Keeping the country’s transportation and heavy equipment in motion takes a lot of horsepower… and a crew of highly-skilled technicians and mechanics. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians, inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles and machinery used in construction, farming, railways, and road transportation. Diesel service technicians and mechanics service buses and trucks, or repair any type of diesel engine. Many work for trucking companies, wholesale trade firms, and government agencies. Farm equipment mechanics and service technicians repair farm equipment as well as smaller lawn and garden tractors. Most work for dealer repair shops, with seasonal variation in job duties. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics maintain construction and surface mining equipment, such as bulldozers, cranes, graders, and excavators. Most work for government, equipment rental shops, and large construction and mining companies. Rail car repairers keep railroad locomotives, subway cars, and other rolling stock in good repair. They usually work for railroad, public and private transit companies, and for manufacturers. These technicians often lift heavy parts and tools, handle greasy and dirty equipment, and work in awkward positions. While many work indoors in repair shops, some specialize in field service and travel to worksites that may be outdoors, in all types of weather. Service technicians generally work full time, sometimes including evenings or weekends. Overtime is common. Most service technicians have a high school education. Formal training and certificates are increasingly preferred by employers. Certificates usually take 1 to 2 years to earn. Once hired, trainees usually reach full qualification after 3 to 4 years.
What they do:
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass transit rail cars.
On the job, you would:
Record conditions of cars, and repair and maintenance work performed or to be performed.
Inspect components such as bearings, seals, gaskets, wheels, and coupler assemblies to determine if repairs are needed.
Repair or replace defective or worn parts such as bearings, pistons, and gears, using hand tools, torque wrenches, power tools, and welding equipment.
Engineering and Technology
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work
repairing machines or systems using the right tools
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
see hidden patterns
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Internet browser software
Microsoft Internet Explorer
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed