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What Does a Diesel Mechanic Do?

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Grant Aldrich

The demand for Diesel Mechanics is on a constant rise. A report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the expected job growth for Diesel Technicians is set to rise by 4% by the year 2031.

Diesel Technicians work in the automotive industry, inspecting and repairing vehicles and machines powered by diesel engines. Their duties entail changing oils, checking tires, and maintaining the smooth functioning of the engine.

If you’re interested in pursuing this rewarding career, you might be wondering what exactly are the roles and responsibilities of a Diesel Technician/Mechanic, how much they earn, what are the required skills, and how to start your career. 

In this guide, we talk about all of this. 

Roles & Responsibilities Of Diesel Mechanics: An Overview

Before you enter an industry, it is recommended to understand the duties you have to perform.  As a Diesel Mechanic, your work will be majorly focused on diesel-powered machines or engines, their smooth functioning, and maintenance. 

Before you enter an industry, it is recommended to understand the duties you have to perform.  As a Diesel Mechanic, your work will be majorly focused on diesel-powered machines or engines, their smooth functioning, and maintenance. 

The main day-to-day duties of a Diesel Technician involve:

  • Running diagnostic tests on automobiles or machinery
  • Testing vehicles to determine the condition 
  • Investigating the findings of the diagnostic tests
  • Replacing brake systems, engines of vehicles, and steering systems
  • Recording details of every vehicle they service
  • Maintaining the inventory
  • Maintaining cleanliness around the workshop
  • Executing preventative maintenance for service trucks
  • Examining light systems of different automobiles
  • Strictly adhering to the inspection protocol list
  • Repairing or replacing any non-functioning or defective equipment to a working condition
  • Explaining the details of the defects found in the vehicles to their owners in a simple manner
  • Overseeing regular inspections of diesel machinery as well as vehicles to detect any upcoming issues or signs of possible deterioration
  • Customer interactions, asking customers questions that help in diagnosing and repairing the vehicle more efficiently

Skills Required to Become a Diesel Mechanic

Here are some basic skills you will need to develop and improve on if you want to become a successful Diesel Mechanic:

  • Communication skills

Diesel mechanics have to regularly interact with customers to understand their issues better and help repair the vehicle efficiently. Good communication skills are hence a requirement to deliver quality customer service.

  • Analytical Skills

One of the main responsibilities of a diesel mechanic is to examine and diagnose the source of malfunctioning vehicles or automobiles. As a diesel technician, you will be required to have strong analytical skills to identify and repair any faults within the engine.

  • Technical knowledge

Having basic technical knowledge is a very important skill to develop as a diesel mechanic. Often you will be required to work with special machinery and diesel mechanic tools. As a Diesel Mechanic, you’re expected to have the technical know-how to operate the same. 

  • Detail-oriented

As a Diesel Mechanic, you will be repairing a lot of automobiles. It is essential to pay attention to each detail in order to repair the vehicle efficiently. This will prevent any customers from returning to the workshop and ensure quality customer service.

How To Become A Diesel Mechanic?

Now that you have read everything about what a diesel mechanic does and the skills required to become one, you might be wondering how you start your career. 

Becoming a diesel mechanic is easy, and here’s a step-by-step breakdown on how to become a diesel mechanic

Complete Your Educational Qualifications

 Becoming a diesel mechanic also requires acquiring a certain level of educational qualifications. The minimum requirement to pursue a career in this field is to complete your high school diploma or a GED.

Aspiring students can then opt for a diesel mechanic training program. You can get your diesel tech training through an associate’s diesel mechanic degree program, certification programs, or online programs.

Both associate’s degree and certification programs are full-time courses offered by technical universities and community colleges. Even though both of these are trusted, they come with several disadvantages.

The major disadvantages include extremely high costs, lengthy duration of the courses, and other additional expenses.

The most recommended way is to enroll yourself in an accredited online diesel mechanic school. Such programs cost less and can be completed in as little as 4 months. Not just that, an online program gives you the freedom to learn at your own pace and schedule.

Additional Resource: How Long is Diesel Mechanic School

Acquire Relevant Skills and Experience

Relevant experience will be required before sitting for your Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification exams. A minimum of 2 years of experience as a supervised diesel mechanic is important. Also, as mentioned earlier, working on improving your soft and hard skills is also important as a diesel mechanic.

Some of these skills include:

  • Proficiency in technology
  • Physical strength
  • Basic mathematical abilities
  • Analytical approach to challenges
  • A close eye for detail 
  • Good communication skills

Get Certified

If you’re just starting out, getting the entry-level G.1 certification is recommended. Once you clear the exam, you’re a Certified Diesel Technician. 

As you gain more experience working as a mechanic, you can choose to complete more Diesel mechanic certification exams from ASE.

Before you start working, you will also be required to get your CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), a legal license to operate heavy machines. 

Related: Heavy duty diesel mechanic

Build Your Resume and Start Applying

Once you get certified as a diesel mechanic, it’s time for you to build your diesel mechanic resume to apply for relevant jobs. Start approaching local shops or equipment manufacturers. You can also opt for a diesel mechanic apprenticeship

If you’re unsure if this career is right for you or not, check out: what is a Diesel Mechanic? and Diesel Technician Salary.


The automobile industry has been rising globally. Diesel mechanics are required not just for consumer vehicles but also for trucks, construction vehicles, and diesel-powered machinery. 

If you can handle the day-to-day duties of a diesel mechanic, then you can choose to pursue this career.

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Grant Aldrich

Preppy was founded by higher education expert, Grant Aldrich, who’s work on college affordability and accessibility has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader’s Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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