Diesel Mechanics

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Diesel Mechanics

Diesel Mechanics - Preparation

To work as a heavy equipment mechanic, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
  • complete long-term, on-the-job training.

Education after high school

Some heavy equipment mechanics complete diesel technology programs. Professional-technical schools and two-year colleges offer these programs. Some of these programs focus on heavy equipment mechanics. You learn the fundamentals of diesel engines, transmissions, and hydraulics. Most programs offer a combination of class instruction and hands-on practice. Programs last six months to two years. Two-year programs usually grant an associate degree.

On-the-job training

Many heavy equipment mechanics receive training on the job from an experienced mechanic. You begin by working as a helper. As a helper, you perform routine services and make minor repairs. As you get more experience, you work on more complex tasks. On-the-job training usually takes three to four years to complete.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be mechanics. They offer training in several types of engines, such as boat, auto, and heavy equipment. Training lasts eight to 29 weeks, depending on your specialty. Further training occurs on the job.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.