Diesel Mechanic Schools in California
Going to diesel mechanic school in California means that you have a wide variety of schools to choose from. There are 15 different schools that offer diesel mechanic education in California, including colleges, technical colleges, and technical institutes. You can look forward to a low average tuition of $1,187. The average scholarship award is $1,202, providing you with the opportunity to earn money towards your education. The average class size is 31 students, so it's important to be a fairly independent learner in California.
Upon deciding to study diesel technology, you have to decide whether you want to earn a certificate or an Associate's degree in diesel technology. An Associate's degree takes a full-time student about two years to complete, while a certificate takes about one year to finish. A certificate may be enough if you want to begin your career immediately after school, while an Associate's degree may be a good idea if you want to continue your education at a four-year university.
Compare Diesel Mechanic Schools in California
Many of the classes in a certificate program are the same as classes in an Associate's degree program. Classes at this level include Introduction to Diesel Engines, Advanced Diesel Technology, and Transportation Technology. You may have to purchase your own approved toolset for use in the program, which you can then use in your new career.
During school, be sure to apply for scholarships that can save you money. The Automotive Services Councils of California awards scholarships to students studying automotive trades, including diesel technology.
Life as a Diesel Mechanic in California
You can technically begin work as a diesel mechanic without any licensure or certification. However, earning a degree or certificate can make it much easier for you to find work in your chosen field. After you have worked as a diesel mechanic for two years, you may choose to pursue ASE certification. ASE certification is a nationally-accepted standard and it may help you position yourself to get a raise or higher position.
As the country comes to depend more and more on interstate transit, the need for diesel mechanics is expected to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for diesel mechanics is expected to increase by 15% between 2010 and 2020.
Job growth in California is rapidly increasing as well. O*Net predicts a 15% increase in job openings for diesel mechanics between 2010 and 2020, leading to almost 3,000 new jobs throughout the decade (O*Net, 2010).
Earning Potential as a California Diesel Mechanic
With your certificate or degree in diesel technology, you may be in the position to earn a competitive salary as a diesel mechanic. According to O*Net, the median salary for a diesel mechanic in California is $48,900. As you gain experience and complete certification, you may be able to earn up to $72,100 on the high end of the salary scale (O*Net, 2012).
California Diesel Mechanic Jobs
There are many employers in California that benefit from skilled, educated diesel mechanics. These places include trucking companies, dealerships, car loan centers, and mechanic shops. Some of the biggest diesel mechanic employers in California include Airport Marina Ford, Sunrise Ford, Nelson Leasing, CR&R, Rush Truck Centers, and South Bay Ford.
In general, most available diesel mechanic jobs are located in or near large cities. You may choose to live within a big city or in one of the suburbs. Depending on where you work, you may be expected to travel for work. You might have to travel to broken-down trucks in other cities, or you may just work in one location. As you gain more experience and certification, you may be able to get a job with more responsibility.
The sunny, coastal state of California has lots to offer diesel mechanics and students. According to Sperling's Best Places, the cost of living in California is significantly higher than the national average. However, this is easily offset by the wide variety of urban areas in which you can find work as a diesel mechanic.
California's size means that there are many large trucks and diesel vehicles needed for transport. As a skilled diesel mechanic, you may be able to find a job in any one of California's urban areas. Some of the largest cities in California include Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento.