The Best Training for
Diesel Mechanics in 2021

Diesel mechanics work with diesel-powered machines of different sizes. They include buses, 18-wheelers, ships, generators, trains, bulldozers, and cranes. The best diesel mechanic schools and programs teach you how to repair and maintain these machines. If you want to learn how to service diesel engines, there are a lot of technical skills required.

In diesel mechanic trade schools, you can learn how to diagnose, disassemble, and reassemble different kinds of diesel engines. You’ll also learn about components such as chassis, fuel systems, power trains, steering, suspension, brakes, heating and AC, electrical systems, and engines. For the best places to acquire these skills, read on.

Rundown: The Top 10 Diesel Mechanic Schools in 2021

The table below contains the top diesel mechanic schools and their programs, along with costs and affiliated certifications. The information in the table was sourced from the various schools’ websites.

School State Programs and Cost Certifications
Hinds Community College MS Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Equipment Technology
In-state tuition: $1,750 per semester
Out-of-state tuition: $3,275 per semester
Diesel Equipment Technology Program
In-state tuition: $120 per credit
Out-of-state tuition: $240 per credit
None
Idaho State University ID Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology
In-state tuition: $3,936 per semester
Out-of-state tuition: $12,247 per semester
Advanced Technical Certificate in Diesel Technology
Tuition: $11,808 total
None
Lone Star College-North Harris TX Industrial Diesel Technology Certificate Level I
Industrial Diesel Technology Certificate Level II
Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Diesel Technology
In-district tuition: $88 per credit hour
Out-of-district tuition: $199 per credit hour
Out-of-state tuition: $254 per credit hour
None
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology OK Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment
Resident tuition and fees: $192 per credit hour
Non-resident tuition and fees: $379 per credit hour
None
Pennsylvania College of Technology PA Diesel Truck Maintenance Technician
Electric Power Generation Technology: Diesel Emphasis
Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology
In-state tuition: $504 per credit hour
Out-of-state tuition: $756 per credit hour
None
Tidewater Community College VA Associate of Applied Science: Specialization in Diesel Marine Technician
In-state tuition: $156 per credit
Out-of-state tuition: $333 per credit
Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
Entry-Level Certification, American Boat
and Yacht Council (ABYC) Certification
University of Northwestern Ohio OH Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology
Tuition: $230 per credit
None
Utah Valley University UT Diploma in Diesel Mechanics Technology
Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Mechanics Technology
In-state tuition: $315 per credit hour
Out-of-state tuition: $888 per credit hour
ASE Entry-Level Certification
Vincennes University IN Associate of Science in Diesel Technology
In-state tuition: $3,125 per semester
Out-of-state tuition: $7,391 per semester
None
Walla Walla Community College WA Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology
In-state tuition: $130 per credit
Out-of-state tuition: $165 per credit
ASE Entry-Level Certification
How to Pick the Best Diesel Mechanic School for You

How to Pick the Best Diesel Mechanic School for You

There are a lot of essential factors to look out for before choosing a suitable diesel mechanic school. These factors determine if regulatory bodies or employers recognize the school.

They also help you check if you will learn the right skills to thrive as a diesel mechanic. One of the factors is cost. Is the program affordable, or will you have to hunt around for the best private student loans to finance your education?

Class Size

To gain knowledge and develop your skills, you need to consider the size of the diesel mechanic program. Why is the class size important? Well, smaller classes mean that students stand a better chance of receiving one-on-one support from teachers. Personal interaction is the best way to learn the techniques and methodologies of diesel technology.

Hands-On Experience

Another critical component of the diesel mechanic trade is hands-on training. The reason is that the profession is mostly a manual one. Students will need to get a practical example of what they are taught.

As an aspiring diesel mechanic, you should choose a school with an on-site garage. Some schools and programs also allow students to train with different manufacturers.

Equipment

Since practical learning is the best for the profession, the school needs to have the necessary equipment to train students with.

If you get a chance to tour the school before enrolling, be sure to check the quantity and quality of equipment in the garage. Is it up to date? It’s incredibly important to learn using the latest and greatest equipment and materials.

