Automotive Technician Certificate: Diesel Technician Program Overview

Oct 12, 2019

An automotive diesel technician certificate program teaches students the basics of repairing and maintaining diesel engines, and learning how to use the tools, machines, and equipment required to work on such engines. Learn more about program requirements and common coursework. Receive information on popular careers, salary, job outlook, and continuing education.

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Essential Information

Most automotive technician certificate programs with specializations in diesel engines required one to two years to complete. Graduates are trained to meet the demands of the trucking, construction, agricultural, and navigational industries that use diesel engines and may choose to become certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Coursework includes some traditional classroom work, but is primarily built on a hands-on, experiential model. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, programs are not offered online. Applicants need to possess technical aptitude, manual dexterity, mechanical skills, and may be required to bring their own tools.

Automotive Technician Certificate for Diesel Technicians

In a diesel technician program, the curriculum is usually divided between practical learning and classroom study. Hands-on work helps students learn technical skills and classroom study allows students to develop the knowledge they need to perform technical skills correctly. Topics covered in practical and classroom courses may include:

  • Diesel engine technology
  • Fuel systems
  • Hydraulics
  • Brake systems
  • Transmissions
  • Welding

Popular Career Options

A diesel technician certificate program usually leads graduates to diesel mechanic positions; however, graduates may also work for leasing companies, car dealerships, trucking companies, and government agencies. Job titles might include:

  • Commercial vehicle mechanic
  • Service representative
  • Fuel injection specialist
  • Service manager
  • Agricultural vehicle mechanic

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Between 2014 and 2024, diesel service technicians were projected to have a 5% increase in employment, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In general, automotive service technicians and mechanics were to see a decrease of 1% in employment growth across the same decade. The BLS' 2018 data showed that diesel specialists earned a median salary of $47,350, while auto techs made a median annual income of $40,710.

Continuing Education Information

While not required, according to the BLS, individuals may improve job opportunities or increase advancement possibilities if they seek professional diesel mechanic certification ( Certification is available through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which is the recognized certifying body for the automotive industry.

Students who earn an automotive technician certificate will qualify for possible careers as a diesel or automotive service technician, among a few others. Job prospects can be improved by earning ASE certification, but in general, these career fields are expected to grow by 5-12% over the next decade.

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