The 10 Best Schools For Becoming a Diesel Service Technician: Degree and Job Info

diesel mechanic

A Diesel Service Technician keeps the big trucks rolling as they deliver goods to the stores we all patronize. If you are mechanically minded, perhaps a career in this field is for you. Akin to Automotive Technicians, Diesel Service Technicians work on diesel-fueled equipment.

Check out our guide below to see how you can embark on a promising new career as a Diesel Service Technician!


Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College

(On-Campus) Technical Diploma in Diesel Equipment Mechanic

The technical course offered at Fox Valley Technical College kickstarts a thriving career in diesel equipment, particularly involving commercial motor vehicle maintenance and repair. This program teaches both theoretical and practical aspects of heavy-duty diesel engine maintenance.

You’ll gain knowledge and skills tackling electrical systems, air and hydraulic brake systems, steering and suspensions, and drivetrains. Fox Valley Technical College owns some diesel-powered over-the-road tractors and trailers for you to learn about.

Fox Valley Tech welcomes students with credits earned during high school or other colleges and universities. You can also receive credit for skills and knowledge you’ve already acquired during your career.

ASE Education Foundation has certified this program. Through ASE-accredited programs, heavy vehicle service technicians receive education following industry standards. As part of an ASE-certified program, students are also prepared to achieve Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications.

You can seamlessly transfer your credits to another two-year college or a bachelor’s program regardless of your status as a new or transfer student pursuing a bachelor’s degree. More than 65 two- and four-year colleges accept credit transfer agreements thanks to their accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.

The Fox Valley Tech associate degree can be used as credit toward a bachelor’s degree. Your credits can also be transferred to other two-year colleges.

Programs offered:

  • Automotive & Light Duty Truck Technician (TD)
  • Automotive Technology 

Get started on your way to landing a job as a diesel mechanic or technician, and enroll in this technical diploma in the Diesel Equipment Mechanic program offered by Fox Valley Technical College.

Lake Area Technical College

Lake Area Technical College

(On-Campus) Diesel Technology in Industrial and Truck Options

First-year students can expect to receive active, hands-on training in diesel engines, both big and small engines. First-year students will also need to learn about welding, HVAC,  truck/industrial gas engines, power trains, computer skills, and hydraulics.

However, aside from these technical skills, you’ll also gain insights into hazardous waste management and other non-related but helpful know-how. Depending on your interests, choose either AG/industrial or truck options after finishing your first year of education.

In your second year, you’ll need to decide which pathway to take. As a diesel technician specializing in agricultural/industrial diesel, you will receive training and experience in diesel engine overhaul, hydraulic and HVAC system diagnostics, tractor electrical system diagnostics, diesel engine tune-ups, GPS, and a combination of electrical/hydraulic systems.

The school’s avant-garde diesel facility can provide diagnosis and repair services for customer-owned equipment. At the end of your education, expect to earn various job offers from diverse industries. 

If you choose the heavy truck option, the school offers a comprehensive curriculum in areas such as diesel engine overhaul, diesel fuel systems, diesel engine tune-up and troubleshooting, electrical truck systems, electronic diesel engine controls, truck drivelines, air brake systems, suspension, and steering, and preventative maintenance for heavy trucks.

Programs offered:

Take advantage of the latest equipment, technology, education format, and diagnostic procedures that you can learn from this Diesel Technology majoring in industrial and truck options program offered by Lake Area Technical College.

Texas State Technical College

Texas State Technical College

(On-Campus) AAS or Certificate in Diesel Equipment Technology

World transportation relies on diesel. Diesel engines are commonly found in big rigs worldwide transportation, from heavy machinery to farm equipment. Don’t miss this chance to become a part of one of the most in-demand careers in the country by becoming a diesel engine specialist in Texas.

Diesel service technicians make a difference in many industries. Their work involves repairing and maintaining diesel engines used to haul needed goods across the country. They may also work on trucks, combines, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment. If you are interested, you may even be able to learn how to repair diesel-powered passenger cars, light trucks, or boats.

The Diesel Equipment Technology program awards a degree that qualifies graduates as entry-level diesel equipment technicians. Most students receive a job offer by the end of their last semester because of partnerships with industry leaders who support TSTC’s curriculum and hire our graduates. 

The Diesel Equipment Technology program prepares you for careers in diesel equipment repair and service. This course will teach the hands-on skills required for servicing and repairing diesel equipment on trucks, buses, and other vehicles. Completing an Associate of Applied Science or a certificate program leads to faster employment.

The Associate of Applied Science degree also comes in three different options. You might want to concentrate on John Deere Construction and Forestry, Heavy Truck Specialization, or Off-Highway Specialization. There are several certificate options too.

Programs offered:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Building Construction Technology

Be employed in the diesel industry as it becomes more prevalent in Texas. Enroll in a certificate or go for an associate degree in Diesel Equipment Technology offered by Texas State Technical College now.

Southeast Technical College

Southeast Technical College

(On-Campus) AAS in Diesel Technology: Agriculture or Construction

Diesel technicians fix, maintain, and diagnose diesel engines used in agriculture and construction. Diesel engines are incredibly efficient and durable, making them ideal for powering heavy machinery. It’s your job to increase their reliability, enhance efficiency, and minimize downtime.

