Should I become a Diesel Mechanic? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
General Diesel Discussion Discuss everything else pertaining to Diesel Pickups.

Powerstroke.org is the premier Diesel Truck Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Like Tree1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-09-2014, 09:06 PM
Member
 

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Brumley
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Should I become a Diesel Mechanic?

I'm trying to decide on if I should go to college to become a light duty diesel mechanic.
I'm 21 years old and its been in my head sence high school. When something goes wrong on my Powerstroke its a love/hate thing. It sucks I have to spend money on new parts but I love to drag out my tools and bust a knuckle or two. There's no doubt in my mind that I want to be a Diesel mechanic. I'm not wanting to get rich or be able to slide by in life. I just want to love doing what I do and be able to support my future family not having to worry about bills. I just don't know if it's a good decision. I was wanting to hear from an actual diesel mechanic about his career choice.
Do you like your job?
Is there enough work to stay busy?
How much do you get paid?
Do you think diesel engines will still be around 40 years from now?
How hard was it to find a job?

Im wanting to enroll at Linn State Tech. in Linn Missouri.
Automotive Tech. w/a Light-Duty Diesel Option.

Any feedback from a Diesel mechanic will be very appreciated.
Thank you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 02-10-2014, 06:47 AM
Compression Ignition Addict
 

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Katy, Texas
Posts: 403
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Well, my dad was a diesel mechanic for 50 years and was one of the few people I knew who actually looked forward to going to work in the morning. He retired from Mustang CAT in 2005 only because he turned 70 and figured it was time to go. He was able to travel to places like Tunisia, Argentina, Mexico and Nigeria as an advisor on repair work. There were a few times when work slowed down and he didn't have as much to do, but generally, he kept busy.

As far as money goes, he wasn't rich, but he did okay.

There will always be a demand for good mechanics. Mind you, I said mechanics, not parts changers.

If being a mechanic is what is in your heart, go for it! You'll spend way too much time working to spend it doing something you don't enjoy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 02-10-2014, 08:04 AM
Compression Ignition Addict
 

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Almost to the Muck but not quite
Posts: 1,139
Thanks: 11
Thanked 41 Times in 41 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
My hats off to you for wanting to do what you enjoy for a living. Most people don't. I personally never went to school to be a mechanic but I am one and having a piece of paper (degree) saying you are one is a bonus. There will always be a demand for a mechanic. Don't limit yourself to dealership work. You get by that way. Work for an accredited shop or hell open your own shop. Get a service truck and advertise that you are mobile. There are endless possibilities for a good mechanic. I work on heavy equipment and trucks for a construction company and I do fairly well. If you can get in with a smaller company and work your way up the skies the limit. Working for big corporate companies you are only a number. Not a person.

If mechanics is what you do. I say go for it.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 02-10-2014, 10:41 AM
Compression Ignition Addict
 

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,538
Thanks: 4
Thanked 24 Times in 23 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I'd say befirend a shop and see if they'll let you in to get experiance (plus ASE requires shop exp to get final cert anyhow). Start saving money and start buying tools, that gets real expensive. If you want to get into dealership then college/trade school is a good place to start, but at least around here they care more about ase master cert more (dont get me started on crapy mech's that have ase and how/why ase is a load of crap). I'd say just start small and work to afford tools and take ase tests as you can.

now if you want to go into heavy diesel (equipment/semi's) then college is that way to start.

if you have any questions just let me know, I started down that path but changed because I found that there's zero real money in it for how hard you have to work.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 02-10-2014, 11:19 AM
Compression Ignition Addict
 

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,021
Thanks: 1
Thanked 33 Times in 30 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
you can make a lot of money as a mechanic... I've gotten to travel all over the states and some international travel as well.

But, if you want to pursue it, I HIGHLY recommend focusing on industrial applications. Oil field, construction, etc. Even big commercial trucks would be OK.

You DO NOT want to work on passenger vehicles for a living. People are cheap/broke and it just doesn't pay.

