Diesel Mechanic Schools in West Virginia
Are you ready to jump into the growing field of diesel technology? If so, West Virginia has for schools that are waiting for you. These institutions include two technical colleges and two career centers. You can get an entry-level education in diesel technology in as little as one year with a certificate in diesel technology. If you want to take higher-level diesel technology courses, the Associate's degree in diesel technology may be a better choice for you. In addition to higher-level diesel technology courses, an Associate's degree program includes general education coursework. Some of the classes required at both levels include Diesel Engine Theory Operation, Diesel Engine Inspection, Manual Transmissions, and Air Brakes. Both types of programs focus heavily on hands-on education, the most important part of being a diesel mechanic.
Find Your West Virginia Diesel Mechanic Program
West Virginia schools tend to be fairly affordable, with an average tuition cost of $3827. There are many scholarship and grant opportunities for diesel technology students, and the average scholarship amount is $1356. Student loans are a good way to bridge the gap, and the average loan amount in West Virginia is $4332. As a West Virginia student, you can look forward to relatively small class sizes. The average class size in West Virginia is 12 students.
While there are no statewide requirements for diesel mechanic licensing, many diesel mechanics do decide to become ASE certified. This involves completing the required work experience and passing one or more ASE tests. Many diesel mechanics choose to take the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification Test. If you successfully pass that test, you become ASE certified for five years.
Start a Diesel Mechanic Career in West Virginia
Across the country, the demand for diesel mechanics is expected to grow through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They predict that the number of job openings for diesel mechanics will increase by 15% through 2020, possibly resulting in over 35,000 new diesel mechanic jobs (BLS, 2010).
Completing an Associate's degree or certificate is a great way to increase your earning potential. In West Virginia, the median salary for a diesel mechanic is $31,500 per year, according to O*Net. Most diesel mechanics in West Virginia earn between $22,200 per year and $54,300 per year (O*Net, 2012).
Most diesel technology graduates go on to find entry-level work as diesel mechanics. They are many different places in West Virginia that hire diesel mechanics. The majority are leasing centers, trucking companies, repair shops, and auto dealerships. It's important to know that you may have to work non-traditional hours, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many diesel mechanics work evening, weekend, and overtime hours in addition to daytime hours. Non-traditional hours are more common in repair shops and trucking companies. Some of the biggest diesel mechanic employers in West Virginia include O.C. Welsh Ford Lincoln, Nelson Leasing, Rush Truck Centers, and Ryder Logistics & Transportation.
Home to a large part of the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is known for its rural communities that lie in and around the mountains. However, in addition to the rural areas of West Virginia, there are also some smaller cities. Some of the cities in West Virginia are Charleston, Huntington, and Parkersburg. West Virginia residents enjoy a low cost of living. Sperling's Best Places reports that the cost of living in West Virginia is about 14% lower than the national average. Real estate prices in West Virginia are especially low, giving you the opportunity to buy your own home or invest.