The amount of money you earn as a diesel mechanic varies depending on where you work and what other incentives you get. In some shops, mechanics get a commission plus base pay, so the more repairs they do, the more money they earn.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), diesel mechanics made an average hourly wage of $21.40 in May, 2015. The majority earned between $17.38 and $26.12 per hour. Diesel mechanics who worked in the automotive and equipment rental and leasing industry tended to earn the highest pay, followed by those working for vehicle, parts and supplies wholesalers and mechanics who worked for trucking companies. Technicians in automotive repair and maintenance made slightly less money, followed by people in specialized freight trucking.
When you first start out, you will be at the lower end of the pay scale. According to the BLS, beginners make about half of what skilled workers make. As you advance, so will your pay.
About one quarter of diesel service technicians and mechanics are members of labor unions, including the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, the Transport Workers Union of America, the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. As a member of a labor union, you may have access to better benefits than your non-union peers.