The Best Diesel Mechanic Schools of 2021

The schools on this list are located throughout the United States. One of them just might be the best diesel mechanic school near you. They offer a combination of associate degrees, certificate programs, and technical diplomas. Most importantly, all of the programs listed below offer hands-on training and support.

Hinds Community College

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Equipment Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology Program

Accreditation

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Online Options

No

This is an instructional program that provides students with the skills and competencies needed to repair and maintain different types of industrial diesel equipment. Some of the types are commercial trucks, agricultural tractors, and construction equipment.

In the program, you will learn to repair, inspect, and maintain hydraulic systems, power trains, engines, brake systems, air conditioning, and electrical systems.

Below are some top courses in the two main program options.

AAS in Diesel Equipment Technology Curriculum

Fundamentals of equipment mechanics

Welding for diesel equipment

Preventive maintenance and service

Diesel Equipment Technology Program Curriculum

Basic and advanced hydraulics

Mobile air conditioning and heating

Electronic diesel control

Idaho State University

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology, Advanced Technical Certificate in Diesel Technology

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Online Options

No

These programs offer students a chance to learn how to maintain, repair, and service diesel equipment. It covers construction engines, farming machines, and trucks. The school offers hands-on training experience.

The classes involve the use of equipment and specialized tools. When students complete the program, they are ready to enter the truck mechanics field.

Below are some of the main topics covered.

AAS in Diesel Technology Curriculum

Intro to diesel technology

Diesel engine fuel systems

Diesel engine electrical systems

Advanced Technical Certificate in Diesel Technology Curriculum

Introduction to shop practices and safety

Advanced engine electronics

Basic hydraulics

Lone Star College-North Harris

Programs

Industrial Diesel Technology Certificate Level I, Industrial Diesel Technology Certificate Level II, Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Diesel Technology

Accreditation

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

Online Options

No

This school offers a broad array of programs. Students can learn all they need to enter the industry as diesel technicians. They can stop after one semester and get a basic certificate, or they can stay in the program for longer and earn more advanced credentials.

Students learn to repair, disassemble, and reassemble engines. The curricula also cover preventative maintenance and electrical systems. Students are required to complete 60 credits if they want to earn an associate degree.

Below are some of the top courses in the three curricula.

Industrial Diesel Technology Certificate Level I Curriculum

Shop safety and procedures

Preventative maintenance

Diesel engine testing and repair

Industrial Diesel Technology Certificate Level II Curriculum

Basic hydraulics

Basic brake systems

Advanced diesel tune-up and troubleshooting

AAS in Industrial Diesel Technology Curriculum

Intro to diesel technology

Diesel engine diagnosis and repair

Diesel preventative maintenance laboratory

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission

Online Options

No

Graduates with an AAS in Diesel and Heavy Equipment are trained to enter the workforce to take up roles as service technicians. They can diagnose problems while performing factory-recommended procedures.

The program covers new components and systems to ensure that you have valuable experience. Graduates can work as industrial and farm equipment technicians for different clients. Below are some of the things the AAS program covers.

AAS in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Curriculum

Diesel engines service and repair

Diesel truck manual transmissions

Diesel truck brake systems and chassis

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Programs

Diesel Truck Maintenance Technician, Electric Power Generation Technology: Diesel Emphasis, Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Online Options

No

These programs feature immersive lab experiences as well as book learning. It allows students to apply what they have learned. Students master skills like servicing, writing service reports, and repairing diesel-powered machines. The curriculum also covers practical skills required for working with electronic equipment.

Below is an overview of the three main programs.

Diesel Truck Maintenance Technician Curriculum

Diesel engine technology

Commercial truck power train

Preventative maintenance

Electric Power Generation Technology: Diesel Emphasis Curriculum

Operation, applications, and troubleshooting of gaseous fueled engines

Systems, operation, and diagnostics of diesel electronic fuels

Diesel engines laboratory

AAS in Diesel Technology Curriculum

Alternating current fundamentals

Power generator theory

Power generator operation

Tidewater Community College

Programs

Associate of Applied Science: Specialization in Diesel Marine Technician

Accreditation

Southern Association Of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Online Options

No

This program focuses on marine diesel technology. Students learn the ropes of maintenance, repair, and service for these machines. The associate degree gives students an in-depth background in the fundamentals of diesel machines through hands-on and theoretical instruction.

