Employment of diesel service technicians and mechanics is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2014. Besides openings resulting from employment growth, opportunities will be created by the need to replace workers who retire or transfer to other occupations.
Employment of diesel service technicians and mechanics is expected to grow as freight transportation by truck increases. Additional trucks will be needed to keep pace with the increasing volume of freight shipped nationwide. Trucks also serve as intermediaries for other forms of transportation, such as rail and air. Due to the greater durability and economy of the diesel engine relative to the gasoline engine, the number of buses, trucks, and passenger vehicles that are powered by diesel engines is expected to increase.
While diesel engines are a more efficient and powerful option, diesel engines tend to produce more pollutants than gasoline-powered engines. As governments have applied emissions-lowering standards to diesel engines, many older diesel engines must be retrofitted to comply. These new emissions control systems, such as emissions filters and catalysts, may create additional jobs for diesel service technicians and mechanics.
Careers as diesel service technicians attract many because they offer relatively high wages and the challenge of skilled repair work. Opportunities should be very good for persons who complete formal training in diesel mechanics at community and junior colleges or vocational and technical schools. Applicants without formal training may face stiffer competition for entry-level jobs.
Most persons entering this occupation can expect relatively steady work, because changes in economic conditions have less of an effect on the diesel repair business than on other sectors of the economy. During a downturn in the economy, however, some employers may lay off workers or be reluctant to hire new workers.