Diesel Mechanic Schools and Program

Need heavy lifting? Look no further than diesel technology. Diesel helps the world go 'round. City buses carrying passengers, eighteen-wheelers hauling goods, harvesters and combines in the fields, and heavy trucks that keep mining and oil operations moving are all powered by diesel. Even some passenger cars and trucks make use of diesel engines for superior performance.

Working with diesel technology requires a certain kind of training, and that can be had through ASE/NATEF certified diesel mechanic schools. Diesel mechanic training can teach students to understand diesel engines, diagnose and repair problems, provide excellent maintenance and service, and otherwise work with these very important vehicles on a diesel mechanics level.

Certified Diesel Mechanic Schools

When looking for diesel mechanic schools, start by looking at accreditation. The National Automotive Training Education Foundation is an accrediting body for evaluation of training programs. Founded in 1983, the NATEF accredits schools with various automotive programs, including those in diesel technology.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE, was founded in 1972 with the goal of improving automobile service and repair. ASE not only offers certification and diesel mechanic training for technicians, but also certifies the training programs that teach those technicians. The ASE program is based on the recommendations of the NATEF, so students who are looking for diesel technology education should look for accreditation and certification through both organizations.

What to Expect from a Diesel Mechanic Training Program

Students who enter a diesel mechanic program may have the opportunity to work with machines created by some of the top names in the industry, including John Deere, Cummins, Caterpillar and more. Hands-on courses may include education in fluid, power and electrical systems, engines, power trains, and engine management systems. With a diesel mechanic program, students learn to understand the diesel systems and troubleshoot problems and repair mechanical issues. In some programs, students learn to build an engine from the ground up.

Some programs culminate in a certificate, while others are designed to lead to an associate degree. Students can specialize in various areas of diesel mechanic training and technology, such as light duty, off-road power, auto-diesel vehicles, high performance powertrain and more. Since diesel technology is a hands-on job, all programs require in-person work, but some select courses might be completed online. Once the education is complete, students may expect to learn a great deal more on the job, and possibly attend special training classes offered by diesel manufacturers and vendors.

Those who choose to earn certification through ASE must pass any required courses, have at least two years of work experience, and pass the certification examination. Keeping the certification requires retesting every five years. Since much of the work of a diesel technician involves large vehicles, earning a commercial driver's license might be required.

Career Outlook for Diesel Mechanics

Numerous community colleges and technical schools offer courses in diesel technology. Some states might offer a significant number; for instance, Pennsylvania offers over 50 trucking and diesel schools, while South Dakota offers only a handful. Some diesel mechanic schools have campus locations in several states, such as Lincoln Group of Schools, which offers programs in Connecticut, Colorado, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee and New Jersey. Check out a detailed list of diesel mechanic schools below.

Service tech graduates of diesel mechanic schools can expect job growth of 9 percent from 2012 through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). Those who specialize in installation, maintenance and repair can expect slightly higher job growth at 10 percent. Trucking companies hired the largest number of diesel technology graduates in 2013, while others found jobs with the government, repair and maintenance shops, suppliers and wholesalers of motor vehicle parts, and manufacturing. Those who have pursued secondary education and earned certification are expected to see the best job prospects.

Disclaimer: This site is not associated in any way with the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and is not maintained by them.


  1. Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/diesel-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm#tab-1
  2. Diesel Technology Program Wyotech, Accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.wyotech.edu/program/diesel-technology
  3. Diesel Technology Training, Lincoln Group of Schools, Accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.lincolnedu.com/careers/automotive/diesel-technology
  4. National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, Accessed November 25, 2014, http://www1.natef.org
  5. National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, Accessed November 25, 2014, https://www.ase.com

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