A diesel mechanic, also known as a diesel service technician, often receives on-the-job training, provided he has demonstrated some mechanic skill and knowledge. But options do exist for him to receive formal education and degrees.
Vocational schools and community colleges provide formal training. These programs usually last from six months to two years and lead either to a certificate of completion as a diesel service technician or an associate's degree in the trade. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some schools offer about 30 hours per week of hands-on training.
Training for a degree in diesel service mechanics typically includes lab and classroom instruction. The education focuses on current and emerging diesel technologies, equipment repair, interpretation of equipment manuals, diesel engine theory and design, engine performance and cooling systems. Some schools may include business management and economics instruction for those interested in management careers in diesel mechanics.
While a formal degree may open the door to enhanced career opportunities, ongoing education is a near requirement of the profession. Manufacturers often demand attendance at continuing education seminars - sponsored by the manufacturer - to learn the intricacies of new products. Insurance companies may stipulate the same in order for a mechanic to perform insurance-related repairs or maintenance.