Diesel mechanics specialize in inspecting, repairing, and maintaining all vehicles with a diesel engine, including buses and trucks.
Diesel mechanics are often responsible for following a checklist of important inspection procedures, evaluating vehicles for malfunctioning parts, interpreting diagnostic test results, inspecting various parts of the vehicle for faultiness, conduct routine maintenance services, and test driving vehicles to ensure they operate efficiently.
How much does a diesel mechanic make? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics records from May 2012, there were 230,030 diesel mechanics employed from coast to coast in the United States. The average annual diesel mechanic salary was $43,660, which is equivalent to a mean hourly wage of $20.99.
While the bottom ten percent in the occupation makes $26,820, the top ten percent of diesel mechanics bring home $63,250 each year. Diesel mechanics employed in general freight trucking earn considerably less than average at $39,940, but those that work in deep sea water transportation make $79,250 annually. The top-paying states for the field are Hawaii and Alaska, where diesel mechanics are compensated with an average salary of $58,420 and $55,910 each year respectively.
The majority of diesel mechanics work for private companies in general freight trucking, automotive repair and maintenance services, motor vehicle parts wholesalers, and specialized freight trucking. In addition, about 11 percent of diesel mechanics are employed in the public sector by the local and state governments.
Most diesel mechanics are employed on a full-time basis, but overtime hours are a common occurrence because repair services often extend their hours to evenings or weekends to accommodate clients. Some diesel mechanics will need to work overnight hours as truck and bus repair shops offer customers 24-hour repair services.
As more and more freight is being shipped across America, more diesel-powered trucks will be necessary and cause a rise in demand for diesel mechanics to maintain the nation’s truck fleet to keep up with the increase.
Many older vehicles in use today will need to be modernized to become compliant with the latest environmental regulations, thus creating more job prospects. Therefore, employment for diesel mechanics is expected to be quite promising as it grows about as fast as the national average for all occupations at a rate of 15 percent from 2010 to 2020.