Diesel mechanics work with these engines and repair them as needed. They investigate and diagnose any reported problems. Repairs are made by either lifting the vehicle up on hydraulic jacks or opening up the engine compartment on the ground. Either way, the diesel mechanic gets his face into the engine and gets his hands dirty.
Work environments can be noisy, but they are usually well-ventilated. Many diesel mechanics repair vehicles onsite at roadsides or outdoor work areas. Most diesel mechanics work full-time. Overtime work may also be required in some situations.
Long-term projections of employment for diesel mechanics in New Jersey are, by and large, nothing to write home about. Between 2008 and 2018, the total number of diesel mechanic jobs added to the New Jersey workforce is estimated to be about 50. This represents only 0.5 percent positive change. Entry level wages were just over $40,000 as of 2011. Experienced diesel mechanics earned close to $60,000. The truck and transportation industry employed the greatest number of diesel mechanics as of 2008 at 1,100 positions. (1)
Industry certification is not a requirement but there is no doubt that it helps a diesel mechanic earn higher wages. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is the industry credential for diesel mechanic certification. Formal training programs are somewhat lacking in New Jersey, but public community colleges generally offer the best programs. The employment situation in New Jersey may change as older mechanics retire. This will open up positions for younger mechanics looking for work.
Diesel mechanics in New Jersey have to look out for flat-rate mechanical shops. Finding a shop that pays an hourly wage is the best way to make decent money. If going the shop route does not pan out, finding work in unexplored niches might be useful. Diesel engines are used in construction equipment, trucking, shipping and electricity generation. Looking for jobs in those sectors can sometimes be rewarding.