But when you're talking about equipment, every second that implement/truck/etc. is down, they're losing money, so they don't care if it costs $10k to fix if they're losing $50k a day. THAT's where the good money is.

The world needs mechanics and if you're naturally good at it and enjoy it, I say go for it
Worm Drowner likes this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 02-10-2014, 11:47 AM
Premium Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Northern, VA
Posts: 1,024
Thanks: 2
Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
/\ /\ /\ /\ What he said!!!....Great advice
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 02-10-2014, 08:11 PM
Member
 

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Brumley
Posts: 34
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I don't know about heavy equipment. I don't have any experience in it. I know there is more money in it and a higher demand but Idk if its my calling. I will keep it in consideration. The traveling to far places doesn't interest me too much because I've already lost count of how many times I've moved. Maybe staying light duty and finding a shop that does both. Iv talked to local shops and dealerships and they all say they'd love to hire me but I need some sort of certification. Few have any background in Diesel work so maybe that could be to my advantage. Ill think more on heavy duty.

Thanks for all your input!

Any more thoughts would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8  
Old 02-11-2014, 07:32 PM
Powerstroke.org Rookie
 

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I'm a younger guy in the field, I started out in independent shops and the last few years have been at a local dealer doing mainly Diesel, and general automotive diagnostics. I don't make a killing, it really just depends on the town you're in and the time of year. Working at a medium sized dealer warranty work absolutely kills your time. Working at a dealer is all about hours, and most flat rate shops do not have a guarantee. What you turn is what you make.

I'm with the others, if you enjoy crawling in engines and lots of electrical diagnostics than go with heavy equipment. If you want to deal with mom and pops every little squeak on a vehicle while its under warranty and not get paid for it then work at a dealer. You're better off to work as an hourly tech at an independent that treats you well. Dealer's just don't pay.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old 02-11-2014, 07:47 PM
Banned
 

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Abbotsford BC
Posts: 1,235
Thanks: 9
Thanked 49 Times in 47 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Keep in mind that the 7.3 isn't your typical modern day diesel. If you can put lego together, you can fix a 7.3.

I am into the 4x4 world a bit as a hobby and any guy at any local shop will tell you that they enjoyed working on trucks until they had to do it for a living, then the joy was lost on PITA trucks and customers.

I am an electrician and have been doing it for over 15 years now. To me it's just a job, I don't love it and most of the time I don't hate it. What really matters in life is what you do outside of work. When you're dead, very few people will remember and respect you for the great job you did as a mechanic, you'll be remembered for what you did as a whole in life.

Ask a ford diesel tech how much he loves replacing 6.0 head gaskets...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 02-11-2014, 07:58 PM
Powerstroke.org Rookie
 

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve604 View Post
Keep in mind that the 7.3 isn't your typical modern day diesel. If you can put lego together, you can fix a 7.3.

I am into the 4x4 world a bit as a hobby and any guy at any local shop will tell you that they enjoyed working on trucks until they had to do it for a living, then the joy was lost on PITA trucks and customers.

I am an electrician and have been doing it for over 15 years now. To me it's just a job, I don't love it and most of the time I don't hate it. What really matters in life is what you do outside of work. When you're dead, very few people will remember and respect you for the great job you did as a mechanic, you'll be remembered for what you did as a whole in life.

Ask a ford diesel tech how much he loves replacing 6.0 head gaskets...
Actually 6.0 head gaskets pay well, and generally you can beat Mitchell time, so long as the cab bolts aren't stuck I can have a cab off pretty quick. The problem is trucks running around with Ford ESP plans where you get paid warranty time, with ford it's usually about 1.5x less than customer pay.

Being a parts changer is easy, it's the diagnosis that can be a pita, especially when ford breaks a random chassis ground and you have to chase 10 things at once. Here push the pin out of this connector and overlay 10 wires.

Edit- 6.0 HG's pay 22.1 Customer pay and 14.3 Warranty (Ford ESP and some aftermarket warranty contracts pay by warranty time)

Last edited by Awtblo; 02-11-2014 at 08:08 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
Garage Plus, Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.

vB.Sponsors