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Diesel mechanics maintain and repair diesel engines. These engines are found in construction equipment, cars, trains, trucks, generators, corn grinders and irrigation pumps. Diesel engines are ubiquitous in heavy applications like trucks and big machinery because of their energy efficiency. Diesel mechanics are responsible for keeping them running smoothly.
Depending on the type of job, diesel mechanics work in a repair shop, a car dealership or travel to the site of a breakdown. Conditions in repair shops and car dealerships are usually well-ventilated and climate controlled, but they can be noisy. Diesel mechanics are exposed to the elements in the field, which can be difficult in the winter.
Evening shifts and overtime may be required, but working hours are full-time. The national median annual wage in 2010, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $40,850 or $19.64 per hour. Diesel mechanics learn a lot of their trade on the job. Formal training and education are also available.
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