A diesel mechanic plays an essential role in our modern economy. They are responsible for maintaining and repairing diesel engines. These machines provide the power to drive trucks, cars and vans as well as construction equipment, generators and boats. Diesel engines are complex devices that sometimes break down for various reasons. Diesel mechanics identify and correct these problems when they arise.
They do this by going through a checklist of possible issues. Heavy equipment like a hydraulic jack may be used to life up the car or truck to look at it from underneath. The problem could be found in any component or system of the engine. The drive transmission could have failed. An electrical connection may have shorted out. The brakes could have gone bad. Sometimes multiple combinations of problems arise. Diesel mechanics have to master both metal parts and electronic components in modern engines.
Younger or older individuals who want to become diesel mechanics in New York face a tough job market. The New York State Department of Labor estimates that job growth for diesel mechanics will be negative between 2008 and 2018. Approximately 40 jobs, or 3.4 percent of all diesel mechanics jobs in the state, will be lost. (1) Average wages paid in 2011 for the North American Industry Classification System category that includes diesel mechanics were $34,927. (2) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median annual wage for diesel mechanics stood at $40,850. (3)
Lower wages imply less demand for a particular occupation, which in this case falls on the shoulders of diesel mechanics. Would-be entrants can make it but with less demand they will not make as much money as they would in other states. They need to branch out of traditional employment situations and find work in unusual niches like repairing diesel generators or boat engines.
Education and training for diesel mechanics in New York is offered through technical schools and the State University of New York or SUNY. The New York Automotive Diesel Institute is a trade school that has operated in various forms since the 1940s. Alfred State College, a SUNY Technology College, also offers training for people seeking to become diesel mechanics in New York.