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Become A Master Mechanic

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Working As A Master Mechanic

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Getting Information
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $43,931

    Average Salary

What Does A Master Mechanic Do

Diesel service technicians and mechanics inspect, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engine.

Duties

Diesel service technicians and mechanics typically do the following:

  • Consult with customers and read work orders to determine work required
  • Plan work procedures, using technical charts and manuals
  • Inspect brake systems, steering mechanisms, transmissions, engines, and other parts of vehicles
  • Follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
  • Read and interpret diagnostic test results to identify mechanical problems
  • Repair or replace malfunctioning components, parts, and other mechanical or electrical equipment
  • Perform basic care and maintenance, including changing oil, checking fluid levels, and rotating tires
  • Test-drive vehicles to ensure that they run smoothly

Because of their efficiency and durability, diesel engines have become the standard in powering trucks and buses. Other heavy vehicles and mobile equipment, including bulldozers and cranes, are also powered by diesel engines, as are many commercial boats, and some passenger vehicles and pickups.

Diesel technicians handle many kinds of repairs. They may work on a vehicle’s electrical system, make major engine repairs, or retrofit exhaust systems with emission control systems to comply with pollution regulations.

Diesel engine maintenance and repair is becoming more complex as engines and other components use more electronic systems to control their operation. For example, fuel injection and engine timing systems rely heavily on microprocessors to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize harmful emissions. In most shops, workers often use hand-held or laptop computers to diagnose problems and adjust engine functions. 

In addition to using computerized diagnostic equipment, diesel technicians use a variety of power and machine tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, grinding machines, and welding equipment. Hand tools, including pliers, sockets and ratchets, and screwdrivers, are commonly used.

Employers typically provide expensive power tools and computerized equipment, but workers generally acquire their own hand tools over time.

For more information on technicians and mechanics who work primarily on automobiles, see the profile on automotive service technicians and mechanics.

For more information on technicians and mechanics who work primarily on farm equipment, construction vehicles, and rail cars, see the profile on heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians.

For more information on technicians and mechanics who work primarily on motorboats, motorcycles, and small all-terrain vehicles, see the profile on small engine mechanics.

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How To Become A Master Mechanic

Most diesel technicians learn informally on the job after a high school education, but employers increasingly prefer applicants who have completed postsecondary training programs in diesel engine repair. Although not required, industry certification can demonstrate a diesel technician’s competence and experience.

Education

Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. High school or postsecondary courses in automotive repair, electronics, and mathematics provide a strong educational background for a career as a diesel technician.

An increasing number of employers look for workers with postsecondary training in diesel engine repair. Many community colleges and trade and vocational schools offer certificate or degree programs in diesel engine repair.

Programs mix classroom instruction with hands-on training, including the basics of diesel technology, repair techniques and equipment, and practical exercises. Students also learn how to interpret technical manuals and electronic diagnostic reports.

Training

Diesel technicians who begin working without any postsecondary education are trained extensively on the job. Trainees are assigned basic tasks, such as cleaning parts, checking fuel and oil levels, and driving vehicles in and out of the shop.

After they learn routine maintenance and repair tasks and demonstrate competence, trainees move on to more complicated subjects such as vehicle diagnostics. This process can take from 3 to 4 years, at which point a trainee is usually considered a journey-level diesel technician.

Over the course of their careers, diesel technicians must learn to use new techniques and equipment. Employers often send experienced technicians to special training classes conducted by manufacturers and vendors to learn about the latest diesel technology.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is the standard credential for diesel and other automotive service technicians and mechanics. Although not required, this certification demonstrates a diesel technician’s competence and experience to potential employers and clients, and often brings higher pay.

Diesel technicians may be certified in specific repair areas, such as drive trains, electronic systems, or preventative maintenance and inspection. To earn certification, technicians must have 2 years of work experience and pass one or more ASE exams. To remain certified, diesel technicians must pass a recertification exam every 5 years.

Many diesel technicians are required to have a commercial driver’s license so they may test-drive buses and large trucks.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Diesel technicians frequently discuss automotive problems and necessary repairs with their customers. They must be courteous, good listeners, and ready to answer customers’ questions.

