NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – Engines have many moving parts, and it’s no good when it’s not moving.
That’s where a diesel technician comes in.
Diesel techs are trained to fix powertrains, transmissions, air brakes, hydraulics, and now electronics, which have to work in tandem with the mechanical side. It’s important for the diesel tech or field tech to know it all.
“You have trucks on the road that could be 20 years old,” said Don Eagon, a consultant for the New Castle School of Trades. “You got to be able to cover them, and also newer style stuff which has DEF fuel on it.”
DEF fuel is Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Another thing techs must know.
The diesel techs at New Castle School of Trades learn engine rebuilds, heavy equipment, powertrain and also field service.
“This is what’s great about this diesel program. We have a heavy engine repair. They go out in the field and work on the equipment right there because that’s where the need is,” said Kinorea Tigri, of New Castle School of Trades.
It’s a need not just for the trucking or automotive industry, but also to provide preventative maintenance and fix diesel engines in farming, construction or even mining. Plus, the program is more than just repairs. It also teaches commercial truck driving, so techs get a thorough understanding of what’s happening inside and outside of the vehicles.
“Inside this program, they not only receive the hands-on but the soft skills,” said Eagon.
The coursework includes financial basics and even teaches some simple computer skills.
The need for diesel techs is great and expected to grow. The training takes just over a year, and employers will often come looking for graduates before they’re finished with school.
“We got a couple of our places that have five or six of our students at one time, and to take on a training of mechanics in a shop can be a delay to some, but they’re geared for this because of what we do teach,” said Tigri.
Diesel techs make an average salary of $35,000 to $50,000 a year. Some of the highest-paid work is in electric power generation, shipping on the Great Lakes and even scientific research.
You can learn more about diesel technicians and find current openings on the Ohio Means Jobs website.