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Become A Commercial Service Technician

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Working As A Commercial Service Technician

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Make Decisions

  • $72,981

    Average Salary

What Does A Commercial Service Technician Do

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians, also called mechanics, inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles and machinery used in construction, farming, rail transportation, and other industries.

Duties

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians typically do the following:

  • Consult equipment operating manuals, blueprints, and drawings
  • Perform scheduled maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating parts
  • Diagnose and identify malfunctions, using computerized tools and equipment
  • Inspect, repair, and replace defective or worn parts, such as bearings, pistons, and gears
  • Overhaul and test major components, such as engines, hydraulics, and electrical systems
  • Disassemble and reassemble heavy equipment and components
  • Travel to worksites to repair large equipment, such as cranes
  • Maintain logs of equipment condition and work performed

Heavy vehicles and mobile equipment are critical to many industrial activities, including construction and railroad transportation. Various types of equipment, such as tractors, cranes, and bulldozers, are used to haul materials, till land, lift beams, and dig earth to pave the way for development and construction.

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians repair and maintain engines, hydraulic systems, transmissions, and electrical systems of agricultural, industrial, construction, and rail equipment. They ensure the performance and safety of fuel lines, brakes, and other systems.

Service technicians use diagnostic computers and equipment to identify problems and make adjustments or repairs. For example, they may use an oscilloscope to observe the signals produced by electronic components. Service technicians also use many different power and machine tools, including pneumatic wrenches, lathes, and welding equipment. A pneumatic tool, such as an impact wrench, is an air tool powered by compressed air.

Service technicians also use many different hand tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches, to work on small parts and in hard-to-reach areas. They generally purchase these tools over the course of their careers, often investing thousands of dollars in their inventory.

After identifying malfunctioning equipment, service technicians repair, replace, and recalibrate components such as hydraulic pumps and spark plugs. This may involve disassembling and reassembling major equipment or making adjustments through an onboard computer program.

Farm equipment mechanics and service technicians service and repair farm equipment, such as tractors and harvesters. They also work on smaller consumer-grade lawn and garden tractors. Most work for dealer repair shops, where farmers increasingly send their equipment for maintenance.   

Mobile heavy equipment mechanics repair and maintain construction and surface mining equipment, such as bulldozers, cranes, graders, and excavators. Most work for governments, equipment rental and leasing shops, and large construction and mining companies.

Rail car repairers specialize in servicing railroad locomotives, subway cars, and other rolling stock. They usually work for railroad, public and private transit companies, and rail car manufacturers.

For information about technicians and mechanics who work primarily on automobiles, see the profile on automotive service technicians and mechanics.

For information about technicians and mechanics who work primarily on large trucks and buses, see the profile on diesel service technicians and mechanics.

For information about technicians and mechanics who primarily work on motorboats, motorcycles, and small all-terrain vehicles, see the profile on small engine mechanics.

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How To Become A Commercial Service Technician

Most heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians have a high school diploma or equivalent. Because vehicle and equipment technology is increasingly sophisticated and computerized, some employers prefer to hire service technicians who have completed a formal training program at a postsecondary institution.

Education

Most heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians have a high school diploma or equivalent. High school courses in automotive repair, electronics, physics, and welding provide a strong foundation for a service technician’s career. However, high school graduates often need further training to become fully qualified.

Completing a vocational or other postsecondary training program in diesel technology or heavy equipment mechanics is increasingly considered the best preparation for some entry-level positions. Offered by vocational schools and community colleges, these programs cover the basics of diagnostic techniques, electronics, and other related subjects. Most programs last 1 to 2 years and lead to certificates of completion. Other programs, which lead to associate’s degrees, generally take 2 years to complete.

Training

Entry-level workers with no formal background in heavy vehicle repair often receive a few months of on-the-job training before they begin performing routine service tasks and making minor repairs. Trainees advance to more complex work as they show competence, and usually become fully qualified after 3 to 4 years of work.

Service technicians who have completed a postsecondary training program in diesel technology or heavy equipment mechanics require less training.

Many employers send new service technicians to training sessions conducted by equipment manufacturers. Training sessions may focus on particular components and technologies or types of equipment.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some manufacturers offer certification in specific repair methods or equipment. Although not required, certification can demonstrate a service technician’s competence and usually commands higher pay.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must perform many tasks, such as disassembling engine parts, connecting or attaching components, and using hand tools, with a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.

Mechanical skills. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be familiar with engine components and systems and know how they interact with each other. They must often disassemble major parts for repairs and be able to reassemble them.

Organizational skills. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must maintain accurate service records and parts inventories.

Physical strength. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be able to lift and move heavy equipment, tools, and parts without risking injury.

Troubleshooting skills. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be familiar with diagnostic equipment, which can help find the source of malfunctions when they are difficult to identify.

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Commercial Service Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

94.9%

Female

4.4%

Unknown

0.7%
Ethnicity

White

64.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Carrier

58.3%

Spanish

41.7%

Commercial Service Technician Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

10.4%

A-Technical College

8.3%

Ferris State University

8.3%

Lincoln Technical Institute

6.3%

Wake Technical Community College

6.3%

Lincoln College of Technology - Denver

4.2%

Sinclair Community College

4.2%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.2%

Trident Technical College

4.2%

Liberty University

4.2%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.2%

American School of Technology

4.2%

Grand Rapids Community College

4.2%

William Rainey Harper College

4.2%

University of Phoenix

4.2%

Idaho State University

4.2%

Metropolitan Community College

4.2%

Pennsylvania College of Technology

4.2%

Joliet Junior College

4.2%

Montana State University - Bozeman

2.1%
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Majors

Heating And Air Conditioning

23.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

16.6%

Business

10.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

9.7%

Electrical Engineering

6.5%

General Studies

4.6%

Automotive Technology

3.2%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Education

2.8%

Management

2.3%

Computer Science

2.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.3%

Computer Networking

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Graphic Design

1.8%

Project Management

1.4%

Biology

1.4%

Photography

1.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.4%

Communication

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

44.6%

Bachelors

16.6%

Certificate

15.5%

Associate

14.9%

Diploma

6.4%

Masters

1.0%

License

1.0%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Commercial Service Technician?

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Top Skills for A Commercial Service Technician

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  1. Hvac/R
  2. Package Units
  3. Engine Repair
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work as a Commercial HVAC/R Technician servicing various accounts through repair and Maintenance as needed.
  • Scheduled all service calls, ordered parts, and scheduled technicians for service calls.
  • Maintain proper documentation of customer services.
  • Provide preventative maintenance on all self contained refrigerated equipment such as commercial refrigerators and freezers.
  • Responded to emergency calls to customer locations to provide fleet services and perform repairs and installation of commercial tires.

How Would You Rate Working As a Commercial Service Technician?

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Top Commercial Service Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Commercial Service Technician Employers

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