Some employers hire diesel mechanics with informal training, while others prefer individuals with formal certification. Many diesel mechanic certification programs are offered by vocational schools and community colleges.
Generally, formal programs can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete, with students receiving certification upon successful completion of all required coursework. Many schools are accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, or NATEF. While not required, some employers are more interested in hiring job seekers who have graduated from a NATEF-accredited program. Informal training involves getting work from a local garage and learning on the job from trained professionals. This approach is advantageous, as the individual receives practical training in an actual work environment. However, it is difficult to find such opportunities.