A truck mechanic is an individual who inspects and repairs trucks and ensures that all vehicles are operating efficiently and safely. These professionals diagnose problems and implement fixes and are also responsible for the inspection and repair of truck brake systems, engines, transmissions, electrical components, and steering systems. These individuals typically work for truck manufacturers and dealers, freight companies, government agencies, and repair shops.
Although a college degree is not a requirement to land a job as a truck mechanic, these individuals often have a certificate or an associate's degree in diesel mechanics or a related training program. Truck mechanics often need the necessary physical strength to perform such duties, such as using heavy tools and lifting equipment, and they should possess strong communication, analytical, and engineering skills.
Truck mechanics can make up to $49,000 per year, and the career field is expected to grow by 5% in the next ten years.
Diesel service technicians and mechanics inspect, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engine.
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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In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of Diesel Mechanic you might progress to a role such as Technician eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title Service Manager.
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Build a professional truck mechanic resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 5+ resume templates to create your truck mechanic resume.
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Learn How To Write a Truck Mechanic Resume
At Zippia, we went through countless Truck Mechanic resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.View Truck Mechanic Resume Examples And Templates
Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Truck Mechanic templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Truck Mechanic resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.
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Black or African American
Find the best Truck Mechanic job for you
Learn about the diesel engine! Ideal for Automotive Engineering and Automobile Engineering!...
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The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.7% of Truck Mechanics listed CDL on their resume, but soft skills such as Customer-service skills and Detail oriented are important as well.
Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Truck Mechanic. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Massachusetts. Truck Mechanics make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $61,825. Whereas in New Hampshire and North Dakota, they would average $61,486 and $58,462, respectively. While Truck Mechanics would only make an average of $58,404 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.
1. North Dakota
3. New York