Students are prepared to work in different industries that use vessels and boats powered by diesel. At the end of the program, students can take the certification exam from the American Boat and Yacht Council. The certification will give them the required qualifications to work in different industries.

Below are some of the top courses in this curriculum.

AAS: Specialization in Diesel Marine Technician Curriculum

Basic automotive electrical diagnostics

Orientation to automotive technology

Marine maintenance mechanics

University of Northwestern Ohio

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission

Online Options

Yes

This program trains students with the latest tools and equipment found in dealerships and service centers. They can get jobs at businesses that use diesel trucks. The program covers manufacturer training aids from Power Stroke, Cummins, Volvo, Mack, DuraMax, and Caterpillar.

It also includes all the hands-on training and theory required to pass certification exams. The program covers student fees for the state license exam.

Below are some of the main courses in the curriculum.

AAS in Diesel Technology Curriculum

Diesel engine diagnosis and repair

Diesel performance and diagnosis

Heavy equipment and vehicle integrated electronics

Utah Valley University

Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Mechanics Technology, Diploma in Diesel Mechanics Technology

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Online Options

No

The two-year associate degree program offers students the ability to handle diesel hydraulics, engines, power trains, electricity, and chassis. The systems are complex, so students can specialize in certain areas. The skills they gather prepares them for a career in diesel repair and maintenance.

They learn with modern machines to ensure that their skills are helpful in the workforce. This hands-on training gives them the skills needed to thrive. Students also have the option of getting a 61-credit technical diploma instead of the 63-credit AAS.

Below are some of the highlights of the AAS curriculum.

AAS in Diesel Mechanics Technology Curriculum

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration theory

Electronic engine management

Diesel engine overhaul lab

Vincennes University

Programs

Associate of Science in Diesel Technology

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission

Online Options

No

This diesel technology program can be completed in two years. It is designed to help students advance their technical skills and become full-fledged service technicians. The program teaches students the skills needed to excel in this fast-paced and high-tech area of the workforce.

They learn to rebuild diesel engines, hydraulic systems, drive trains, and brakes. The curriculum also covers heating and air conditioning, diesel-electric systems, and steering and suspension.

Below are some of the main courses in this hands-on Associate of Science program.

AS in Diesel Technology Curriculum

Preventative maintenance laboratory

Diesel electronic systems laboratory

Diesel chassis systems laboratory

Walla Walla Community College

Programs

Associate in Applied Sciences Degree in Diesel Technology

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Online Options

Yes

This program offers a wide range of technical skills and knowledge to help students enter the diesel mechanic industry or improve their existing diesel mechanic skillset. Students learn how to diagnose and repair heavy-duty equipment like trucks, forklifts, medium-duty vehicles, mining equipment, logging equipment, and agricultural equipment.

Below is a list of some of the courses in the curriculum.

AAS in Diesel Technology Curriculum

Introduction to quantitative problem-solving

Machinery repair

Communication in the workplace

How Much Can You Earn as a Diesel Mechanic?

How Much Can You Earn as a Diesel Mechanic?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average diesel mechanic earns $50,200 per year. Also, this profession is expected to grow by three percent from 2019 to 2029. This level of job growth is close to the average for all occupations.

However, experts can earn more as they progress in the industry.

The Highest-Paying Diesel Mechanic Roles

Role Required Education Average Salary
Electrical Power Generation Technician Associate Degree $70,648
Natural Gas Mechanic Associate Degree $64,430
Transit Bus Mechanic Associate Degree $45,986
Marine Mechanic Associate Degree $45,310

Why You Should Be a Diesel Mechanic in 2021

Diesel mechanic training programs take less time to complete than a lot of other degrees. Also, they are cheaper to prepare for than most professions. In as little as two years, you can begin to work as a professional.

This career also opens the door to other career paths. If you have a flair for diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining diesel-powered engines, then this is most definitely the career for you.

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