By: Jim Baird, Automotive Technology Program Manager
Why tech school? Why not a traditional college?
A tech school… is a laser focused education with your future and employability in mind. Classes chosen for their value. Tuition is a fraction. Industry employers are involved and committed to developing and employing the technicians they need.
Why have a career instead of a job? Of course there are lots of reasons. First is obviously money. That’s why we work in the first place isn’t it? We need food, shelter, clothes etc. but just about any job can provide these. The things we want however; take a little more money. The more stuff you want you must either have a rich generous Uncle with loads of cash or a realistic plan. So what is the difference between a career and an ordinary job? It’s a stability and security thing. If you like working not knowing if you’ll be laid off. Or enjoy working for a paycheck only to run out of money before you run out of pay period, then you want a job. If you want a long term outlook with upward mobility and unlimited personal growth potential then you want a career in Diesel technology.
A career in the diesel equipment repair world is new and exciting again. The image of an old black smoke bellowing, oil leaking, and noisy road beast is long gone. Technology and improved materials manufacturing have produced cleaner more powerful and more reliable machines than ever before. Diesel road trucks are able to travel over a Million miles between overhauls. How do they do that? Technology and well trained technicians, that’s how.
Just as bad as the image of an old dirty truck is the one of a grease monkey. The mechanics of yesterday with a few tools and a lot of bad habits fumbling their way through repairs have gone the way of the phone booth. We aren’t even really called mechanics anymore. We are technicians! What’s the difference? Technical knowledge. Today’s trucks are filled with high technology. Advanced fuel management, antilock and traction control, GPS navigation, and vehicle communication networks. A technician’s tool box has many specialized electronic tools, and a computer is a must. Necessary for service information and vehicle diagnostic communications.
Today’s diesel technician has a very large technical knowledge base, specialized repair skill sets, and computer savvy.
The world is using more stuff than in the past and it must be made, moved around, and delivered. The economy is powered by Diesel. The problem is that there are not enough qualified techs coming into the field to keep up with the growth of industry. Worse still, is that we need even more techs replace the older mechanics as they retire. That means lots of opportunity. Think supply and demand. Technicians are in short supply but in high demand. That means we’re worth more. If you are even a “just ok” mechanic there is ample job security with good pay. But if you become an outstanding diesel technician there is real career opportunity with Great pay.
To become an outstanding diesel technician takes just four things; desire, education, experience, and passion. Two you must develop and foster within yourself, but the education and experience come from time and J-tech.