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Diesel technician.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S OCCUPATIONAL Outlook Handbook defines the diesel service technician as someone who repairs and maintains the diesel engines that power transportation equipment such as heavy trucks, buses and locomotives. The diesel engine delivers more power than its gasoline-burning counterpart and is more efficient and durable. This makes the diesel engine America's first choice for powering heavy vehicles and mobile equipment such as bulldozers, cranes and farm tractors. Without highly skilled diesel technicians to keep these workhorse engines in top-notch condition, the nation's economy would experience a major slowdown in commerce and growth.

Workplace

While diesel technicians usually work indoors, they may occasionally make repairs to vehicles and heavy equipment on the road. They may have to lift heavy parts and tools, handle greasy and dirty parts, and stand or lie in awkward positions to repair vehicles and equipment. Diesel technicians may suffer minor cuts, burns and bruises, but serious accidents may be avoided if the proper safety procedures are followed.

Educational Requirements

The best diesel technicians have completed some type of diesel engine training program. Most employers prefer to hire these graduates because they are able to advance quickly to the journey level of diesel service. Diesel technology programs are offered at community colleges and career and technical schools. The most thorough programs last two years and lead to a certificate of completion or an associate degree. Diesel technology programs through an accredited school are more likely to offer cutting-edge diesel technology and instruction. The amount of actual hands-on training will vary from program to program, but this type of formal training lays the foundation for a successful career as a diesel technician.

Earnings

Diesel engine technicians can earn up to $25 an hour and higher depending on their experience and skills. The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that the median hourly earning for the diesel technician was $1-/.20 in May 2004. Many diesel service technicians and mechanics are members of labor unions, which negotiate both wages and benefits. Salaries will vary according to geographic location.

Job Outlook

Employment of diesel service technicians is expected to grow exponentially as the need for more freight transportation by diesel-powered vehicles increases. Careers as diesel service technicians attract many because they offer relatively high wages and the challenge of skilled repair work. The outlook for this career is good, and the formally trained diesel technician will have many opportunities to secure employment.

Explore More

For more information about a career as a diesel technician, visit the following Web sites:

Association of Diesel Specialists

www.diesel.org

Automotive Youth Education Systems

www.ayes.org

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence

www.asecert.org

National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation

www.natef.org
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:CAREER CURVE
Publication:Techniques
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:454
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