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Light-Duty vs. Heavy-Duty Diesel Careers 

If you’re interested in an essential, hands-on career that keeps America running, consider becoming a diesel technician or mechanic. Getting the training to become a diesel tech is the first step on a secure and rewarding future in the transportation industry. Demand for diesel mechanics is on the rise – in fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 28,500 new job openings for diesel technicians are projected each year through 2031.

Even better, there are a number of different career paths you can take when you are trained in diesel technology, including whether you’d like to work with light-duty or heavy-duty diesel engines.

What’s the Difference between Light-Duty and Heavy-Duty?

Both light-duty and heavy-duty diesel engines run on diesel technology, but, as the name implies, the difference is primarily size. Light-duty diesel vehicles include diesel engine passenger cars and large diesel-powered pickup trucks (such as the Ford F-Series or Ram Trucks). Light-duty vehicles typically have a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of up to 10,000 lbs.

Heavy-duty diesel engines, on the other hand, have a GVWR of over 10,000 lbs and include commercial vehicles like big tractor trailers, buses, and other fleet vehicles, as well as industrial, agricultural, construction, marine, power generating, and manufacturing equipment.

Where Do You Prefer to Work?

Light-duty diesel technicians often find work in dealerships, repair shops, auto manufacturing, as well as parts and accessories stores. If you’re passionate about working on light-duty trucks, this might be the best path for you.

Heavy-duty diesel technicians are more likely to find jobs with trucking companies, wholesale trade, government agencies, or working on a range of specialized equipment across different industries.

In both cases, you will probably end up primarily working in one main location but may have to also go to remote locations such as roadsides or worksites.

Get Started with J-Tech!

Whether you’re interested in light-duty or heavy-duty diesel engines, J-Tech Institute can provide you with the hands-on training and skills you need to succeed. Our Diesel Technology Program teaches you to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks, while our Diesel Advanced Technology Education (DATE) lets you maximize your hiring potential by taking your skills to the next level. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule your visit to our 168,000 square-foot facility in Jacksonville, FL.

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