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Old 06-03-2016, 10:39 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Diesel Mechanic Programs

Curious how many of you make your living as a Diesel Mechanic, and what are your thoughts on programs offering said training.

It seems like a lucrative job that would be in demand anywhere you could imagine going, and a skill that would not only come in handy for maintaining one's skoolie, but also farm equipment etc. How is the job market?

Universal Technical Institute has a campus not to far south of here in Sacramento, and I'm desperately looking for a change in career, and a justifiable means to an end for servicing the motherships that will be transporting and safeguarding our family. They are offering a 45 week program which I will find out more about on Wednesday during my phone interview.

Any experience or words of wisdom? Feelings about the job? My Grandfather ended up retiring after a steady career as the lead mechanic for the state department back home in Missouri. Always seemed like a good job, and one that left Grandma a steady paycheck after he passed. He was a wise man and the thought of somewhat following that path is inspiring.
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:48 PM   #2
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like with most things nowadays. if you can master the MECHANICS AND the ELECTRONICS and learn hwo the 2 work together and affect each other.. you can write your own paycheck..

there are a LOT of Software guys, electronics guys, and mechanics guys.. but VERY FEW who have taken the time and effort to learn ALL of those..

if you are thnking about used skoolies.. pretty much the all mechanical drivetrains are few and far between..

for ALL new trucks and new busses.. they are all electronically controlled and getting moreso.. the basic mechanical functions of the diesel engine / transmission / air brakes, etc all still apply.. however the computer controls give you a one=up over the old-timer out there struggling...

find a program that stresses all of the above and not just individually.. you have to understand how they work together. and you would make a fine fine living!!!

-Christopher
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:20 PM   #3
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Check out the Community Colleges in your area too. Many of them have excellent programs for much cheaper than the private trade schools like UTI. If you focus on getting the proper, well rounded training in all facets of the vehicles like Chris mentioned and keep updating your skills as the technology advances, you should always be able to find a good paying job. Millions of diesels on the road and they all need maintenance and repair.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hemp Bus View Post
Curious how many of you make your living as a Diesel Mechanic, and what are your thoughts on programs offering said training.

It seems like a lucrative job that would be in demand anywhere you could imagine going, and a skill that would not only come in handy for maintaining one's skoolie, but also farm equipment etc. How is the job market?

Universal Technical Institute has a campus not to far south of here in Sacramento, and I'm desperately looking for a change in career, and a justifiable means to an end for servicing the motherships that will be transporting and safeguarding our family. They are offering a 45 week program which I will find out more about on Wednesday during my phone interview.

Any experience or words of wisdom? Feelings about the job? My Grandfather ended up retiring after a steady career as the lead mechanic for the state department back home in Missouri. Always seemed like a good job, and one that left Grandma a steady paycheck after he passed. He was a wise man and the thought of somewhat following that path is inspiring.
I went to UTI. Not for diesel.
Its too expensive and not that great a school. Cost as much as a decent college.

Our local tech school is substantially better AND cheaper.
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:07 PM   #5
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So I started looking around a bit to find a local community college or tech school that offers diesel mechanics. It's about the same distance away, but north instead of south, but I found Shasta Community College, just north of Redding offers a Diesel Technology certificate as well as an Associates. The certification seems to be probably what UTI would be offering at a 1/20th the cost more than likely.

http://www.shastacollege.edu/Academi...Technology.pdf

Did some research on UTI and there were not a lot of things nice to say about them, especially when you start reading their stock reviews from Forbes...sheesh... Still planning on talking to the gal on Wednesday and seeing what all they are offering, but I am trying to plan for figuring out how to rideshare that drive everyday if I do sign up for the program up north.
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:54 PM   #6
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stick with shasta.

there is no official certification for a diesel mechanic except an "ASE" one, and that one requires a few years of documented work experience along with training.

diesel mechanics is going to be real similar anywhere you go. the cheapest program will get you the biggest bang for the buck.

wyo-tech is a neighbor of mine, but the local community college auto diesel programs have better reputations from local employers.

good luck!
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:24 PM   #7
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stick with shasta.

there is no official certification for a diesel mechanic except an "ASE" one, and that one requires a few years of documented work experience along with training.

diesel mechanics is going to be real similar anywhere you go. the cheapest program will get you the biggest bang for the buck.

wyo-tech is a neighbor of mine, but the local community college auto diesel programs have better reputations from local employers.

good luck!
Agree, Community Colleges are where it's at! Top notch training for an affordable price. All the private technical schools are for profit and only care about one thing......$$$$$$$! They'll promise you the world but always fall short. Wyo Tech was in the news not too long ago. The corporation that owns them along with dozens of other trade schools was bankrupt and thousands of students ended up getting screwed out of the money they had paid and no training. Not sure what the current situation is but there were people all over the country with tens of thousands of dollars in debt with nothing to show for it. Also, many employers won't recognize the degree from many of these private trade schools but community college credits are almost always transferable if you want to pursue further education at a later date. Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:59 AM   #8
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I guess I'll bite.

I have an associates in auto/diesel tech from UNOH.

I would definitely choose a community college program over anything offered by wyotech/uti/etc. Those places spend boat loads on advertising to try and lure you to go there, and the quality of the faculty and equipment you'll use seems to be less than par. The dollars/experience at those places doesn't seem very alluring to me.

The education you receive will be based upon what you already know and how much you want to learn.

Don't talk to instructors/counselers/etc. at the college. Don't even use their information regarding employment or future salaries. Their job is to get you to go there and they're going to feed you the best info that benefits them. They'll feed you lies all day as long as you'll listen to them. They'll even smile real big when they do it.

Talk to people that actually do it, and you'll find out it's not the most alluring thing out there. It's not all blue skies and mai tais, and what you charge people isn't even close to what you actually make. Then everybody and their brother thinks your a crook because of the few bad apples in the industry and the quick serve business.

Another thing that most people seem to miss is that 95% of the work done in a shop is just general maintenance, tires, brakes and oil changes. The most experienced guys get the best jobs, so don't think that your going to go in and start with engine overhauls.

Then you have to buy your own tools, which isn't cheap, and I know I'll get flamed for this but there definitely is a difference between harbor freight and snap on.

Don't get me wrong, you can make a good living. But the work is dirty, the hours are long, and the cost to start out makes it unappealing real quick.

Not sure what job you're in now, but I think you can find a lot better options then this. It was good work when your grandpa did it, not so much anymore, and that seems to be an industry wide sentiment.
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