Mechanic Schools in Maryland
Mechanic schools in Maryland can prepare students to take on the challenges of a career in automotive repair. The programs offered at these schools offer classes and certificates in multiple segments of the automotive service industry, including the specialty field of diesel vehicles.
Diesel service technicians and mechanics focus on the repair and maintenance of freight trucks, school buses, tankers, tractors and other vehicles that fill essential roles in both urban and rural life. Diesel mechanics tend to work as part of a group of auto mechanics at a specially equipped repair facility, but may travel to work on vehicles at roadside sites where they need immediate attention.
Here's a list of some of the more common duties performed by a diesel mechanic:
- Diagnosing vehicle issues by test-driving and by analyzing them with electronic diagnostic tools
- Following itineraries of inspection and repair procedure
- Safely elevating medium- and heavy-duty vehicles using hydraulic jacks or mechanical hoists
- Repairing or replacing components of the vehicle and all its systems, including the engine, drive train, steering, transmission and brake systems
- Performing routine maintenance measures such as changing oil, aligning and adjusting wheels, lubricating contact equipment and testing the electrical system
- Testing vehicles for issue resolution, either by driving or taking new diagnostic readings
Most employers of diesel mechanics prefer candidates with a high school diploma. Post-secondary training in the field is also becoming increasingly helpful, and the training available at mechanic schools in Maryland can offer comprehensive preparation for the demands of the profession.
Mechanic Training Schools
Training at mechanic schools in Maryland can take up to two years to complete, but some programs offer a condensed education on the fundamentals of the field in as few as six months. Programs may be offered at trade schools or at junior or community colleges. Example mechanic schools in the Maryland area include the following:
- Community College of Baltimore County
- Montgomery College
- Allegany College of Maryland
- Cecil College
- North American Trade School
- Lincoln College of Technology
Of these schools, North American Trade School and the Community College of Baltimore County may offer the most comprehensive specialized training in diesel technology.
Among today's industries, the largest percentage of diesel mechanics are employed in general freight trucking. Bus mechanics can work for either private or government interests, and some multi-purpose repair garages keep diesel mechanics on staff to attend to issues beyond the scope of standard gasoline mechanics.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, in 2010, the majority of working diesel service technicians and mechanics were employed at private companies. Diesel mechanics can benefit greatly from a certain set of skills, including troubleshooting ability, steady hands, customer service skill and experience with other mechanical and electrical systems.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provides several certifications for working diesel mechanics. Typically, candidates must have at least two years on the job before taking an ASE test, but some mechanic schools in Maryland include provisions that allow a student's training to count toward the job experience requirement.
Diesel mechanics can earn a Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification, which requires just one fairly complex exam, or become an ASE-Certified Master Technician of school buses, transit buses or medium-heavy trucks by passing a battery of specific tests.
In order to retain ASE certification, mechanics have to retest every five years. Tests can consist of as few as 40 and as many as 70 questions, with most falling in the 45 to 50 question range.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/diesel-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence: Test Series, http://www.ase.com/Tests/ASE-Certification-Tests/Test-Series.aspx
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence: Master Status, http://www.ase.com/Tests/ASE-Certification-Tests/Test-Series/Master-Status.aspx