifts or jacks to elevate vehicles.
The Working Conditions of a Diesel Mechanic
Mechanics generally work in repair shops, though some provide roadside assistance or onsite repairs. Repair shops are generally well-sheltered from the elements and well-ventilated, but diesel mechanics in Connecticut should be aware that outside work in winter may be required. Heat and noise can be a factor in some shops and due to the nature of an engine, minor injuries such as scrapes and burns may occur.
Most employment is full time, with some overtime and on-call work potentially required.
The Employment Outlook for Diesel Mechanics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment outlook for diesel mechanics in Connecticut remains in line with the national outlook. Employment opportunities are expected to increase through the year 2020.
Based on BLS May 2011 data there are nearly 2000 diesel mechanics in Connecticut. These professionals earn an hourly mean wage of over $22 and an annual mean wage of over $47,000.
While not required, employers are beginning to favor those applicants who have completed certified training courses in diesel engine repair.
Agricultural products, seafood, transportation equipment, chemical and pharmaceutical products and scientific instruments are all strong industries in the state, and Connecticut consumers and producers both rely on the diesel trucks that distribute these items around the region. And of course, diesel technicians and mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing these trucks.
In addition to the wide variety of industries in Connecticut's economy, the state's coastal location off the Long Island Sound also offers unique transportation and shipping options for businesses in this region. The state's well developed highway system and high population density contribute to a strong trucking industry in the state. If you want to be a diesel mechanic in Connecticut, finding the right diesel mechanic or trade school program is the first step.
In addition to its important trucking industry, Connecticut also boasts a strong public transportation system. As a diesel mechanic in Connecticut, you could also be responsible for repairing and maintaining the buses that many residents depend on to reach their destinations.
Take the first step toward your Connecticut diesel technician career, and find the school that can help you get there. Top Trucking Schools can help you do it!