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Become A Service Center Technician

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Working As A Service Center 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

  • $72,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Service Center 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 Service Center 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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Service Center Technician Career Paths

Service Center Technician
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Consultant Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Field Service Technician Owner
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Field Service Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Electronics Technician Computer Technician
Senior Service Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Consultant Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Consultant Operations Manager
Service Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Analyst Chemist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Systems Analyst Lead Technician
Service Technician Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Field Technician Shop Foreman
Lead Mechanic
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Shop Foreman
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Electrician Maintenance Electrician
Senior Maintenance Technician
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Senior Technologist Senior Service Technician
Technical Services Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Service Technician 3.4 years
Technician 2.7 years
Service Desk Agent 1.8 years
Junior Technician 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Service Center Technician
Cashier 11.0%
Technician 8.0%
Top Careers After Service Center Technician
Technician 8.8%
Cashier 6.3%
Manager 4.2%
Owner 3.8%

Do you work as a Service Center Technician?

Top Skills for A Service Center Technician

  1. Customer Service
  2. Technical Support
  3. Hardware Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Helped company attain excellent customer service in all categories including communication skills, listening skills, problem resolution and politeness.
  • Gathered customer and technology information to determine technical support level; elevated calls to appropriate support level as necessary.
  • Walked customers through step-by-step process for troubleshooting hardware issues.
  • Respond to phone calls and emails from employees of all OSF owned facilities.
  • Assist with hardware/Software troubleshooting including windows XP/7/8/Mac, Juniper VPN client, Citrix XenApp/Receiver/XenDesktop as needed.

Service Center Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

64.2%

Female

27.0%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

17.0%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.3%

Russian

11.8%

Turkish

5.9%

Portuguese

5.9%

Chinese

5.9%

Vietnamese

5.9%

German

5.9%

Georgian

5.9%

Persian

5.9%

Carrier

5.9%

Korean

5.9%
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Service Center Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.7%

University of Maryland - University College

7.3%

Community College of the Air Force

7.3%

The Academy

4.9%

Old Dominion University

4.9%

Kankakee Community College

4.9%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.9%

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

4.9%

University of Cincinnati

3.7%

West Texas A&M University

3.7%

Webster University

3.7%

Kent State University

3.7%

Michigan Career and Technical Institute

3.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.7%

Strayer University

3.7%

Pikes Peak Community College

3.7%

ITT Technical Institute-Earth City

3.7%

Wayne County Community College District

2.4%

ECPI University

2.4%

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

2.4%
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Majors

Business

17.8%

Computer Science

11.7%

Information Technology

10.2%

Computer Information Systems

8.4%

Electrical Engineering

7.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.8%

Criminal Justice

4.2%

Computer Networking

3.9%

Automotive Technology

3.6%

Psychology

3.3%

Accounting

3.3%

Human Services

3.0%

Communication

2.7%

Supply Chain Management

2.7%

General Studies

2.4%

Medical Assisting Services

2.4%

Biology

2.1%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Computer Engineering

1.8%

Health Care Administration

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.4%

Other

27.2%

Associate

21.6%

Masters

6.9%

Certificate

6.0%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

1.5%

License

0.4%
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