How to Become a Heavy Duty Mechanic
Heavy duty mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing heavy equipment such as forklifts, off-highway trucks, construction vehicles and other machines. They have a wide variety of jobs, and are in demand in various industries. Their tasks can involve working in a variety of environments, including noisy shop areas, and working on equipment that can be a serious hazard to workers.
A heavy duty mechanic’s duties vary, but most often include diagnosing and repairing mechanical problems. They may also dismantle components and perform routine maintenance. They may work in a noisy and dirty environment, and are required to take special precautions to avoid injury.
Heavy duty mechanics typically undergo formal training, although they are not required to have a formal education. Formal training is usually three to four years and includes classroom studies, on-the-job training and certification. If you wish to pursue a career as a heavy duty mechanic, it is recommended that you find a training program in your area.
There are a number of programs available at vocational schools, trade schools and technical colleges. Many of them prepare students for entry-level positions in the industry. However, some employers prefer applicants with post-secondary training. This can give you a competitive edge.
Depending on your location, you may be required to have a certificate in heavy duty equipment technology. You can learn to repair and maintain heavy machinery by taking an apprenticeship program. Apprentices are trained for a period of three to five years and receive wages while they are learning. After completing their apprenticeship, they are awarded a journeyperson certificate.
While there is no specific education requirement to become a heavy duty technician, most employers will prefer applicants with a post-secondary education. Getting an ASE (Advanced Service Engineer) certificate can be a boost to your job prospects. Having an advanced degree can also increase your income potential.
Heavy equipment mechanics work with diesel fuel systems, hydraulic systems, powertrain systems and cooling systems. Their jobs also involve testing the equipment to ensure proper operation. These technicians use tools, including specialized diagnostic equipment, to test for faulty parts and diagnose issues. In addition to their hands-on training, they must also have an understanding of the equipment’s structure.
Because of the nature of their job, a heavy duty technician must be physically fit and have manual dexterity. As a result, they may need to work overtime. Some employers may ask for letters of recommendation. They are also required to carry their own tools.
Heavy duty mechanics usually work in a variety of settings, including construction sites, agricultural fields, and construction company maintenance facilities. Mechanics will generally work weekends and evenings and take advantage of overtime opportunities when possible. To increase their income, some mechanics seek out new employers and switch positions. The majority of Journeyman Heavy Duty Mechanics earn between $44,500 and $68,000.
A career as a heavy duty technician is an exciting one. It offers high pay and a variety of opportunities. If you are interested in this field, look into the educational requirements and explore the job description of the job you are interested in.