Diesel Mechanic Schools in Connecticut
Because of its small size, it is not surprising that Connecticut only has one school that offers a diesel mechanic program to students. The Lincoln Technical Institute in East Windsor allows students to earn an Associate's degree in diesel technology. This school is a good choice for many students, because of the relatively low student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1. The school also has a retention rate of 78%, which indicates a commitment to student success.
63% of students at Lincoln Technical Institute receive some sort of financial aid. Many students get loans, but a significant amount get scholarships and Pell grants. The average scholarship amount is $2,343, and the average Pell grant amount is $3,361. You have the choice of taking traditional on-campus classes, weekend classes, or online classes. This makes getting an education practical for even the busiest student.
Deciding on Your Connecticut Diesel Mechanic Program
The Associate's program in diesel technology includes a mixture of traditional lecture classes and hands-on practical classes. The goal of this program is to prepare you for an entry-level job as a diesel mechanic. This education also gives you what you need to begin preparing for ASE certification tests after you gain the needed work experience.
Scholarships can go a long way to making your education more affordable. You may want to look into the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships of $2000-$3000 to students taking classes in the automotive industry.
Connecticut has no statewide licensing or certification requirements for diesel mechanics, which makes it easy for you to get an entry-level diesel mechanic job after completing your program. However, many employers do prefer to hire students with formal education, whether it is a certificate or an Associate's degree in diesel technology. After completing two years of full-time work as a diesel mechanic, you can take ASE certification tests. These tests cover a wide variety of automotive topics, and they can make it easier for you to get a more specialized job or move up in your current position.
Working as a Diesel Mechanic in Connecticut
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for diesel mechanics are increasing at about the same rate as other occupations. They predict over 35,000 new diesel mechanic jobs across the country between 2010 and 2020.
Job openings for diesel mechanics in Colorado are expected to increase at about the same rate as the national average, according to O*Net (O*Net, 2010). O*Net predicts a 9% increase in job openings between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010).
Connecticut has a fairly high average salary for diesel mechanics. According to O*Net, the average annual salary for a diesel mechanic and Connecticut is $51,000. The salary range goes from $35,200 per year to $72,800 per year (O*Net, 2012). With experience and certification, you may be able to work your way up to the high end of the salary scale.
There are many different employers and work environments for diesel mechanics in Connecticut. You may choose to work in a leasing center, an automotive dealership, a trucking company, or an auto mechanic shop. Some of the largest diesel mechanic employers in Connecticut include Rush Truck Centers, Nelson Leasing, Monaco Ford, Ryder Logistics & Transportation, and J.P. Noonan Transportation.
Most students start an entry-level diesel mechanic job after graduating with a certificate or degree. After you earn your ASE certification or gain relevant, specialized experience, you may be able to move up into a supervisor role or senior mechanic position.
Connecticut is an excellent state to settle down in, both for diesel mechanic students and those who are just starting their careers as diesel mechanics. According to Sperling's Best Places, the cost of living in Connecticut is about 30% higher than the national average. However, many people say the small-town feel and abundance of jobs in Connecticut make the cost of living well worth it.
When you start your diesel mechanic program, you may choose to settle down in one of Connecticut's large cities, including Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hartford. However, the state also has an abundant number of towns and villages for those who want a quiet New England life.