Although becoming a diesel mechanic is no easy feat, the business aspect of the job can be equally challenging for most candidates, especially in case they want to actually own and run their own business while working as mechanics at the same time. The idea is that, while learning how diesel engines work and figuring out how to diagnose and fix certain problems is an ongoing but straightforward process that won’t require too much of a complex strategy, getting the right education and training for the type of work you want to do will be more of a challenge in most cases.
Educational Approaches to Becoming a Diesel Mechanic
So, we know that there are essentially two ways of becoming a certified diesel mechanic. You can become “just” a diesel mechanic without a certification, but in this day and age, you won’t be able to gain much credibility and loyalty from your clients, if you don’t have at least some type of certification.
The two methods are as follows:
- The first is getting a diesel mechanic certificate. This process is practically straightforward, as it will only require you to learn the necessary curriculum required for obtaining your certification. If you already have some hands on experience with examining and fixing diesel engines, then you can simply enroll in a tech school for as little as six months and then test your skills and knowledge to obtain your certification. If you’re starting from a place where you don’t yet know much about diesel engines, then it is recommended to attend a school that uses a longer curriculum – typically 1 and a half to 2 years. Going to diesel tech schools and earning a diesel mechanic certificate is the best approach for someone who just wants to find work as a diesel mechanic right away.
- If you’re planning to run your own business, it’s a good idea to complete the required education and training for obtaining an associate’s degree. This process will take you through a more professional and scientific approach to learning about diesel engine mechanics, and it will also provide you with more relevant on the job training, as long as you follow a good enough program. The same can be said for attending college and enrolling in a college program while getting hands on experience as a mechanic. From there, once you finish the program, you can also enroll in a few business classes to learn more about how to actually run your business and be your own boss.
The Struggle of Being a Mechanic Without Formal Education
Even though some mechanics prefer not to get any formal education, the problem with that approach is not just that they will have less credibility as professionals, but also that they’ll find it harder to find work.
A reputable repair shop will rarely hire a person with no prior experience and without a degree or certification. If they do hire someone without any type of formal training, they will provide them with a lower than average salary and fewer possibilities to make progress with their careers. So, whichever way you look at it, enrolling in an educational program and becoming certified is the best way to go.