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Home  /  Blog   /  Auto Tech vs. Diesel Tech – Which Is Right for You?

Auto Tech vs. Diesel Tech – Which Is Right for You?

While both automotive techs and diesel techs work on vehicles and engines in some capacity, these two careers differ in their job duties and responsibilities. Continue on to learn which career is the right fit for you.

Auto Tech

Automotive technicians inspect, maintain and repair cars and light trucks and generally work in a repair shop setting. Duties typically required of automotive techs include, but are not limited to:

  • Using computerized diagnostic equipment to identify issues
  • Performing basic maintenance, such as changing oil and rotating tires
  • Repairing and replacing worn parts
  • Performing repairs to manufacturer specifications
  • Working with electronic systems


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for automotive technicians was $38,470 per year in 2016. Between 2016 and 2026, the projected change in employment is 6%.

Diesel Tech

Unlike auto techs, truck and diesel technicians work on diesel engines in big rigs, buses and other heavy equipment and perform other repairs and maintenance. Job duties may include the following:

  • Inspecting brake systems, transmissions, engines and other vehicle parts
  • Identifying mechanical problems using diagnostic test results
  • Repairing and replacing malfunctioning components and electrical equipment
  • Performing basic maintenance, including changing oil and checking fluid levels
  • Making major and minor engine repairs

Per the BLS, the median pay for diesel service technicians was approximately $45,170 per year in 2016, and the job outlook rate is expected to be 9% between 2016 and 2026.

Study Auto Technology or Diesel Technology at NYADI

Now that you know the differences between these two rewarding fields, it’s time to make your decision. Fortunately, NYADI The College of Automotive and Diesel Technology offers two degree programs in automotive technology and automotive and diesel technology, so you can acquire the skills and education you’ll use every day in your future career. Speak with an admission advisor at our diesel and automotive technician schools for further information.