Installing parts and following installation/maintenance checklists will be part of your responsibilities. At STC, you will launch your career after only two years! 

Students and professors focus on diesel technology for heavy equipment in this program. The equipment used in modern farming and construction uses GPS and computer controls. Diagnostic, repair and maintenance of this sophisticated equipment require highly skilled technicians. During your coursework, you will examine brakes, steering, power trains, electrical systems, suspension, air conditioning, and hydraulics. 

Technicians using diesel use pneumatic tools, lathes, welding equipment, and grinding machines. Aside from using hand tools, you will also learn how to use wrenches, pliers, hammers, screwdrivers, and files.

You will be able to put your critical thinking skills to use. Typical steps for Diesel technicians include identifying the problem, evaluating options, estimating results, determining the best response, prioritizing work, and implementing the fix. 

Finally, Southeast Tech’s diesel technicians exhibit strong work ethics, professional behavior, and the ability to interact with customers and colleagues.

Programs offered:

  • Collision Repair and Refinish Technology
  • Automotive Technology

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects diesel technician jobs to rise by 3% until the year 2029, so it’s time to leverage your education in this field with an associate degree in Diesel technology offered by Southeast Technical College.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College

(On-Campus) Diesel Technology

At San Jacinto College, which has a Diesel Technology department, students are taught the technology at an industry level and close to the diesel industry. Job placement assistance is provided to students. Students and their knowledge acquisition are the department’s primary focus.

The courses taught at the learning institution are engine testing and repair, electrical systems, HVAC, power trains, brake systems, and safety. The school offers an associate degree program in business management that allows students to work on the corporate side of the industry.

Programs offered:

  • Automotive Collision Repair Technology Management
  • Commercial Electric Construction

Prepare for your career early on by enrolling in this certificate in Diesel Technology as offered by San Jacinto College. After all, employment in diesel technology is at an all-time high, and many of their alumni have landed jobs right after graduation.

University of Northwestern Ohio

University of Northwestern Ohio

(On-Campus and Online Training) Certificate in Diesel Advanced Technology Education

The University of Northwestern Ohio is delighted to align with Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks and fill a critical shortage of skilled diesel technicians in the vehicle industry. The University is one of only three schools to offer the Diesel Advanced Technology Education (DATE) Program.

There are many opportunities available in the Diesel Technology field in today’s industry climate. In most cases, diesel specialists enter their careers with decent initial salary offerings, tremendous job opportunities, significant salary growth, promotional opportunities, and job security. 

Diesel truck technology has become increasingly complex in recent years, increasing the demand for well-versed and skilled service technicians.  As one of the industry’s emerging issues, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) identified the shortage of Diesel Technicians. To fill growth, ATRI estimates that diesel engine specialists and technicians will need to be 67,000 and 75,000, respectively, by 2022.

Students are prepared for a fast-paced shop environment by combining hands-on work and classroom instruction.

Mack and Volvo Trucks both certify their instructors at the Master Level.  Moreover, they have extensive experience handling repairs and service for Mack and Volvo trucks.

At the end of the program, students will receive professional-level certifications for both Mack and Volvo trucks. You can apply for permanent jobs from Mack and Volvo truck dealerships within different countries.  

Programs offered:

  • High-Performance Motorsports
  • Automotive Technology

As a graduate of the DATE program offered by the University of Northwestern Ohio, you’ll get to enjoy the numerous employment opportunities after graduation.

South Georgia Technical College

South Georgia Technical College

(On-Campus) Certificate in Heavy Diesel Service Technician

In the Heavy Diesel Service Technician certificate program, learners receive training in theory, diagnosis, and repair of diesel engine and diesel equipment systems. The topics covered by the program are shop safety, diesel engines, ship equipment, electrical and electronic systems, fuel systems, off-road power trains, and heavy equipment hydraulics. Upon graduation, students become prepared for entry-level diesel service technician work.

You’ll need to earn a total of 31 credits to complete and earn a certification for this program, which can help you land a lucrative job in the diesel field of work.

Programs offered:

  • Diesel Truck Maintenance Technician
  • Auto Collision Repair

Land a heavy diesel service technician job when you enroll in this certificate degree offered at South Georgia Technical College. You can jumpstart your career with this education program.

Lamar Institute of Technology

Lamar Institute of Technology

(On-Campus) AAS in Advanced Engine Technology

An Advanced Engine Technology Program prepares students for careers as operators, service and repair technicians, and maintenance specialists for diesel/multi-fuel, industrial, and consumer-use engines and equipment. Industrial engines power transport equipment such as trucks, buses, and locomotives. Farming and harvesting equipment, too, is powered by industrial engines.

Today’s technician must be able to diagnose the problem, repair or replace defective parts, and make adjustments to maximize engine longevity, performance, and emissions.

The student will learn the design and construction of industrial engines, troubleshoot electrical, electronic, hydraulic, and computer problems, and perform tune-ups and preventative maintenance.

During the Advanced Diesel Engine Technology program, students learn about safe work habits and the importance of good work ethics to succeed in the modern workplace. To obtain employment leading to a successful and lucrative career in the field, the student must learn all the fundamentals of the engine and its related components. It is common for students to start working on equipment before advancing to supervisory or management positions in diesel repair facilities. Even some of them have progressed to become Diesel facility trainers.

Programs offered:

  • Heating, Ventilation, And Air Conditioning
  • Industrial Mechanics Technology

Prepare for your career in the diesel industry with this associate degree in Advanced Engine Technology program brought to you by Lamar Institute of Technology.

St. Philip College

St. Philip College

(On-Campus) Certificate In Diesel Technology

St. Philip’s College’s Diesel Technology program is designed to prepare individuals for entry-level careers in today’s highly technical and competitive field of diesel technology. Diesel Technicians are in demand in mining, transportation, construction, real estate, and other related diesel-using industries.

The program in Diesel Technology will equip students with the skills needed for entry-level technician positions at local companies known in the US.

In addition to classroom instruction, lab projects are also part of the program. A few of the courses you can take in the program are Heavy Duty Brakes, Diesel Engine, Engine Performance, Electrical, and Basic Hydraulics. Practicums allow students to get hands-on experience in the field. The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has approved all course materials and Student Learning Outcomes (SLO).

Programs offered:

  • Diesel Light to Heavy Truck Technology
  • Diesel Heavy Equipment

To become well-versed in the diesel sector, earning a certificate in Diesel Technology offered by St. Philip College will prepare you to land a sustainable and good-paying job.

Broward College

Broward College

(On-Campus) AAS in Automotive Service Management Technology

Automotive technology courses are offered at many schools. However, you can take academic and automotive classes at Broward College. If you’re selected, you can also start earning an income at a real dealership while still in school.

The organization offers graduates of Broward College’s dealer-specific automotive programs the opportunity to quickly earn an associate’s degree through their cooperation with three Broward County Technical Colleges. ​​​​ 

This two-year Automotive Technology program is designed to help you take your career to the next level. Their programs help you prepare for more than just a job combined with academic instruction.

 When you graduate from this program, you will receive your Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Automotive Technology. Current ASE Certified Technicians boast a Master Technical Program to apply their work experience towards an AAS degree.

Their highly technical, interactive approach to learning prepares you for careers in an industry that is rapidly changing.

Programs offered:

  • Transportation Management
  • Engineering Technology

Compete with other applicants in the diesel industry and use your associate degree in Automotive Service Management Technology that you finished at Broward College. This will help you become an asset in any company you’ll apply for.


What does a Diesel Service Technician do?

Diesel Service Technicians or Mechanics focus on trucks, buses, and other equipment that contain diesel engines. They work closely with customers, inspect vehicles, and make the necessary repairs.

Diesel Service Technicians also perform preventative maintenance, repair exhaust systems and electronic components, and much more!

What types of equipment do Diesel Service Technicians work on?

Diesel Mechanics work on all types of equipment that are powered by a diesel-fueled engine, such as: 

  • Semi-Tractor-trailers
  • Cranes
  • Bulldozers
  • Large Pickup Trucks
  • Buses
  • Commercial Boats
  • Heavy-duty Mobile Equipment
How do I become a Diesel Service Technician?

Most people who decide to become a Diesel Service Technician have been exposed to auto mechanics to some degree before choosing it as a career. In fact, with a high school education, you can begin your career at an entry-level position; however, to truly excel, you will need postsecondary education in diesel repair. 

School programs generally include hands-on practical work so you can gain valuable experience. On-the-job training is standard as well, sometimes lasting up to four years. Ongoing education is also expected to keep up with the latest and greatest in technology.

Will I need to earn certifications?

Yes, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE, offers certifications after you have gained at least two years of work experience. To become ASE certified, you will need to pass the applicable tests. In addition, you will need to renew your certifications every five years. 

To test drive large vehicles, you will need a commercial driver’s license. 

Where do Diesel Service Technicians work?

Diesel Service Technicians often work for truck transportation services, wholesale truck trade centers, or diesel repair dealers or repair shops. Also, they are employed by government agencies and can be self-employed. 

How much does a Diesel Service Technician earn?

The BLS states that Diesel Service Technicians earned approximately $54,360 per year, as of May 2022. The highest 10% earned upwards of $78,340 annually.  

The highest-paid industry was local government agencies.

Are Diesel Service Technicians in demand?

The BLS states a projected job growth rate of 2% expected between 2022 and 2032, adding 24,300 job positions each year over the next decade.

Job security as a Diesel Service Technician can be attributed to the new popularity of diesel cars and light truck production. 

Is being a Diesel Service Technician a dangerous job?

In this position, many accidents can happen, no doubt. Therefore, Diesel Service Technicians must adhere to all safety precautions. As careful as one can be, possible injuries include leg and back sprains from lifting heavy tools or parts, twisting in unusual positions, electrical shocks, explosions, and eye injuries. 

In addition, safety protocols must be followed when working under large hydraulic lifts and with power tools. 

How To Become A Diesel Service Technician - fact

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Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor