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What is the best diesel mechanic school?

Are you interested in becoming a diesel mechanic? In this rewarding and in-demand career, you will perform essential maintenance and repair on diesel engines. 

But before you take the leap and start working as a diesel mechanic, you need additional education and training. Check out the best diesel mechanic schools in the U.S. and get started on your new career today!

Quicklook: Best Diesel Mechanic Schools

  • Best For Comprehensive Training: Lincoln Tech
  • Best For Manufacturer-Specific Training: Universal Technical Institute 
  • Best For Alternative Hands-On Education: American Diesel Training
  • Best For Associates Degree Program: J-Tech
  • Best For Accelerated Training: WyoTech

5 Best Trade Schools for Diesel Mechanics

Start your career off right with the top diesel mechanic schools in the U.S.

Lincoln Tech

lincoln tech

With six campuses across the U.S. offering Diesel Technology training programs, Lincoln Tech is one of the most popular diesel mechanic trade schools. With hands-on education in their giant and designated diesel shops on campus, students learn everything from the complete assembly and disassembly of a diesel engine to repairing air brake systems. They also have partnerships with companies specializing in diesel-powered machines for job placement.  

Best For: Comprehensive Training


  • Denver, CO
  • East Windsor, CT
  • Grand Prairie, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Nashville, TN
  • South Plainfield, NJ

Enrollment: 1,000 to 2,000 students

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Tuition: $33,000 per year

Overview of Diesel Mechanic Program: Lincoln tech offers a traditional technical institute program for aspiring diesel mechanics in six different U.S. states.

Unique Features of School

  • Comprehensive education covering more than just trucks
  • Designated on-campus diesel shops
  • All training is by ASE certified instructors

Universal Technical Institute

universal technical institute

With 11 campuses offering diesel tech programs, the Universal Technical Institute is an excellent choice for aspiring diesel mechanics. UTI’s core 45-week Diesel Technology Program teaches students all the fundamentals necessary to service and repair diesel trucks and engines. 

After completion, students can go on to complete one of their Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training programs in 12 to 15 weeks to gain additional skills that employers look for in their mechanics. 

Best For:  Manufacturer-Specific Training


  • Austin, TX
  • Avondale, AZ
  • Bloomfield, NJ
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
  • Exton, PA
  • Houston, TX
  • Lisle, IL
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Rancho Cucamonga, CA
  • Sacramento, CA

Enrollment: 1,869 students 

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Tuition: $41,000 per year

Overview of Diesel Mechanic Program: UTI’s Diesel Technology program is a hands-on training program that teaches the core skills needed for working with diesel engines. After completion, students can specialize in a specific manufacturer in their advanced training programs

Unique Features of School

  • Manufacturer-specific training
  • A tiered program that’s focused and accelerated
  • Eleven campuses to choose from

American Diesel Training

american diesel training

American Diesel Training is an innovative alternative to traditional diesel mechanic schools. In just five weeks, students train to become diesel mechanics in an intense, hands-on program designed to prepare them for real-world applications in the job. 

Additionally, they partner with over 200 transportation and trucking companies. In doing so, the company guarantees job placement for all students with perfect attendance in the program. 

Best For: Alternative Hands-On Education


  • Columbus, OH
  • Cincinnati, OH


  • Small classes
  • 1,000+ diesel mechanics trained

Acceptance Rate: 100%


  • Income-based payments
  • Max total of $15,216

Overview of Diesel Mechanic Program: This unique 5-week diesel mechanic program is only 20% of the time and cost of a typical technical school and consists of entirely hands-on learning.

Unique Features of School

  • Job placement assistance
  • Entirely hands-on training
  • Guaranteed job placement for students with perfect attendance
  • Partnerships with 200+ transportation companies



You can’t beat J-Tech’s Diesel Technology associate’s degree program for students looking for a more traditional training program. This 91-credit ASE-based Diesel Technology Program combines classroom learning and hands-on training to understand diesel engines fully. But don’t be fooled by this program’s classic structure. 

J-Tech’s 26,000-square-foot diesel lab is fully equipped with the latest technology, including computerized automotive information systems, diagnostic computer scanners, and specialized automatic transmission tools.

Best For: Associate’s Degree Program

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Enrollment: 375 students 

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Tuition: $14,000 per year

Overview of Diesel Mechanic Program: J-Tech’s diesel technician and mechanic training program is a 91-credit-hour diesel technology course incorporating classroom learning and hands-on experience in their high-tech lab.

