Diesel mechanic programs may result in a certificate, diploma or associate degree, all of which may take from 1-2 years to complete. Technical schools and community colleges primarily offer programs in this field.
Training typically includes both classroom training and hands-on experience, such as assembling and disassembling an engine or completing tuneups. Along with general education and core classes, some programs may allow students to choose an area of concentration, such as high performance powertrain. Topics studied will include:
- Hydraulic systems
- Verbal communication
- Air conditioning
List of Courses
Introduction to Diesel Engines Course
The first course in a diesel mechanic training program covers the configuration of diesel engines and how they work. Students get their first look at primary engine systems, including the electrical, brake, exhaust and hydraulic systems. Coursework includes general maintenance and repair of diesel engines. This is a required class.
Diesel Engine Systems Course
Students are generally also required to enroll in a class on diesel engine systems. Diesel mechanic trainees get an expanded look at major engine systems, including computers, hydraulics, suspension and steering, electrical and air conditioning specifically for diesel engines. Instructors teach students to inspect diesel engine systems, maintain each system and repair it as needed. Students are prepared to continue with advanced coursework in system-specific maintenance and on particular brands of diesel engines.
Diagnostic Techniques Course
Diagnostic skills are essential for diesel mechanics. Diesel mechanics learn to determine the cause of and solutions to common and uncommon diesel engine problems. Students learn to use diagnostic tools, including how to use computers and read information provided by sensors to visual checks and verbal communications with diesel engine operators. Students in this class also practice their skills on diesel engines using applicable tools and technology.
Diesel Trade and Technical Knowledge Course
In this class, students get an overview of the work flow in a typical diesel shop. Students learn to use hand and power tools and keep them in good working order. Course topics also cover the use of heavy equipment like hoists and jacks. Safe working practices are emphasized, including first aid skills and how to use safety gear, such as protective eyewear. Most courses also cover working with and disposing of hazardous materials safely.
Diesel Engine Operation Course
In this course, required by some programs, students learn to operate a diesel engine. Students complete this course with the ability to perform the appropriate safety checks before driving a diesel engine truck and maneuver it forward, backward and through turns.