So, just what is a heavy vehicle mechanic? Well, they are trained to inspect, diagnose and repair mobile and heavy equipment used in the farming, construction, railroad and other industries. Typically, their responsibilities include performing preventative maintenance, doing diagnostic tests, determining and performing required repairs, and part assembly. Since some heavy equipment vehicles are not always easy to move, it is sometimes required that the technician travel to a worksite for repair, as opposed to working in their shop or dealership.
Many mechanics will specialize in certain types of equipment, including the following:
– Farm equipment
– Mobile heavy equipment
– Rail cars
Training and Certification
While it is not necessary for heavy vehicle mechanics to complete formal school, there are many benefits to doing so, namely the potential for earning a higher income. Whenever an employer has to spend less time training a new employee because of previous qualifications, they are typically willing to pay the employee more, and this is the case with heavy vehicle technicians. Programs for formal training are typically run by community colleges and vocational schools, and last 1 to 2 years in length. These programs will typically include both classroom and hands-on training in the basics of diagnostics, repair, assembly and disassembly, electronics and mechanics. Additionally, manufacturers of heavy equipment often hold training courses and seminars on their specific products, and workers may be required to attend these as well, particularly for warranty and manufacturer specific work.
Heavy Vehicle Mechanic Salary
Heavy vehicle technicians typically receive pay that is above average for those is the field, with the median salary in 2010, according to the BLS. Pay may be higher or lower, depending on the specific field the mechanic is working in. Fields that pay higher, on average, include rail car repair and mobile field mechanics, while farm mechanics pays lower than average. Additionally, many technicians are also union members, which may provide additional benefits to what workers are getting from their employers.
Employment growth for heavy vehicle mechanics is expected to be in line with average growth in the field, with an increase of 16% expected between 2010 and 2020. Construction is very much dependent on economic conditions, so should those improve from today, it is possible that more equipment will be needed, thus increasing the demand for maintenance and repairs. Additionally, infrastructure improvements are also a very popular topic of conversation right now, and should the U.S. begin to invest more heavily in improving roads and bridges, it may have a positive effect on the construction industry as a whole, including mechanics. Formal training will help you stand out to potential employers, so it is important to consider that option when looking into this career field
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