How to become a diesel mechanic

By Seth Heiss Feb 17, 2020
There are six steps on how to become a diesel mechanic.

The demand for diesel mechanics is tremendous right now. With many mechanics nearing retirement age, joining the diesel industry means opening doors of opportunity and having a job that provides stability, making it a good career choice.

Like many professions, becoming a diesel mechanic will take some effort. The payoff will be worth it, though, when you are able to use your skills to make a real difference and enjoy going to work each day.

Based on my experience in the industry for over 10 years, here are my tips about how to become a diesel mechanic.

Steps on how to become a diesel mechanic

1. Do your research.

The first step is to find out what a diesel mechanic really does on a daily basis. Reading blogs like this is a great start but contacting mechanics you know and asking them questions regarding what they enjoy about the profession is another great way to gain insight.

2. Determine what kind of mechanic you want to be.

There are so many different types of diesel mechanics. You could work on trains, ships, generators, planes, etc. Once you determine what type of equipment you want to work on, you will need to decide what type of company you’re interested in working for.

For example, if you want to work on semi-trucks, you will need to decide if you want to be a fleet mechanic or dealership mechanic.

3. Gain some exposure.

You may be wondering why this step comes before enrolling in an education program. You can read hundreds of blogs and talk to dozens of people, but you will not know if being a diesel mechanic is truly for you until you give it a try.

I would not invest in schooling until you are certain the career path is for you. The easiest way to gain exposure and experience is by asking a diesel mechanic you know if you can shadow them for the day. If you do not personally know any mechanics, call a company, like Schneider, to find out if you could see what the shop environment is like.

Some companies may even have entry-level job opportunities for people with no previous diesel mechanic experience.

4. Enroll in an education program.

Finding the right school to get your degree can seem daunting. We broke down all the steps to find the best diesel mechanic school for you and your lifestyle in a previous post: Top tips to find the best diesel mechanic school for you.

Many companies, like Schneider, will even offer tuition reimbursement to mechanics.

5. Figure out who you want to work for.

While getting your degree to become a diesel mechanic, it is a good idea to start researching different companies with job opportunities near you to know which ones you want to apply to after graduation.

Determine what you are looking for in a company, like benefits, paid time off, a 401(k), etc. Once you know what you want, researching companies can be as easy as checking out their websites or calling recruiters to ask questions.

6. Apply for a full-time diesel mechanic job.

When it comes time to apply for your first full-time diesel mechanic job, you will want to be prepared with:

  • An updated resume, with your education and any relevant experience.
  • Real-life answers to questions you will be asked in interviews. It’s important to prove you possess the must-have diesel mechanic skills needed to succeed in the role.
  • The must-have diesel mechanic tools. Most companies will not expect you to have them all, but it is good to get a head start

Thinking about becoming a diesel mechanic?

Becoming a diesel mechanic is a good career choice. Becoming a diesel mechanic for Schneider is even better. See what benefits and job opportunities we have to offer.

Learn about Schneider's benefits


About the Author

Seth Heiss IMG

Seth is Schneider’s technical college maintenance recruiter, helping aspiring diesel technicians find a rewarding career with Schneider. He has been with Schneider since June 2008, holding a variety of diesel technician roles including mobile communications platform champion, senior technician, senior lead technician and lead tire specialist.

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