Many individuals repair automobiles as a hobby or just because it’s necessary at a given time. But if you have a passion for it, why not earn a living doing what you love? Heavy vehicle mechanics repair and maintain vehicles and equipment powered by diesel.
This may include farm equipment, tractor-trailer rigs, large cranes, construction machines, buses or bulldozers. To repair and maintain these vehicles, heavy diesel mechanics must be able to inspect parts and systems, adjust wheels, check batteries, and diagnose malfunctions.
What Kind of Education Does it Take to be a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic?
You don’t need a college degree to become a heavy vehicle mechanic. With just a high school diploma and on-the-job training, you can begin your career as a journey-level technician. However, the Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS) notes that many employers prefer hiring mechanics with postsecondary education in diesel engine repair or service technology.
Heavy vehicle mechanics that have an associate degree may have better employment opportunities than those who have no college training. Students receive classroom and laboratory training in a realistic shop setting, using specialized tools and modern test equipment.
In an associate degree program, students should learn about the fundamentals of diesel engine and power generation. They will learn how to examine, diagnose, and repair a wide range of heavy vehicles. The courses designed to develop these skills include fuel systems, heavy-duty brake systems, diesel engine technology, diesel preventative maintenance, diesel fuel systems, heavy vehicle electrical and electronics, preventive maintenance, drivelines, hydraulic systems, steering and alignment, speech principle, technical writing, environmental control systems, four-stroke diesel engines, industrial psychology, communication skills, and service management.
Why is Education Important in this Field?
There are many reasons why receiving formal training is beneficial to anyone who hopes to be a successful heavy vehicle mechanic.
Better job opportunities: To begin with, a strong diesel engine education presents better work opportunities and makes it easier to find a job. Most employers require varying levels of training or experience. So, if you’re competing for the same positions with other applicants, you’ll be far more likely to be chosen because of your strong heavy vehicle mechanic education.
Your likelihood of success will also likely be enhanced by the service management skills that you will acquire. Simply put, formal training gives you a competitive edge and makes you more appealing to potential employers.
Learn preferred methods and techniques: Working on heavy vehicles and equipment is a time-consuming process. If you’ve learned everything on your own or through on-the-job training, you may find yourself lacking in knowledge. However, learning logical diagnostic methods and the best techniques to repair will make you more trustworthy and reliable. It could save you the time it takes to acquire the necessary skills.
Better starting jobs: If you’re a heavy vehicle mechanic with formal training, you will have a great chance of heading right into the career, instead of starting off slow in entry-level positions until you’ve learned your trade. Since you don’t need to be trained on the job, you may be eligible for serious positions with lots of responsibilities.
Formal education will have given you all the technical knowledge that could have taken years for you to learn through on-the-job training. You only need two years, or less with an accelerated program, to get your heavy vehicle technology associate degree and launch your career.
Choose to do what you’re best at: Whether you want to specialize in specific diesel-powered vehicles or want to open up your own auto shop, having an automotive degree will give you the ability to chase your dreams and follow your true talents. Since you could be a desirable candidate for any employer looking for a diesel mechanic, you may have an easy time getting a job.
Be a more knowledgeable and skilled technician: In addition to helping you get a good job position, the skills you’ll learn through formal training will also make you feel confident and more comfortable as a heavy vehicle mechanic. In an automotive school setting, you get to learn from knowledgeable and experienced tutors who really know the business. The knowledge and skills you acquire will make your job much more fun. What’s more, you’ll be able to take pride in your role and be motivated to do a stellar job for each customer.
If you’re interested in a career as a heavy vehicle mechanic or a heavy vehicle mechanic service manager, consider enrolling for the Associate in Occupational Science Degree in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management at Advanced Technology Institute. Connect with a helpful admissions counselor today to learn more about the program.