Train For a Career As a Heavy Vehicle Or Mobile Equipment Service Technician

When you were a kid, did you love to play with those giant-sized toy bulldozers and trucks? Getting down and dirty was fun, and even today you may enjoy watching earthmovers at a construction site or backhoes digging trenches. A career in heavy equipment repair may be perfect for you.

Farm machinery, bulldozers, cranes, and railroad cars are all examples of heavy vehicles that require maintenance and repair. These vehicles often weigh hundreds of tons and require specialized facilities for major servicing. They may also require routine maintenance in the field, which could be a remote location in the mountains, forest, or desert.

Heavy vehicles can be complex. It can be accurately said that today’s heavy equipment combines brains and brawn. Many types of heavy equipment use hydraulics to raise and lower movable parts, and for steering and braking. They may have complex electrical systems, including onboard computers for control as well as systems diagnosis. Typically they have diesel engines, and these are generally serviced by specialized diesel mechanics who need to know how to use computer diagnostic equipment.

Servicing makes the difference. Heavy vehicles represent a big investment and require meticulous maintenance. When a million-dollar crawler crane stops working on a job site, every minute counts until it is back on line. That’s why a well-trained and experienced service person is a vital member of the team.

Heavy vehicle service technicians and mechanics are called upon to repair and maintain electrical systems, engines and hydraulics, and transmissions. They perform routine maintenance checks and repair brake, fuel, and transmission systems to ensure the safety, optimum performance, and reliability of the equipment. They may diagnose electrical problems, disassemble and repair undercarriages and caterpillar-track assemblies, and weld broken equipment frames and structural parts.

Technicians know how to use tools. They use machine tools, like lathes and grinding machines; power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches; welding equipment; and jacks and hoists to move parts and vehicles. They also use common hand tools to work on small parts, and computerized testing equipment to analyze problems in electrical and hydraulic systems. Service technicians often must use their equipment out in the field under difficult conditions.

The job outlook is excellent. Even in the current economy, the field is growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in the current decade from 2008 through 2018, “Opportunities for heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians and mechanics should be excellent for those who have completed formal training programs in diesel or heavy equipment mechanics.” It is predicted that over 15,000 new jobs will be added in this employment category during this period.

Education is key for success. Advanced careers in the field require knowledge of mathematics, physics, mechanical engineering, and computers. Heavy and mobile equipment mechanics increasingly need certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. But for anyone with a high school diploma or GED who is determined to work hard and get ahead, there is hope! Many technical career schools offer certificate or associate degree programs that can prepare you for certification. The schools generally provide both classroom instruction and hands-on training on real vehicles. Many are associated with specific manufacturers so that, for instance, you can get certified to work on Caterpillar scrapers or Cummings diesels. Some offer hybrid programs, where students can complete the classroom portion online, then go to the school’s campus for practical training. In many cases you can get the training you need even while you hold down your present dead-end job or provide care for your family.

Career and technical schools will be glad to send free information about their programs. Many offer financial aid for those who qualify, and even career planning assistance. Contact a technical school today and you may be prepared for a new career sooner than you think.

What Can You Gain From Automotive Mechanic Courses?

Do you dream about working on cars? Love getting under the hood? A career as a mechanic may be the perfect fit for you.

Automotive mechanic training programs will give you the skills you need to turn your passion for cars into a steady, rewarding auto repair career. Automotive mechanic graduates can go on to apprenticeships in some of the most successful automotive repair and service facilities in the province.

Intensive diploma programs are designed to fully immerse the student into the role of an Automotive Service Technician. Instructors are often industry professionals with real world knowledge, who can execute an industry specific automotive mechanic training curriculum based on core industry components. Automotive Mechanic training programs rang from technical automotive theory, to diagnostics, to actually engaging in the repair and maintenance of automobiles (fixing cars), allowing student the chance to understand and retain the knowledge and skills needed to become competitive in the auto mechanic industry.

