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What are the requirements for a diesel technician?

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

Becoming a diesel technician requires hard work and continuous learning. There’s a lot that goes into the job, from having in-depth knowledge of diesel systems to staying up to date with the latest technology.  

If you’re interested in a maintenance career and wondering, ‘what are the requirements for a diesel technician?’ continue reading to see the top five qualifications most companies want diesel technicians to have. 

Top 5 diesel technician qualifications 

1. Obtain a high school diploma or GED.

Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent to be considered for a diesel technician job.  

If you didn't finish high school, many online courses can help you prepare for the test to earn a GED.

2. Complete post-secondary training. 

Some companies will hire candidates without post-secondary training for entry-level roles. However, many require a certification, technical diploma or associate degree for mid- to senior-level positions. 

  • Certificate in diesel technology: Includes hands-on training in specialized areas and usually takes a few months to one year to complete. 
  • Technical diploma in diesel technology: Requires hands-on technical training and some general education courses. Generally takes one to two years to complete. 
  • Associate degree in diesel technology: Requires hands-on technical training and general education courses. Typically takes two years to complete. 
Most companies also offer higher starting pay to technicians with degrees. So, finding the right school and diesel program for you is very important. 

3. Gain basic maintenance-related experience. 

Even if you choose not to pursue post-secondary training and enter the field after graduating high school, most employers will still expect you to have basic maintenance-related experience and/or knowledge. 

You can get basic maintenance experience and grow your knowledge base by: 

  • Shadowing a diesel technician.
  • Repairing cars, motorcycles or 4-wheelers.
  • Becoming an automotive technician.
  • Reading industry-related articles.
  • Watching shop-related videos on YouTube.

4. Provide the right work documents. 

When applying, interviewing and ultimately getting a diesel technician job, you must show proof of the necessary work documents, just like you would for any other job. 

Expect to show proof of things like your: 

  • Education and employment records.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Driver’s license.
  • Social security card.
  • Work permits.

5. Invest in high-quality tools and boots. 

One of the top qualifications for a diesel technician is to own the right tools and safety gear. Being committed to investing in proper tools and OSHA-approved safety boots plays a vital role in becoming a good diesel technician.  

Although purchasing higher-quality tools and workwear is expensive, it will mean completing your job safely and correctly. Think of it as an investment in your career that will pay big dividends down the road. 

Discover essential diesel technician skills.

Now that you know the requirements to be a diesel technician, learn about the key skills you need to excel in a maintenance career. 
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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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