How to Become a Diesel Mechanic

If you're looking for a dependable, well-paying career in the automotive industry, a diesel mechanic is a great choice, especially if you're interested in diesel engines and how they work. Working as a diesel mechanic requires little in the way of formal education, and many diesel mechanics make high-paying salaries. Here at Kenworth of Louisiana, our diesel mechanics enjoy good pay, great benefits, and a rewarding work environment.

Interested in becoming a Louisiana diesel mechanic? Read on to find out more about this exciting career!

What Is a Diesel Mechanic?

A diesel mechanic is a type of automotive mechanic that specializes in diesel engines, though they can also work on other systems in diesel trucks like exhaust and electrical systems. A typical workday will include standing, bending to access hard-to-reach spots, working with power tools, and working in a repair shop, worksite, and on the roadside.

Typical responsibilities of a diesel engine mechanic can include

  • Performing diagnostic test on diesel engines

  • Analyzing those test results and deciding on a repair plan

  • Inspecting lighting systems on vehicles

  • Performing test drives to gauge vehicles' performance

  • Inspecting and adjusting wheels

  • Replacing worn-out, old, or broken engine parts

  • Cleaning engine parts and other systems

  • Replacing steering mechanisms, brake systems, transmissions, or whole diesel engines

Qualifications and Experience You'll Need to Become a Certified Diesel Mechanic

To become a diesel mechanic, you'll likely need to complete a training program and complete a Diesel Engine Performance Certificate. The good news is that this certification can take two years or less, as opposed to other professions that require a four-year degree or more. Most of the rest of your training can be done on-the-job, meaning you'll be earning money as you get better at your industry!

In Louisiana, most diesel mechanic shops look for workers who have graduated high school or have their GED and a valid driver's license. Oftentimes, a CDL is a bonus! It's also a good idea to get a certification from an accredited institution so you can start out with higher pay and at a higher level.

Steps to Becoming a Diesel Mechanic

In Louisiana, there are a few programs that have been approved by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE):

  • Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College in Mansfield, Minden, and Shreveport offers classroom instruction and hands-on shop experience. Students will also learn how to use tools safely and correctly, replace and repair parts, disassemble engines, and more.

  • Northshore Technical Community College in Bogalusa offers Certificate of Technical Studies in Diesel Equipment as well as a Technical Diploma in Diesel Powered Equipment. You'll learn the basics of diesel mechanics, as well as more in-depth topics if you opt for the technical diploma, in just one or two years.

  • Delgado Community College in New Orleans

  • L.E. Fletcher Technical Community College in Schriever

  • Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe

  • South Central Louisiana Technical College in Morgan City

  • South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette

Why Become a Diesel Mechanic?

There are many reasons to become a diesel mechanic, including the dynamic nature of the job, the good pay, and the growth prospects in your new career. The national average salary for a diesel mechanic is nearly $60,000 per year, with plenty of opportunities for overtime, great benefits, and more. Plus, with more and more diesel trucks on the road thanks to the growing home delivery industry, diesel mechanics are in high demand!

Kenworth of Louisiana Is Hiring Diesel Mechanics

When you're ready to start your new career in diesel mechanics, check out the great diesel mechanic jobs we have available at Kenworth of Louisiana! We offer excellent pay and career prospects, incentives for top performers, paid time off, paid holidays, and a generous company match for your retirement plan.

What's more — we're hiring! Contact us or fill out an application today to start your new career as a diesel mechanic!