Diesel Mechanic Schools in South Dakota
If you are ready to jump into the ever-growing field of diesel technology, now is the time to start a diesel mechanic program in South Dakota. There are two school choices in South Dakota: one in Watertown and one in Sioux Falls. The average acceptance rate in the state is 60%, so with a strong application you have a good chance of getting into the school you want. In South Dakota, the average cost of tuition is $5155. There are many scholarship opportunities that can offset the cost of your education. One of these scholarships is the South Dakota Retailers Association Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded every spring to selected students.
Finding Diesel Mechanic Schools in South Dakota
Both schools in South Dakota allow you to earn an Associate's degree in diesel technology. These programs generally take two years to complete, depending on which prerequisites you completed in high school. Some of the classes you may have to take at this level include Truck Suspension and Steering, Truck Drive Trains, and Electrical Testing. Hands-on experience is a huge part of both diesel technology programs, so you can expect to spend a lot of class time practicing what you've learned. For this reason, students may be expected to provide a complete toolkit for the program.
Similar to most other states in the country, South Dakota does not have any statewide laws for the licensing of diesel mechanics. This means that you can begin your job search as soon as you graduate. Once you have worked as a diesel mechanic for two years, you may choose to become ASE certified. In order to become ASE certified, you have to take one or more ASE tests. If you pass your tests, you become ASE certified for five years.
Working as a Diesel Mechanic in South Dakota
Job growth for diesel mechanics across the country continues to increase by about 15% each year, a trend that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to continue through 2020. In South Dakota, O*Net expects job openings to increase at a slightly slower rate. They predict a 7% increase in job openings between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010).
Depending on where you work and how much experience you have, you can generally expect to earn somewhere between $28,700 per year and $51,400 per year as a diesel mechanic in South Dakota (O*Net, 2012). The median salary for diesel mechanics in South Dakota is $38,100 per year (O*Net, 2012).
As a new graduate of a diesel mechanic program, you can apply for entry-level diesel mechanic jobs. These jobs may involve working in a repair garage, traveling to emergency repairs sites, or working on construction sites with heavy equipment. In addition to working daytime hours, you may have to work some evening, weekend, and overtime hours as needed by your employer. Across the country, most diesel mechanic employers are leasing companies, dealerships, trucking companies, and repair shops. In South Dakota, some of the main diesel mechanic employers are Nelson Leasing, Rush Truck Centers, Ryder Logistics & Transportation, and Waste Connections Inc.
With the exception of a few larger cities, including Sioux Falls and Rapid City, South Dakota is entirely made up of small towns, villages, and unincorporated communities. If you enjoy your peace and quiet, South Dakota may be the ideal state for you. Even better, the cost of living in South Dakota is very low. Sperling's Best Places reports that the cost of living in South Dakota is about 8% lower than the national average. There are many opportunities to buy affordable homes and settle down. Some of the biggest attractions in South Dakota are Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and Custer State Park.