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Working as a Mobile Equipment Mechanic

What Does a Mobile 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.

How To Become a Mobile 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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Average Salary$50,876
Job Growth Rate4%

Mobile Equipment Mechanic Jobs

Mobile Equipment Mechanic Career Paths

Top Careers Before Mobile Equipment Mechanic

Mechanic
20.7 %

Top Careers After Mobile Equipment Mechanic

Mechanic
17.3 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Mobile Equipment Mechanic

Mobile Equipment Mechanics in America make an average salary of $50,876 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $63,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $40,000 per year.
Average Salary
$50,876

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
New York, NY
Salary Range53k - 74k$63k$63,073
Everett, WA
Salary Range53k - 69k$61k$60,544
Columbus, OH
Salary Range48k - 66k$57k$56,672
Riverside, CA
Salary Range46k - 66k$56k$55,964
Middle River, MD
Salary Range46k - 65k$55k$55,346
Draper, UT
Salary Range47k - 64k$55k$55,160
$30k
$74k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Lehigh Hanson
Lehigh Hanson
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$56,34910/30/2020
$56,349
Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
06/28/2020
06/28/2020
$39,65306/28/2020
$39,653
Diesel/Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Diesel/Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Weyerhaeuser Company
Weyerhaeuser Company
06/12/2020
06/12/2020
$51,09006/12/2020
$51,090
Diesel/Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Diesel/Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Weyerhaeuser
Weyerhaeuser
06/11/2020
06/11/2020
$51,09006/11/2020
$51,090
Mobile Equipment Mechanic
Mobile Equipment Mechanic
State of Louisiana
State of Louisiana
12/25/2019
12/25/2019
$56,88812/25/2019
$56,888
See More Recent Salaries

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Mobile Equipment Mechanic Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Mobile Equipment Mechanic. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Mobile Equipment Mechanic Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Mobile 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.

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Mobile Equipment Mechanic Demographics

Gender

male

90.8 %

female

6.8 %

unknown

2.4 %

Ethnicity

White

72.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

18.3 %

Black or African American

5.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0 %
See More Demographics

Mobile Equipment Mechanic Education

Majors

Business
10.2 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

41.3 %

Associate

18.9 %

Certificate

17.9 %

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Mobile Equipment Mechanic

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Mobile Equipment Mechanic

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.1% of mobile equipment mechanics listed electrical systems on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and mechanical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Mobile Equipment Mechanic

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a mobile equipment mechanic. The best states for people in this position are New York, Illinois, Washington, and Alaska. Mobile equipment mechanics make the most in New York with an average salary of $62,926. Whereas in Illinois and Washington, they would average $60,833 and $60,301, respectively. While mobile equipment mechanics would only make an average of $59,195 in Alaska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Mobile Equipment Mechanic Jobs:
88
Highest 10% Earn:
$73,000
Location Quotient:
3.15
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Montana

Total Mobile Equipment Mechanic Jobs:
70
Highest 10% Earn:
$74,000
Location Quotient:
2.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Ohio

Total Mobile Equipment Mechanic Jobs:
555
Highest 10% Earn:
$77,000
Location Quotient:
1.58
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Mobile Equipment Mechanic Employers

1. ITT Inc.
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$65,064
Mobile Equipment Mechanics Hired: 
121+
2. United States Department of Defense
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$40,691
Mobile Equipment Mechanics Hired: 
50+
3. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$51,026
Mobile Equipment Mechanics Hired: 
47+
4. AECOM
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$73,312
Mobile Equipment Mechanics Hired: 
34+
5. Air National Guard
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$57,064
Mobile Equipment Mechanics Hired: 
23+
6. Lear
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$48,271
Mobile Equipment Mechanics Hired: 
20+

Mobile Equipment Mechanic Videos

Recently Added Mobile Equipment Mechanic Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020