Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics

Average Salary (US)


Projected 5-Year Job Growth


Source: JobsEQ®, a labor market data provider developed by economists and data scientists. Data as of 2020Q1 except wages which are as of 2019

Table of Contents

What does a Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic do?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), the U.S. Department of Labor’s principal fact- finding agency for the federal government in the field of labor, economics, and statistics that provides data on employment and wages, Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics (also known as diesel technicians) inspect, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engine.


Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics typically do the following:

  • Consult with customers,  read work orders, and determine work required
  • Plan work procedures, using technical charts and manuals
  • Inspect brake systems, steering mechanisms, transmissions, engines, and other parts of vehicles
  • Follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
  • Read and interpret diagnostic test results to identify mechanical problems
  • Repair or replace malfunctioning components, parts, and other mechanical or electrical equipment
  • Perform basic care and maintenance, including changing oil, checking fluid levels, and rotating tires
  • Test-drive vehicles to ensure that they run smoothly

Because of their efficiency and durability, diesel engines have become the standard in powering trucks and buses. Other heavy vehicles and mobile equipment, including bulldozers and cranes, also are powered by diesel engines, as are many commercial boats and some passenger vehicles and pickups.

Diesel technicians make major and minor engine repairs, and work on a vehicle’s electrical and exhaust systems to comply with pollution regulations.

Diesel engine maintenance and repair is becoming more complex as engines and other components use more electronic systems to control their operation. For example, fuel injection and engine timing systems rely on microprocessors to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize harmful emissions. In most shops, workers often use hand-held or laptop computers to diagnose problems and adjust engine functions.

Diesel technicians also use a variety of power and machine tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, grinding machines, and welding equipment. Hand tools, including pliers, sockets and ratchets, and screwdrivers, are commonly used.

Employers typically provide expensive power tools and computerized equipment, but workers generally acquire their own hand tools over time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/diesel-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm

How much does a Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic get paid?*

According to JobsEQ, a labor market data provider developed by economists and data scientists, Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics made an annual average salary of $50,400 in 2019.

The top 25% of earners made an annual average salary of $60,200 and the bottom 25% of Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics earned $38,800 in 2019. Those who started out as an entry-level Diesel Technicians and Mechanics in 2019 made $34,000 on average.

These numbers may vary based on geography and labor market.

Entry Level Mean Bottom 25% Top 25%

*Source: JobsEQ®. Wage data are as of 2019 and represent the average for all Covered Employment

Best-paying states for Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics**

According to BLS, Washington, D.C., Alaska, Connecticut, and Hawaii bring the biggest paydays for diesel mechanics. On average, a diesel mechanic in Washington, D.C., will earn $69,130 per year — far above the national mean — with figures topping out around $79,400. Alaska, Connecticut, and Hawaii — while not quite as high as Washington, D.C. — still command strong salaries at $62,800, $61,480, and $59,230 per year on average, respectively. New Jersey, Washington state, and North Dakota make up the next-three highest salaries, on average, for diesel mechanics, each stretching more than $90,000 per year.

**Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”). Data as of May 2019

Interested in becoming a Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic?

Visit Meritize Connect to Find Training Programs in Your Area

Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic job outlook***

According to JobsEQ, job opportunities will grow at an average rate over the next 5 years. In 2020, 280,150 Americans made a living as a diesel mechanic, and that figure is expected to rise to 290,579 by 2025. Experts project approximately 10,429 job openings annually for diesel mechanics, making this an appealing option as a career path over the next five years.

***Source: JobsEQ, Data as of 2020Q1, The shaded areas of the graph represent national recessions.

Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic job skills and knowledge

According to O*NET Resource Center, people in this career often have these skills:

  • Troubleshooting – Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.
  • Repairing – Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.
  • Operation and Control – Using equipment or systems.
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Mechanical – Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Transportation – Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security – Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    Source: O*NET Resource Center

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