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Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians and Mechanics Job Description, Career as a Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians and Mechanics, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirem

farm field formal

Education and Training: High school and formal training

Salary: Median- $18.01 per hour

Employment Outlook: Good

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing different types of heavy and mobile machinery. Their job revolves around carrying out routine checks to ensure the safety, longevity, and performance of vehicles and equipment. They scrutinize machines and detect problems which are then solved by using the best possible techniques. When required, heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics also need to make repairs as well as replace, clean, and lubricate various parts.

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics work with different equipments like railcars, cranes, farm machinery, and bulldozers. They use a variety of tools like pneumatic wrenches, grinding machines, lathes, jacks, tachometers, ammeters, voltmeters, pliers, and screwdrivers, as well as expensive computerized engine analyzers.

Depending on the kind of equipment they work with, heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics have differing occupational titles. For instance, mobile heavy equipment mechanics and service technicians are responsible for the maintenance and repair of surface mining and construction equipments. These include cranes, bulldozers, excavators, and graders. On the other hand, farm equipment mechanics work with farm implements as well as lawn and garden tractors that are used in suburban homes. Railcar repairers specialize in repairing and servicing subway or mine cars, and railway locomotives.

Education and Training Requirements

For entry-level positions in this profession, one needs to have at least a high school education. However, a lot of employers prefer candidates with formal training as a diesel or heavy equipment mechanic. Many vocational schools and community colleges in the US offer courses in diesel technology. One can also opt for programs that teach about electrical systems, hydraulics, computers, and transmissions.

Though formal training is preferable, most heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics learn their skills while on the job. It usually requires about 3 to 4 years of training before one can be considered a skilled mechanic or technician.

Getting the Job

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics can directly apply for jobs with local construction contractors, dealers, and distributors. Often, state employment service offices as well as government agencies list job openings for professionals in this field.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics should opt for certification courses in order to find better opportunities. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers voluntary certification programs as a Master Medium/ Heavy Truck Technician. One can also be certified in a specific area of equipment repair. In order to obtain such certifications, a candidate must have a minimum of two years work experience, and clear an examination. In order to maintain the certification, technicians and mechanics need to retest every five years. These educational qualifications allow a trainee to advance to the experienced or journeyman level sooner.

Those in the profession for a long time can take up positions such as service manager or shop supervisor. One can also shift to a field service job, which usually pays better.

Employment opportunities are the best for those having completed formal training. The field is expected to increase by 10% in the next ten years. There will be more job openings for rail, mobile, and farm equipment technicians.

Working Conditions

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics often have to handle greasy engine parts, and are prone to minor cuts and bruises. The surroundings are generally well-lit and ventilated. The job involves primarily indoor work, although field service technicians may be required to spend time outdoors. A regular 40-hour work week is the norm in this profession. Farm equipment mechanics, however, tend to work long hours throughout the spring and summer months whereas the winter months are comparatively less hectic.

Where to Go for More Information

The Department of Motor Vehicles
8109 Roanoke Ave.
Hampton, VA
(757) 461-1919

The AED Foundation
615 W. 22nd St.
Oak Brook, IL 60523
http://www.aedcareers.com

National Automotive Technician Education Foundation
101 Blue Seal Dr., Suite 101
Leesburg, VA 20175
http://www.natef.org

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
101 Blue Seal Dr. SE, Suite 101
Leesburg, VA 20175
http://www.asecert.org

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings of heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics vary depending on one’s specialization. In May 2006, mobile heavy equipment mechanics reported median hourly wages of $19.44. Those in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations were paid $17.65 as hourly wages, while farm equipment mechanics earned $14.16 per hour. Wages can be significantly higher for railcar repairers and field technicians.

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics are usually offered sick leave, paid vacation, and insurance. Those involved in unions like the International Brotherhood of Teamsters or the International Union of Operating Engineers can enjoy much better benefits.

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