Diesel Mechanic Schools in Alabama
There are eight schools in Alabama that offer diesel mechanic programs. There are six community colleges and two technical colleges. You can expect to pay an average tuition cost of $4,034. However, there are student loan opportunities; the average loan amount is $3,741. There are also a considerable amount of scholarship opportunities, with an average scholarship award of $2,466.
When you go through a diesel mechanic program, you can earn a certificate in Diesel Technology. Some schools, like Bevill State Community College, give you the chance to choose between a short-term certificate and long-term certificate. Most schools offer the equivalent of a long-term certificate, which usually requires between 55 and 60 credits. This is the equivalent of four semesters of study, and it includes a selection of general education courses.
Classes that are offered at most Alabama diesel mechanic programs include Electronic Engine Systems, Pneumatics and Hydraulics, and Preventive Maintenance. Some schools offer special class opportunities. Lurleen B. Wallace Community College lets you complete a class in Special Projects in Diesel Mechanics.
There are several different scholarship opportunities for you when you study diesel mechanics in Alabama. One scholarship is the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association Dr. Bernard J. Schroer Scholarship. Students can earn this scholarship for up to two semesters. The majority of scholarships awarded by AAMA are $750.
There are no licensing requirements for diesel mechanics in Alabama. However, many employers prefer to hire diesel mechanics that have formal education, which comes in the form of a certificate or degree from an accredited school.
The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation accredits diesel mechanic training programs, so students may wish to attend a program that is NATEF-accredited. After earning experience as a diesel mechanic, you can take the appropriate ASE exams to become ASE-certified.
In Alabama, jobs for diesel mechanics are increasing at an average rate (O*Net, 2012). In 2010, O*Net reported 4,430 diesel mechanic jobs; they expect that to rise to 5,000 by 2020, for a 13% increase (O*Net, 2012). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, national growth in diesel mechanic jobs is about 15% (BLS, 2010). This works out to 35,200 new diesel mechanic jobs nationwide between 2010 and 2020.
According to O*Net, the median salary for diesel mechanics in Alabama is $37,200 per year. The average range of salaries goes from $25,400 per year to $56,800 per year (O*Net, 2012). Diesel mechanics with job experience or ASE certification may be able to earn salaries at the higher end of the scale. Mechanics with specialty certifications, such as the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification, may be able to find more specialized jobs that pay more.
Many diesel mechanic graduates seek entry-level work as diesel mechanics. After completing two years of work experience as a diesel mechanic, you are eligible to take ASE exams that may help you find higher-paying jobs. Job titles for diesel mechanic graduates include diesel mechanic, diesel technician, transit mechanic, and truck mechanic.
Some of the largest diesel mechanic employers in the state include Kenan Transport, Long Lewis, Rush Truck Centers, Belcan Corp, and Pep Boys. The majority of these employers are in larger cities like Huntsville, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa. However, there are job opportunities for diesel mechanics in smaller cities and towns as well, particularly towns that have lots of trucking jobs and employers.
Alabama, known as the Yellowhammer State, is a southern state with plenty to offer diesel mechanic students. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 4.8 million residents in Alabama. The average commute time is 24 minutes, meaning that you may be able to get to work with a very short commute (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011).
Some of the largest cities in Alabama include Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile. Mid-sized cities include Tuscaloosa, Auburn, and Hoover. Sperling's Best Places rates the cost of living in Alabama at about 10% less than the national average. The mean household income in Alabama was $42,934 in 2011 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). There are many different diesel mechanic employers in Alabama, including dealers, auto repair shops, and other auto facilities.