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Comparing Careers: Diesel Truck Mechanic vs. Automotive Mechanic

Embarking on the path toward a successful automotive career is always exciting. But with all the options the industry has to offer, you may not know exactly where you’d like to end up – and that’s not uncommon for students during their course of study. NYADI The College of Automotive and Diesel Technology offers a variety of educational programs designed to provide students with foundational knowledge and hands-on experience in several areas of automotive service. Two of the most notable include diesel and automotive. Here, we’ll compare some of the key differences between diesel truck mechanics and automotive mechanics.
What You’ll Be Doing
The primary difference between the average workday of the automotive tech and the diesel tech is what either technician will be working on. Certified auto mechanics are typically tasked with fixing personal vehicles of all sorts, including vans, SUVs, sedans and more. These repairs can be straightforward, though many modern vehicles feature complex electrical systems that demand a highly technical approach.
Certified diesel mechanics, on the other hand, will often work with heavy equipment, including big rigs, buses and other large vehicles. Diesel engines are very different from the typical automotive engine, which requires a specialized education and a good deal of training.
Education You’ll Need
While certified auto mechanics and certified diesel mechanics share many of the same essential skills, each type of position requires specialized training. As we mentioned earlier, certified auto mechanics who work on passenger vehicles often require in-depth knowledge of the electrical systems present in today’s cars. Many auto mechanics even choose to specialize in a certain area – think brakes or electronic systems – in order to carve a niche and mark themselves as a unique candidate.
Certified diesel mechanics must have thorough knowledge of how diesel engines work. They operate differently than standard engines, and they typically rely much less on electrical systems than their smaller, personal vehicle counterparts.
Work Environment
Certified auto mechanics and certified diesel mechanics may each have a variety of options concerning where they’ll actually work. Some might work at a privately owned service center, while others will choose to work at dealerships. Diesel technicians may find themselves in other environments, as they’re often required to service fleets or perform maintenance on industrial or construction equipment that operates with diesel fuel.
Make Your Decision
Both certified auto mechanics and certified diesel mechanics can look forward to bright, exciting and challenging careers, and there’s no better place to get started than NYADI. Take a look at our academic programs, and then contact an admissions advisor or apply online today.

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