Truck repair training is currently available at the associate's degree level, and it prepares graduates for careers as diesel service mechanics and technicians, as well as certification in the field. The most popular truck repair undergraduate degree program is an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Diesel Service Technology; however, an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Diesel Mechanics is also available and offers similar training.
Prerequisites for the certification and associate's degree are a high school diploma or GED, with previous coursework in science, algebra and English
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Associate's Degree in Diesel Service Technology or Diesel Mechanics
Diesel service technology programs educate students in brake system inspection, diesel engine maintenance, air conditioning, engine electronics, and powertrain repair. Many programs include a diesel internship, wherein students get hands-on experience in truck repair. Students train in safety and equipment testing procedures, diagnostic techniques, and basic electronics. Some of the courses include:
- Hydraulic fundamentals
- Diesel electronics
- Basic engine construction
- Fuel systems
- Diesel service welding
- Air brake systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
An associate's degree in diesel service technology or diesel mechanics prepares students for truck repair positions in outdoor and indoor environments, including independent garages, leasing companies, or dealerships. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) anticipates 12% job growth among diesel service technicians and mechanics in the period of 2014-2024, which was faster than average compared to all occupations. In May 2015, the BLS reported the median annual wages of bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists, which can include bonus or incentive pay, as $21.40 an hour. The highest paid truck repair workers earned over $32.18 per hour. Those mechanics working in the automotive repair and maintenance industry earned an average of $43,220 a year in May 2015, according to the BLS.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education
Graduates are prepared to take the safety inspection examinations offered in most states and the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (NIASE) examinations in heavy truck mechanics. Certification in specialty areas of diesel service technology is also available; interested mechanics need two years of relevant work experience and must pass the ASE examination. Recertification testing must be taken every five years.
A career in truck repair offers a range of job opportunities for students. Armed with an associate's degree or certification in the field, you will be prepared to take on truck repair positions in multiple work settings in an industry slated for continued growth.