Diesel Mechanic Schools in Maryland
In spite of the state's small size, Maryland still has room for two schools with diesel technology programs. One school is located on the west edge of the state, while the other school is located on the east edge of the state. The average tuition cost for Maryland program is $5692. Many students apply for scholarships, grants, and loans. One scholarship you might consider applying for is the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association Scholarship. This scholarship is only open to Maryland students studying an automotive trade.
Comparing Diesel Mechanic Schools in Maryland
As you prepare to start your diesel mechanic program, you may have to decide between completing a certificate or an Associate's degree. A certificate in diesel technology only takes about one year to complete, so it may be a good choice for you if you want to start your career right away. However, an Associate's degree might be a better choice for you if you wish to earn your Bachelor's degree at some point. An Associate's degree in diesel technology takes most students about two years to complete.
Whether you pursue a certificate or a degree, many of the classes are the same. Some of the classes you may have to take as a diesel mechanic student include Machine Hydraulics, Diesel Fuel Systems, Diesel Engines, and Engine Performance.
After successfully graduating from a diesel mechanic program, you can immediately begin searching for diesel mechanic jobs. This is because there are no licensing or certification requirements in Maryland.
However, many diesel mechanics choose to pursue ASE certification. You cannot take an ASE exam until you have two years of work experience, at which point you can choose a test. If you successfully pass your exam, you earn ASE certification for five years.
Working as a Diesel Mechanic in Maryland
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an expected job growth of 15% for diesel mechanics between 2010 and 2020. As a result, there may be over 35,000 new diesel mechanic job openings across the country by the end of the decade (BLS, 2010). In Maryland, O*Net reports that there are currently about 3200 diesel mechanics. They expect that number to grow to 3320 by 2020 (O*Net, 2010).
If you choose to live and work in Maryland, you can earn a very good salary as a diesel mechanic. According to O*Net, the median salary for a diesel mechanic in Maryland is $47,500. The listed range of salaries goes from $29,300 to $66,300. As an entry-level diesel mechanic, you may start out in the low to middle part of the salary scale. However, as you gain experience and pursue ASE certification, you may quickly move up to earn more money.
Since you cannot earn ASE certification immediately after graduation, most graduates search for entry-level diesel mechanic jobs. Many of these jobs are at leasing centers, auto dealerships, truck driving companies, and auto repair shops. Work environments vary widely between these settings. While leasing centers and auto dealerships may require you to work mostly daytime hours, truck driving companies and repair shops are often open on weekends and in the evening.
Major diesel mechanic employers in Maryland include Bob Bell Ford, Nelson Leasing, Rush Truck Centers, Columbia Fleet Service, and Dunbar Armored. Most of these employers are based in small to midsize cities, giving you the opportunity to settle down in a city or in one of Maryland suburbs.
The residents of Maryland love living there, and the state has much to offer diesel mechanic students and diesel mechanics. The cost of living in Maryland is about 20% higher than the national average, according to Sperling's Best Places, but you may be able to lower your costs by living in a smaller city or town. There are many cities that you can settle down in if you live in Maryland. Baltimore is, by far, the largest city in the state. Other cities include Frederick, Rockville, and Gaithersburg. If you prefer a quieter setting, you may choose to live in one of Maryland's many suburbs or towns.