Because of the varied nature of the profession, auto mechanic training programs are often very comprehensive in scope. Areas of study may include:

  • Brake Systems
  • ABS Systems
  • Starting Systems
  • Electrical Systems
  • Drivability Diagnostics
  • Fuel Systems
  • Fuel Injection Systems
  • Differentials
  • 4×4 Systems
  • Computer Systems
  • EVAPS System
  • Exhaust System
  • Drive Clean (Inspector Certification – Emissions)
  • Heating & Air Conditioning
  • Ozone Depletion Certification (HRIA
  • Safety & Accessory Systems
  • Suspensions
  • Steering
  • General Maintenance Services
  • Engines (Gas & Diesel)
  • Transmissions (Automatic & Manual)
  • Driveline Systems
  • Cooling Systems
  • Ignition Systems
  • Tire & Wheel Service
  • Repair Facility Dynamics Structure
  • Safety
  • Professional Protocol
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Performance Standards
  • Effective Communication Skills

Aside from gaining experience and knowledge in these areas, you will have the opportunity to be certified as an emissions inspector, and licensed to handle air conditioning refrigerants under your regional prevention rules, regulations and programs. These certifications, a necessity for many automotive mechanic jobs, will give you a definite edge in today’s repair and service job market.

Graduates from comprehensive auto mechanic courses have found careers as:

  • Emissions Inspectors
  • Lube Specialists
  • Automotive Service Technician Apprentices
  • Farm Equipment Apprentices
  • Truck and Coach Mechanic Apprentices
  • Parts Counter
  • Forklift Mechanic Apprentices
  • Muffler Specialists
  • Front End Technicians
  • Electrical Specialists
  • Engine Technicians
  • Fuel Specialists
  • Tune Up Technicians
  • Diagnosticians
  • Emissions Specialists
  • Instructors
  • Transmission Specialists
  • Hybrid and Fuel Cell Technicians
  • Performance Specialists
  • Automotive Service Technicians
  • Journeyman Mechanics
  • Service Managers
  • Assistant Managers
  • Shop Foremen
  • Shop Managers or Owners

Turn your passion for cars into a rewarding, long-lasting career. Get started today in the auto mechanic industry with an intensive automotive mechanic training program.

Automotive Service Technician Career Education Options

Automobiles break down often and the skills needed to fix them typically require knowledgeable professionals. Students can take their interest of cars and apply it to educational training. Several degree program options prepare students to become automotive service technicians.

Vocational schools across the country train students to understand the procedures and tools needed to fix automobiles. Education is crucial in order to gain the skills required to examine, manage, and fix automobiles and light trucks. Training typically integrates various types of vehicles that run on gasoline and electricity. Some programs also explore vehicles that run off of alternative fuel sources such as ethanol. Inside the profession technicians perform a variety of duties, which can include:

  • Basic Maintenance Services
  • Oil Changes
  • Tire Rotations

Educational training is focused on developing a student’s knowledge to diagnose problems and plan vehicle repairs. The work conducted in today’s technologically advanced industry requires professionals to have formal training. Students can gain the knowledge needed to be successful inside the field by working through programs at the certificate and associate’s degree level. Certificate programs are short and typically last six to twelve months. Associates degree programs provide students with general education courses and more in depth technician courses. Programs at this level last two years and prepare students to enter the industry.

Training is a great way to gain a foundational understanding of the profession, which is used to gain practical on-the-job experience. Many colleges incorporate on-the-job training as part of their curriculum. New technicians work for two to five years before becoming fully qualified. This time allows technicians to practice and gain experience working with automobiles, which includes basic and complex repairs.

Students that pursue certification will be ready to apply the current operating practices needed to diagnose problems and fix automotive systems. Coursework develops the knowledge to service and fix automobiles by teaching students to understand test and repair procedures. Brake systems, safety inspection tests, hybrid vehicle practices, powertrain electronics, and air conditioning systems courses develop the skills needed to obtain entry-level careers. A hybrid course, for example, breaks down every part of hybrid cars. The storage factors, hybrid controls, combustion engine modifications, and fuel sources are all topics discussed in detail. Stepping into careers will have students immediately putting their skills to use.

The ability to identify every component of an automobile and explain its purpose is just one area that is learned inside training at the associate’s degree level. Coursework covers the broad spectrum of skills needed to fix a variety of vehicles using the latest technologies and practices. Automotive brakes, electronics, drive-trains, industry mathematics, engine performance theories, and technical communications courses are some subjects students may work through. Upon completion of a program students are required to obtain certification. Students will graduate with Automotive Service Excellence credentials.

Learning to understand automobiles and how to repair them is a skill set that will not go to waste. Students should begin accredited automotive service training and start working towards becoming technicians. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology ( http://www.accsc.org/ ) is one of numerous agencies approved to fully accredit the best schools and colleges that offer a quality education.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

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