Diesel service technicians and mechanics repair diesel engine vehicles, such as buses and trucks.
 Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics
2018 Median Pay$35,000 to $50,000 per year
$28.00per hour to $50 per hour
Typical Entry-Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNone
On-the-job TrainingLong-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2016278,800
Job Outlook, 2016-269% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2016-2625,800

What Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics Do

Diesel service technicians (also known as diesel technicians) and mechanics inspect, repair, and overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engine.

Work Environment

Diesel service technicians and mechanics usually work in well-ventilated and sometimes noisy repair shops. They occasionally repair vehicles on roadsides or at worksites. Most diesel technicians work full time, and overtime and evening shifts are common.

How to Become a Diesel Service Technician or Mechanic

Although most diesel service technicians and mechanics learn on the job after a high school education, employers are increasingly preferring applicants who have completed postsecondary training programs in diesel engine repair. In addition, industry certification may be important.


The median annual wage for diesel service technicians and mechanics was $46,360 in May 2017.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of diesel service technicians and mechanics with similar occupations.

Duties of Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics


Diesel service technicians and mechanics typically do the following:

  • Consult with customers, read work orders, and determine work required
  • Plan work procedures, using technical charts and manuals
  • Inspect brake systems, steering mechanisms, transmissions, engines, and other parts of vehicles
  • Follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
  • Read and interpret diagnostic test results to identify mechanical problems
  • Repair or replace malfunctioning components, parts, and other mechanical or electrical equipment
  • Perform basic care and maintenance, including changing oil, checking fluid levels, and rotating tires
  • Test-drive vehicles to ensure that they run smoothly

Diesel Engine standard

Because of their efficiency and durability, diesel engines have become the standard in powering trucks and buses. Other heavy vehicles and mobile equipment, including bulldozers and cranes, also are powered by diesel engines, as are many commercial boats and some passenger vehicles and pickups.

Related: How to become an electrician

Diesel technicians make major and minor engine repairs, and work on a vehicle’s electrical and exhaust systems to comply with pollution regulations.

Diesel engine maintenance and repair is becoming more complex as engines and other components use more electronic systems to control their operation. For example, fuel

injection and engine timing systems rely on microprocessors to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize harmful emissions. In most shops, workers often use hand-held or laptop computers to diagnose problems and adjust engine functions.

Diesel technicians also use a variety of power and machine tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, grinding machines, and welding equipment. Hand tools, including pliers, sockets and ratchets, and screwdrivers, are commonly used.

Employers typically provide expensive power tools and computerized equipment, but workers generally acquire their own hand tools over time.

Technicians and mechanics who work primarily on automobiles are described in the profile on automotive service technicians and mechanics.

Technicians and mechanics who work primarily on farm equipment, construction vehicles, and railcars, are described in the profile on heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians.

Technicians and mechanics who work primarily on motorboats, motorcycles, and small all-terrain vehicles are described in the small engine mechanics profile.

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