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How Will Emerging Technology Impact Diesel Mechanic Jobs

Technological developments are shaping the future of trucks and other vehicles traditionally powered by diesel fuel. Specifically, large diesel vehicles are projected to go electric. As governments and leading automotive manufacturers make changes to respond to climate concerns, diesel mechanics can expect the rest of the industry to follow suit.

What do these developments mean for diesel mechanics? To stay competitive, they need to increase their skills and show a willingness to adapt as technology evolves. NYADI The College of Transportation Technology offers an Automotive and Diesel Technology program in Jamaica, New York — the only associate degree program of its kind in NYC. Here, we discuss some of the changes affecting the industry and what they mean for diesel mechanics.

Electric — The Future of Diesel Technology

A study from United States Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that zero emissions medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks will be more affordable to buy, operate, and maintain than diesel-powered trucks by 2035. Continued innovation into zero-emission vehicle and fuel technologies, as well as increased use of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), will help make electric-powered diesel vehicles cheaper and more accessible.

These findings support the federal government’s effort toward decarbonization as communities across the globe grapple with the effects of climate change. Within two to three decades, most formerly diesel-powered vehicles are expected to be electric.

The federal government isn’t the only entity seeking to phase out diesel. In California, the Air Resources Board recently approved a mandate to shift big rigs and diesel trucks to zero emissions. The mandate prohibits the sale of medium- and heavy-duty trucks powered by fossil fuel starting in 2036 and stipulates that large trucking companies must switch to electric or hydrogen models by 2042.

Leading automotive manufacturers are also going the way of electric. One of the top automakers in North America, General Motors (GM), has pledged to stop producing several varieties of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. The company plans to invest $27 billion in EVs and related products through 2025, devoting a larger portion of the budget to these technologies over conventional diesel vehicles. By 2025, approximately 40% of GM’s U.S. vehicle models will be battery-powered.

How Will the Change Affect Diesel Mechanic Jobs?

Although interest in electric vehicles is increasing, diesel mechanics need not worry about a fast transition that renders their skills obsolete. For comparison, a report from J.D. Power states only about 1% of all vehicles in the U.S. were electric in 2019. The sale of EVs has grown exponentially since then, reaching 5% in 2022, but there is still a long way to go before electric-powered medium- and heavy-duty trucks reach the pervasiveness of diesel trucks.

For now, diesel mechanics and automotive technicians will continue to utilize their skills to service trucks and other similarly sized vehicles. However, electric technology is on the horizon, so techs want to be aware of these developments and gain the right automotive training to adapt as the industry changes.

The Automotive and Diesel Technology associate degree program at NYADI is ideal for individuals who want to learn the most cutting-edge topics in diesel technology and remain relevant within the industry. The program is frequently updated to deliver the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to service innovative vehicles and parts.

What’s more, the program prepares students for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, which can help them obtain jobs upon completing the program. NYADI also offers factory certifications from several industry leaders, such as Mack/Volvo and Isuzu Trucks.

In addition to the Automotive and Diesel Technology program, NYADI also offers an Automotive Technology associate degree program and several undergraduate certificates, including:

Prepare for a Changing Industry at the Right Mechanic School

The right training, combined with a willingness to adapt to the evolving world of diesel technology, helps take diesel mechanics and automotive technicians farther in their careers. NYADI The College of Transportation Technology works to make learning a trade easier for individuals from different backgrounds and prepare them to meet the demands of the automotive and diesel industries. We help students without high school diplomas earn their GED or TASC diplomas to apply for our programs and offer career services for job placement support.

Contact us to learn more about our automotive technology programs, or apply today to NYADI