Detail oriented. Diesel technicians must be aware of small details when inspecting or repairing engines and components, because mechanical and electronic malfunctions are often due to misalignments and other easy-to-miss causes.

Dexterity. Mechanics need a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination for many tasks, such as disassembling engine parts, connecting or attaching components, or using hand tools.

Mechanical skills. Diesel technicians must be familiar with engine components and systems and know how they interact with each other. They often disassemble major parts for repairs, and they must be able to put them back together properly.

Organizational skills. Diesel technicians must keep workspaces clean and organized in order to maintain safety and ensure accountability for parts.

Strength. Diesel technicians often lift heavy parts and tools, such as exhaust system components and pneumatic wrenches.

Troubleshooting skills. Diesel technicians must be able to use diagnostic equipment on engine systems and components in order to identify and fix problems in increasingly complicated mechanical and electronic systems. They must be familiar with electronic control systems and the appropriate tools needed to fix and maintain them.

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Master Mechanic jobs

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Master Mechanic Career Paths

Master Mechanic
Operations Manager Account Executive Office Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Foreman Technician Engineer
Chief Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Foreman Maintenance Manager Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Operations Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Foreman Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrician Foreman
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Foreman Forklift Operator Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Mechanic Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Mechanic Technician Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Project Manager Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Maintenance Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Administrator Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Electrician Field Service Technician Project Engineer
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Regional Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Master Mechanic 6.0 years
Head Mechanic 4.7 years
Equipment Mechanic 4.4 years
Lead Mechanic 4.3 years
Motor Mechanic 3.8 years
Line Mechanic 3.8 years
Auto Mechanic 3.7 years
Fleet Mechanic 3.7 years
Generator Mechanic 3.7 years
Mechanic Driver 3.6 years
Mechanic 3.5 years
Diesel Mechanic 3.5 years
Service Mechanic 3.3 years
Bus Mechanic 3.3 years
Marine Mechanic 3.2 years
Master 3.1 years
Truck Mechanic 3.1 years
Crane Mechanic 3.0 years
Shop Mechanic 2.9 years
Junior Mechanic 2.2 years
Mechanic Helper 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Mechanic 20.9%
Owner 5.1%
Technician 4.7%
Welder 3.2%
Foreman 2.4%
Top Employers After
Mechanic 12.8%
Owner 4.0%
Technician 4.0%
Supervisor 2.9%
Operator 2.7%

Master Mechanic Demographics

Gender

Male

94.4%

Female

4.3%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

80.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.3%

Asian

5.4%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Carrier

20.0%

Bosnian

10.0%

Albanian

10.0%

Croatian

10.0%
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Master Mechanic Education

