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6 tips on how to advance your career as a diesel technician

A Schneider diesel technician works on repairing the underside of a semi-trailer while his leader supervises.

Many people who work in a shop start in an entry level role, such as Assistant Diesel Technician or Diesel Technician. However, the advantage of working in the diesel industry is that where you begin your career likely won’t be where you end it. There is a ton of room for advancement.

If you’re just starting out and your goal is to be in a leadership role someday, check out our tips on how to advance your career as a diesel technician, provided by Schneider’s Director of Maintenance, James Enright.

Tips for advancing your career as a diesel technician

1. Attend higher education.

Although some diesel technician jobs do not require a college degree, having one will really set you apart from other techs.

Attending a technical college provides specialized training and direct access to available industry jobs for aspiring diesel technicians or current techs looking to advance their career into shop leadership.

2. Take advantage of training opportunities.

If the company you work for is offering a training opportunity to learn a new skill or software, take advantage of it. The more knowledge and skills you have the more attractive of a candidate you are for higher-up positions.

Schneider, for example, also has development programs to train aspiring leaders, and we encourage our techs to read about how to become a stronger leader. Check to see what types of leadership programs the company you work for offers.

3. Make a plan and commit to it.

If holding a leadership position is something you’re aspiring toward, create a plan of action with distinct timelines to achieve. Commit to continuously developing yourself and challenging yourself to grow.

You should even consider asking someone in a leadership role to become your mentor. A mentor can help you stick to those timelines you set for yourself and encourage you along the way.

4. Determine how you can make a difference starting now.

Your leadership experience and knowledge will develop and change in time. But today, think about the place you work and define the gaps you see in your shop’s operations.

Make a list of the 10 things that need to improve. Then, define the skills needed to make those improvements and determine if you have those skills. If not, learn them and make a difference where you work starting today.

5. Brush up on your interview skills.

You don’t have to wait until you’ve successfully landed an interview to start practicing. Instead, update your resume now and prepare questions you know you’ll want to ask and will be asked during the interview.

During the interview, don’t be humble – take credit for your achievements and prove that you’re the right fit for the role.

6. Know your reason why.

Possibly the most important step in figuring out how to advance your career as a diesel technician is knowing what your drive is. Receiving a higher rate of pay and having more flexible work hours are nice perks of moving up in your career but think deeper.

Your reason could be to:

  • Have the opportunity to lead a team.
  • Perform more specialized or difficult work.
  • Feel more challenged in leading others to make a difference.
  • Have accountability to deliver results.
  • Pass your knowledge to the next generation.

Whatever your reason for wanting to advance is, keep it in the back of your mind. When you’re feeling burn out, it’ll give you that push to keep working hard to get to your dream job.

Join a company where the advancement opportunities are endless

Schneider diesel technicians are given the resources and opportunities to go anywhere they want in their careers. Apply today and see for yourself.

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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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