By Amanda Sotelo, TSTC Staff
With popularity for Texas State Technical College’s Commercial Driver’s License and Bus Endorsement courses growing, the need to train diesel field technicians is also increasing.
“We are proud to train the next generation of mechanics,” said Diesel Field Technician instructor Andrew Gonzalez. “And the demand has never been as high as it is now.”
The course, which is held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday, is a 12-week program that lays the foundation for a successful career in the industry.
Students in the course will get an overview of diesel systems, how they differ, and how they are incorporated in repairing and maintaining a semitruck or semitrailer, in addition to shop safety training.
What students learn will also be put into practice, with much of the course focused on hands-on training.
Those enrolled in the course will have the opportunity to practice their diesel mechanic skills such as diesel engine, transmission, air brake systems, and tire repair and maintenance.
“Everything we teach is industry-standard — the skills that employers are looking for,” said Gonzalez. “By the time these students complete the course, they will have an understanding of proper processes in this field and will also have the practice.”
Gonzalez added that at the end of the program, students will receive a certificate, but it is the skills and hands-on practice that differentiates them from other candidates when applying for jobs.
“We get calls often from dealerships and shops looking to hire our program graduates,” he said. “Everything they have learned is more than enough to get their foot in the door, where then they also have growth opportunity.”
Past Diesel Field Technician program graduates have gained employment with companies such as Valley Metro, Greyhound and Peterbilt.
Other career opportunities could also be with shipping ports, offshore rigs, and the oil and gas industry.
“We have a high placement rate,” said Gonzalez. “We find that our students find success because they are well trained but still willing to learn.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of diesel technicians and mechanics is projected to grow 5% through 2028, with a median average pay of $47,000 a year.
Gonzalez said salary ranges depend on the company and its location. And as diesel technicians gain experience in the industry, there might be advancement opportunities that could also lead to pay increases.
For more information on the Diesel Field Technician course, call 956-364-4553.