Unique Features of School

  • Students earn an associates degree upon completion
  • Proprietary Volvo/Mack curriculum
  • Job placement opportunities across the U.S. and Mexico



Located in Laramie, Wyoming, WyoTech offers a fantastic diesel technology program that students can complete in six months. Their program is well designed, so you can spend 60% of your time in the shop receiving hands-on training. This course is broken down into 6-week sessions, each with a different focus. It culminates with a 12-week specialty program of your choice. 

Best For: Accelerated Training

Location: Laramie, Wyoming

Enrollment: 685 students 

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Tuition: $28,000

Overview of Diesel Mechanic Program: WyoTech’s Diesel Technology program is an accelerated yet comprehensive program covering diesel engines, engine management, refrigeration, power trains, fluid power and electrical, and a specialty program.

Unique Features of School

  • The core program is divided into four 6-week sessions and one 12-week specialty program.
  • There’s a great balance between hands-on training and theory. 
  • WyoTech also offers various industry certifications to boost your education.

What Is a Diesel Mechanic?

A diesel mechanic specializes in servicing, repairing, and inspecting diesel engines and vehicles. They work on a wide range of vehicles and machinery essential to the transportation industry.

What is the Highest Paying Diesel Mechanic Job?

Here are some of the highest paying diesel mechanic jobs.

  • Diesel field service mechanic: Field service mechanics travel to job sites to repair and maintain heavy equipment like bulldozers, cranes, mining trucks, etc. They can earn $80,000: $100,000+ per year with overtime. Candidates often need several years of experience.
  • Diesel rail mechanic: Railroad companies employ mechanics to service locomotives, train cars, tracks, and signals. High demand and union wages mean salaries typically range from $70,000-$90,000. Getting FRA certified from a technical college, trade school, or community college opens more opportunities.
  • Diesel marine mechanic: Engine mechanics working in maritime shipping, navy, coast guard, oil rigs, etc. can make over $100,000, especially with significant sea time and advanced skills. Getting merchant marine technician credentials helps earn top wages.
  • Mining diesel mechanic: Mining operations are heavy users of large diesel machinery and pay premiums for on-site mechanics with expertise. Salaries often start around $80,000 and some earn $100,000+. Challenging work locations are common though.
  • Diesel supervisor/shop foreman: Managing other technicians or an entire maintenance shop commands higher salaries. Experienced foremen can earn $100,000+ at major fleets, mines, etc. People management skills are highly valued.

The most lucrative diesel mechanic jobs go to those with advanced engine troubleshooting skills, specialized training, and ability to travel and work irregular schedules. Developing expertise with engines, hydraulics, transmission repair, etc. pays off. Certifications like ASE can also boost earning potential.

What to Consider With Diesel Mechanic Programs

The right diesel mechanics schools can make a huge difference in your career, so be sure to research several schools and consider the following factors while making your decision. 

Program Material

Look into the material you will be covering in your program, as well as how that material is taught. For example, some diesel mechanic programs are entirely hands-on, while others combine more classroom work. Also, check to see if they offer the specializations you’re interested in or if it’s a general program.

Tuition & School Fees

Education is a significant investment, so it’s essential to understand what your tuition is and what fees are covered so you can budget for added expenses. 

Job Opportunities

There are many openings for diesel mechanics in the U.S. However, not all training can prepare you for these available positions. Look for good diesel mechanic schools that can set you apart from other applicants and schools that offer job placement assistance. 


Some people don’t mind traveling for the best schools for diesel mechanics, while others like to stay close to home. Think about where you would like to live while in school and beyond as you choose. 

Length of Diesel Mechanics Program

Diesel mechanic programs can vary significantly in length, from as short as five weeks to over a year. Consider if you’re looking for accelerated diesel trade schools or a more comprehensive one to narrow down your choices of the best diesel mechanic school.

Start Your Training to Become a Diesel Mechanic Today

Diesel mechanics are an essential part of the transportation industry. By attending one of the best diesel technology programs in the country, you can set yourself apart from other applicants and begin a successful and fulfilling career. 


What is the best degree for a diesel mechanic?

A diesel technology associate’s degree provides a strong foundation in engines, fuel systems, electronics, and prevents costly mistakes, though on-the-job training paired with a high school diploma may suffice at some shops. Hands-on learning is invaluable for aspiring diesel mechanics no matter the path taken.

Where is the best place to be a diesel mechanic?

Regions with abundant mining, oil and gas, agriculture, transportation, and construction opportunities tend to offer diesel mechanics the most job options, highest pay, and best long-term prospects, for example the Mountain West, Upper Midwest, and sections of the South. Being willing to work in remote locations also expands possibilities.

What is the best way to learn diesel mechanics?

Combining formal training at a technical college, trade school or community college with an apprenticeship or extensive on-the-job experience learning from seasoned professionals allows you to develop knowledge of modern systems along with real world mechanical aptitude faster than either approach alone.

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