Schools

Garden City Community College

10.5%

University of Phoenix

8.8%

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc

7.0%

Saint Louis Community College

5.3%

Central Texas College

5.3%

Harford Community College

5.3%

Lansing Community College

5.3%

Universal Technical Institute

5.3%

Ferris State University

5.3%

American InterContinental University

5.3%

Bismarck State College

5.3%

St. Philip's College

3.5%

Vincennes University

3.5%

San Juan College

3.5%

Edmonds Community College

3.5%

Sandhills Community College

3.5%

Greenville Technical College

3.5%

Paine College

3.5%

Troy University

3.5%

North Central Institute

3.5%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

22.6%

Business

11.8%

Electrical Engineering

9.4%

Industrial Technology

5.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

5.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.2%

General Studies

4.9%

Management

4.9%

Heating And Air Conditioning

4.9%

Aviation

3.8%

Precision Metal Working

3.5%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Education

2.4%

Computer Science

2.1%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Information Technology

1.7%

Engineering

1.7%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

1.7%

Drafting And Design

1.4%

Music

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

44.7%

Associate

18.9%

Certificate

13.6%

Bachelors

12.6%

Masters

4.8%

Diploma

4.3%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Temporary

Real Master Mechanic Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Master Mechanic-Alternate Fuels Technician Rick Gaudette Service Center, LLC Marysville, MI Dec 18, 2014 $75,000
Automotive Master Mechanics Carlisle Capital Corporation DBA Binnie Motorsport Portsmouth, NH Oct 15, 2012 $72,000
Automotive Master Mechanic VFC Motorwerks Inc. Chicago, IL Nov 02, 2010 $62,400
Automotive Master Mechanic VFC Motorwerks Inc. Chicago, IL Oct 18, 2010 $62,400
Master Mechanic Chantilly Steering & Allignment, Inc. Chantilly, VA Dec 29, 2010 $52,676
Precision Master Mechanical Assembler Ingersoll MacHine Tools Rockford, IL Dec 17, 2014 $52,416
Master Mechanic Autotecnica Service LLC Lodi, NJ Jul 22, 2015 $52,000
Automotive Master Mechanic Harbor Auto Center Garden Grove, CA Jun 11, 2010 $50,422
Automotive Master Mechanic Jack Ingram Montgomery, AL Oct 31, 2007 $50,088 -
$54,262
Automotive Master Mechanics Beesham Furniture Services, Inc. Sayreville, NJ Oct 08, 2010 $49,254 -
$50,000
Automotive Master Mechanic Franconia Shell Alexandria, VA Oct 04, 2010 $48,585 -
$52,175
Automotive Master Mechanics Karaco, Inc. Beltsville, MD Feb 06, 2009 $48,189
Automotive Master Mechanics Country Hills Inc. 76 Torrance, CA Dec 11, 2009 $48,147
Automotive Master Mechanics Dole Fresh Fruit Company Wilmington, DE Feb 08, 2011 $48,131
Automotive Master Mechanic Capitol Mechanics, Inc. Troy, NY Dec 23, 2016 $40,435
Automotive Master Mechanich Nu Max Management Calverton, NY Dec 11, 2009 $40,321
Automotive Master Mechanics Singh Car Care Services Inc. Yucaipa, CA Feb 27, 2012 $39,998
Automotive Master Mechanics Dalessio Auto Group Inc. Boonton, NJ Aug 26, 2010 $39,945
Automotive Master Mechanic Benks Land Services, Inc. Mine Hill, NJ May 11, 2011 $39,945
Automotive Master Mechanic Texaco Xpress Lube CA Jan 16, 2008 $39,653
Automotive Master Mechanic Benks Land Services, Inc. Mine Hill, NJ Feb 27, 2009 $39,653
Automotive Master Mechanic Dokuzyan Arutyun Ontario, CA Jun 13, 2008 $39,507 -
$43,305
Automotive Master Mechanic (Manager) Darvish Inc. Winchester, VA Nov 01, 2010 $32,635 -
$38,064
Automotive Master Mechanic (Manager) Darvish Inc. Winchester, VA Dec 01, 2010 $32,635 -
$38,064
Automotive Master Mechanic Stellar Services Houston, TX Dec 20, 2007 $32,599
Automotive Master Mechanic Hallelujah Auto Anaheim, CA Sep 27, 2010 $32,594
Automotive Master Mechanic Monza Motors, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jun 17, 2008 $32,000
Automotive Master Mechanics Star Tech San Clemente, CA Mar 16, 2010 $31,722
Auto Master Mechanic Apex Automotive Garden Grove, CA Dec 08, 2010 $31,722

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Top Skills for A Master Mechanic

DriveVehiclesEngineAnalyzersMaintenanceDepartmentSafetyTroubleShootingElectricalSystemsPreventiveMaintenanceHeavyEquipmentHvacHydraulicSystemsAirCompressorsTechnicalManualsAutomotiveRepairOilChangesFuelSystemsSupervisePLCMIGCustomerServiceWheelBearings

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Top Master Mechanic Skills

  1. Drive Vehicles
  2. Engine Analyzers
  3. Maintenance Department
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Ordered all supplies and parts for the maintenance department and controlled inventory.
  • Managed team environmental and safety program.
  • Performed trouble shooting on the electrical systems of the tanks.
  • Repair, rewire, and troubleshoot electrical systems.
  • Performed preventive maintenance on high speed packaging equipment, high pressure steam boilers, and rooftop units.

Top Master Mechanic Employers

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