Diesel Mechanic Schools in Colorado
When you decide to attend a diesel mechanic program in Colorado, you have three schools to choose from. There are two technical schools and one community college in Colorado. Two schools are located in or near Denver, while the third school lies further out in the suburbs. You can look forward to an average tuition cost of $2,806 per year, which is offset by the average scholarship award of $1,607.
Most schools let you choose between an Associate's degree in diesel mechanics or a certificate. Many of the classes are same between the two types of programs, including diesel equipment technology, advanced diesel mechanics, and diesel engines. Students that want to go on to earn a four-year degree in a related field may want to earn an Associate's degree, rather than a certificate, as many of these credits will transfer. Whether you pursue a certificate or an Associate's degree in diesel mechanics, your program will include lots of hands-on time that will allow you to practice what you've learned.
Comparing Diesel Mechanic Programs in Colorado
There are several different options for funding your diesel mechanic education. Most programs are nationally accredited, which means that they qualify for federal financial aid. As soon as you get accepted to a program, you should fill out the FAFSA form to see what you are entitled to.
Colorado does not have any statewide licensing requirements for diesel mechanics, nor does it follow any nationwide licensing standards. That is what makes a degree or certificate even more important— it is how potential employers will judge whether or not you have the skills needed for a diesel mechanic job. After completing two years of full-time work experience in the diesel mechanic field, you may be eligible to take ASE certification tests. ASE certification is an industry-wide accepted standard, and it can help you get a more specialized job in your field.
Working as a Colorado Diesel Mechanic
Job openings for diesel mechanics are expected to increase about as fast as average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts over 35,000 new diesel mechanic jobs in the country between 2010 and 2020. This is consistent with Colorado statistics for diesel mechanics, which predict approximately 100 new diesel mechanic jobs each year between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010).
When you begin your career as a diesel mechanic in Colorado, you may be able to look forward to a competitive starting salaries. According to O*Net, the median annual salary for a diesel technician in Colorado is $44,200 per year. With experience and special certification, you may be able to earn up to $62,000 per year as a diesel mechanic (O*Net, 2012).
Job Opportunities in Colorado for Diesel Mechanics
There are many places in Colorado that higher diesel mechanics, including truck dealerships, leasing centers, trucking companies, and auto repair shops. Where you work will determine your schedule, your opportunities for upward growth, and your salary. Some diesel mechanics with lots of experience decide to open their own repair shop.
Many large diesel mechanic employers are in Colorado. Some of the largest employers include Medved Ford, First Transit, Rush Truck Centers, and Nelson Leasing. The majority of diesel mechanic jobs are located in or near large cities, but there is also a need for diesel mechanics in rural and suburban areas.
With its snowy slopes, laidback culture, and friendly residents, Colorado may be the perfect place for you to settle down and complete a diesel mechanic program. Programs and jobs tend to be centered around Colorado's big cities, amongst which are Colorado Springs, Denver, and Aurora. However, if you want to live in a town or suburb, there are many of those to settle down in as well.
Per Sperling's Best Places, the cost of living in Colorado is barely above the national average, keeping it an affordable state for almost everyone. Wherever you decide to live and work, you'll be in a prime position to start a satisfying career as a diesel mechanic.