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Working As an Equipment Mechanic

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Getting Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $48,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Equipment Mechanic 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 An Equipment Mechanic

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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Equipment Mechanic Career Paths

Equipment Mechanic
Maintenance Technician Foreman Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Mechanic Field Service Technician Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Mechanic Field Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Heavy Equipment Mechanic Field Service Technician Owner
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Electrician Maintenance Supervisor
Senior Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Aircraft Mechanic
Lead Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Foreman Operation Supervisor
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Driver Electrician
Maintenance Lead Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Equipment Operator Diesel Mechanic Shop Foreman
Senior Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Mobile Equipment Mechanic Shop Foreman Lead Mechanic
Mechanics Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Field Technician Shop Foreman
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Electrician Maintenance Electrician
Senior Maintenance Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Engineering Technician Machinist Mate
Marine Mechanic
5 Yearsyrs
Fleet Mechanic Lead Mechanic Mechanics Supervisor
Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Fleet Mechanic Lead Mechanic Shop Supervisor
Repair Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Journeyman Electrician Maintenance Technician Supervisor
Building Maintenance Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Aircraft Mechanic Senior Mechanic
Senior Maintenance Mechanic
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Master Mechanic 5.9 years
Equipment Mechanic 5.0 years
Senior Mechanic 4.9 years
Plant Mechanic 4.9 years
Bus Mechanic 3.9 years
Diesel Mechanic 3.7 years
Mechanic 3.6 years
Truck Mechanic 3.5 years
Service Mechanic 3.4 years
Crane Mechanic 3.1 years
Shop Mechanic 3.1 years
Top Careers Before Equipment Mechanic
Mechanic 22.3%
Technician 6.4%
Welder 3.1%
Owner 2.7%
Top Careers After Equipment Mechanic
Mechanic 15.3%
Technician 6.8%
Welder 3.3%
Owner 3.1%
Supervisor 3.1%
Driver 2.6%

Do you work as an Equipment Mechanic?

Average Yearly Salary
$48,000
Show Salaries
$35,000
Min 10%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Ocean State Job Lot
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.7 years
How much does an Equipment Mechanic make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Equipment Mechanic in the United States is $48,775 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $35,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $66,000.

Real Equipment Mechanic Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Equipment Mechanic BRW Safety and Supply Inc. Santa Ana, CA Oct 15, 2007 $43,034
Logging Equipment Mechanic G. Lavoie Inc. ME Jan 06, 2016 $36,523
Logging Equipment Mechanic Pepin Lumber Inc. ME Jun 06, 2016 $36,147
Logging Equipment Mechanic YPC Forest Enterprise Inc. ME Jul 24, 2015 $35,479
Equipment Mechanic/Technician GSE & E Co, Inc. Somerville, NJ Jan 09, 2009 $34,400
Logging Equipment Mechanic Pepin Lumber Inc. ME Jun 01, 2015 $33,914
Assistant Irrigation Equipment Mechanic Swift Ranch Co. Inc. Oxnard, CA Apr 03, 2008 $33,914
Irrigation Equipment Mechanic Swift Ranch Co. Inc. Oxnard, CA Apr 09, 2008 $33,914
Equipment Mechanic Hights Farm Equipment Hightstown, NJ Jan 16, 2008 $32,453
Logging Equipment Mechanic G. Lavoie Inc. ME Jun 01, 2015 $31,305
Logging Equipment Mechanic G. Lavoie Inc. ME Jun 01, 2014 $31,305
Logging Equipment Mechanic Pepin Lumber Inc. ME Jun 02, 2014 $31,305
All Other Electrical and Electronic Equipment Mechanics G.S Development Inc. NY Feb 29, 2008 $29,218
Turf Equipment Mechanic Taylor Farm Lyman, ME Jan 04, 2016 $24,501
Turf Equipment Mechanic Winding Brook Turf Farm Inc. Wethersfield, CT Jan 04, 2016 $24,501
Turf Equipment Mechanic Winding Brook Turf Farm Inc. Wethersfield, CT Jun 08, 2016 $24,501

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Top Skills for An Equipment Mechanic

  1. Repair Parts
  2. Preventative Maintenance
  3. Heavy Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Make and assign work orders, and requisitions for all parts and equipment repairs, and order repair parts as needed.
  • Repaired and maintained over 200 pieces of support equipment, performed preventative maintenance and trained personnel on performing maintenance procedures.
  • Safely-Diagnosed, repaired, and maintained all brands of light/medium/heavy equipment.
  • Serviced, repaired and maintained ground equipment including turbines/diesel engines.
  • Work on equipment including electrical work and general maintenance

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Equipment Mechanics

  1. Alaska
  2. Wyoming
  3. Montana
  4. Oregon
  5. North Dakota
  6. Iowa
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Washington
  9. New Mexico
  10. Nevada
  • (50 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (86 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)
  • (109 jobs)
  • (189 jobs)
  • (178 jobs)
  • (169 jobs)
  • (107 jobs)
  • (76 jobs)

Equipment Mechanic Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,426 Equipment Mechanic resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Equipment Mechanic Resume

View Resume Examples

Equipment Mechanic Demographics

Gender

Male

89.0%

Unknown

7.2%

Female

3.8%
Ethnicity

White

63.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.2%

Carrier

8.7%

French

6.5%

Russian

6.5%

German

4.3%

Polish

4.3%

Swedish

2.2%

Portuguese

2.2%

Choctaw

2.2%

Ukrainian

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Korean

2.2%

Italian

2.2%
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Equipment Mechanic Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

18.7%

Community College of the Air Force

14.9%

Central Texas College

11.1%

University of Phoenix

8.4%

The Academy

5.3%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

4.6%

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc

4.6%

Arizona Automotive Institute

3.4%

Corning Community College

3.1%

Monroe Community College

3.1%

Portland Community College

2.7%

Weber State University

2.7%

Del Mar College

2.3%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

2.3%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

2.3%

Kaplan University

2.3%

American InterContinental University

2.3%

Tidewater Community College

2.3%

Hudson Valley Community College

1.9%

Redstone College

1.9%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

27.0%

Business

10.5%

Electrical Engineering

6.7%

General Studies

5.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.2%

Aviation

4.8%

Industrial Technology

4.5%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

4.3%

Precision Metal Working

3.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.8%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Heating And Air Conditioning

3.3%

Education

3.1%

Mechanical Engineering

2.8%

Engineering

2.3%

Management

2.1%

Computer Information Systems

2.1%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

1.9%

Information Technology

1.6%

Drafting And Design

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

43.9%

Associate

21.9%

Bachelors

13.1%

Certificate

11.8%

Diploma

5.1%

Masters

3.1%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Updated May 19, 2020