Diesel mechanics usually learn their job one of two ways: through on the job training or by completing post-secondary training program. Many employers also require diesel mechanics to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and depending upon the job description, others may have more specific requirements, such as a HAZMAT endorsement or a Department of Transportation certification in brakes and air conditioning.
Diesel mechanics must have a familiarity with the tools of their trade, including brazing equipment, flame cutting equipment, gas welders, pneumatic wrenches, lathes, and jacks and hoists. They usually provide their own hand tools (screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches, as well as more specialized tools), and many experienced diesel mechanics have thousands of dollars invested in them. Employers usually furnish power tools and diagnostic as well as computerized equipment.