Diesel mechanics diploma programs that can be completed entirely online are rare. Some hybrid programs are available though, and they offer students theoretical classroom instruction while also providing hands-on practice working with the parts, systems, maintenance and repair associated with diesel engines.
|Online Availability||Rare, but fully online and hybrid programs available|
|Important Prerequisites||Related general education courses|
|In-Person Requirements||Supervised mechanics training|
Diesel Mechanics Diploma
Online programs typically focus on theoretical instruction in diesel engine parts and systems, while hybrid and on-campus programs allow for supervised mechanics training. Regardless of the delivery method of the classes, all programs usually offer basic instruction in diesel engine fundamentals, hydraulic systems and power trains.
Information and Requirements
Online diesel mechanics diploma programs generally take six months to complete. Hybrid and traditional diesel mechanics diploma programs can take 1-2 years for completion. Some online programs include books and study guides in tuition cost; however, this is typically not the case with hybrid and traditional programs.
Usually, diesel mechanics diploma programs have no prerequisites other than an interest in the field. Some diploma programs require the completion of general education courses, such as math or technical writing. In some programs, students study the service and maintenance of specific brands of diesel engines, such as Caterpillar or Cummins.
For this course, students explore the parts and systems of diesel engines, such as pistons, crankshafts and rings. Additionally, hybrid and traditional program students gain repair experience in labs wherein proper diesel engine maintenance and repair standards are taught.
Hydraulic Brake Systems
Students study hydraulic theories, including the design of components and systems as they relate to diesel mechanics. Further, students in traditional and hybrid programs practice the service and repair of hydraulic brake systems in a laboratory setting.
This class explores the parts and components of manual transmissions and drive shafts. Students of hybrid and traditional programs apply this information in the repair of transmissions in diagnostics labs.
In this course, students learn about various types of diesel fuel delivery systems. Those attending hybrid and traditional programs practice rebuilding fuel injection systems in a shop setting.
As of May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the middle half of the approximately 243,000 diesel service technicians and mechanics employed nationally earned between $35,280 and $55,950 (www.bls.gov). The average hourly wage was $22.17 in 2015. Further, the BLS anticipated that the increased demand for long-distance hauling would spur the addition of 31,600 jobs to this field from 2014-2024, which is an employment increase of approximately 12%.
Continuing Education Information
Diesel mechanics with two years of experience may opt to earn certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) to increase their marketability to prospective customers and employers. ASE offers many certification examinations, in addition to a master status certificate for those who have earned multiple certifications. After completing the fundamentals-level Diesel Engine Test, aspiring diesel mechanics may seek the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification, which proves their acumen in the evaluation and diagnosis of complex diesel engine malfunction. Lastly, some diesel mechanics may be required by their employers to acquire commercial driver's licenses.