Skilled Trades Careers

How to Become a Heavy Equipment Mechanic in America in 2023

DateNovember 16, 2023
how to become a heavy equipment mechanic

Are you interested in working with heavy machinery? You can turn a fascination for fixing things into a successful career by learning how to become a heavy equipment mechanic.

SkillHero's comprehensive platform lets you easily access the education and job training you need to thrive in this exciting field. Whether you're just starting out or looking to advance your skills, we've got you covered.

Sign up for a free SkillHero account to explore a wide range of apprenticeships, internships, and specialized opportunities available near you. From basic apprenticeships to degree opportunities, our platform connects you with the resources you need to excel.

Once you've claimed your free account, finish reading this article so you can plan your career trajectory today!

What is a heavy equipment mechanic?

A heavy equipment mechanic specializes in the maintenance and repair of large construction machinery and vehicles. This includes bulldozers, excavators, cranes, dump trucks, and more. These skilled professionals play a crucial role in keeping these heavy-duty machines functioning efficiently and safely.

What do they do?

Heavy equipment mechanics are responsible for inspecting equipment, identifying mechanical issues or malfunctions, and performing necessary repairs or replacements.

They diagnose problems through the use of diagnostic tools and equipment, troubleshoot electrical and hydraulic systems, and complete routine maintenance tasks to ensure optimal performance and prevent breakdowns.

An average day's work in this trade begins by examining work orders and discussing any malfunctions with operators or supervisors.

Next up is using diagnostic tools and equipment to identify problems and determine the necessary repairs. This may involve troubleshooting electrical systems, hydraulic systems, or engine components.

They also play a critical role in conducting routine inspections and preventative maintenance to avoid future breakdowns. This involves using diagnostic equipment, checking fluid levels, and monitoring performance in heavy equipment systems.

What's the average salary for heavy equipment mechanics?

At the apprentice level, the average salary for heavy equipment mechanics is around $37,650 per year. As mechanics gain experience and advance to the journeyman level, their average salary increases to approximately $58,350 for journeymen and $79,570 for masters.

Heavy-Equipment-Mechanic average salary SkillHero

If you're looking for opportunities to help further your career in the heavy equipment industry, claim your free SkillHero account to get access to all of our resources.

How to become a heavy equipment mechanic

Now is the perfect time to pursue a career in this evolving field. Here's how you can get the practical experience and education necessary.

Get a high school diploma (or equivalent)

A high school diploma or equivalent credential, such as a GED, is crucial for most skilled trade careers. It serves as a base education to support the skills and qualifications needed in these skilled trades.

Obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent demonstrates a basic level of education and knowledge in various subjects, including math and physics, which are essential in many skilled trade professions. For instance, automotive repair technicians need a solid understanding of math to make accurate measurements and calculations.

This credential is usually a prerequisite for enrolling in vocational or technical schools that offer specialized training for trades like welding or automotive repair.

Employers often require these credentials to ensure that job candidates possess the fundamental knowledge and skills required for the trade.

Create a skilled trade resume

Creating a skilled trade resume is essential to showcase your qualifications and demonstrate why you're the applicant best suited for the job.

The easy-to-use resume builder in SkillHero's app allows you to effortlessly highlight your skills and experience. Whether you're detail-oriented, mechanically inclined, have excellent troubleshooting skills, or are highly effective with power tools, our resume builder will help you put it all together.

With just a few simple steps, you can create a customized resume tailored to your trade. Add your educational background, relevant certifications, and work experience to make your resume stand out. The app also gives you access to our database of vetted practical skills and soft skills.

Find an apprenticeship

Finding an apprenticeship is crucial for heavy-duty equipment mechanics to gain hands-on technical training. It also gives them access to valuable mentorship which is often more important than traditional post-secondary education like a college degree.

Apprenticeships usually involve a combination of classroom experience and hands-on training. SkillHero's platform streamlines this by connecting users with local training and education opportunities. By providing access to a diverse network of trade workers and institutions, SkillHero helps users follow the road towards career advancement.

SkillHero's user-friendly platform provides step-by-step guidance and a wealth of resources for technical training. Sign up for a free SkillHero account today to open doors to countless apprenticeship opportunities.

Seek ongoing education and certification

Ongoing education and certification are crucial in the field of heavy equipment mechanics. As new technologies and equipment advancements emerge, keeping your certificates and knowledge up-to-date can create many career advantages.

Seeking ongoing educational experiences allows mechanics to expand and improve their core craft skills and stay current in an ever-evolving industry. Certification not only showcases proficiency but also increases job prospects and earning potential.

From advanced knowledge of electrical systems to problem solving and customer service skills, staying on the cutting edge of your trade can give you access to advanced types of work.

SkillHero can help you stay up to date on the best local and online resources for training and forming a professional network.

Who enjoys being a heavy equipment mechanic?

People who enjoy this career are often detail-oriented, analytical, and have a strong attention to detail. They enjoy the challenge of troubleshooting and problem-solving, and using their expertise to keep machinery running smoothly and efficiently.

They're also likely to appreciate the satisfaction of working with their hands and seeing tangible results of their work. If you are someone who enjoys working with machinery, has strong problem-solving skills, and is looking for a rewarding and hands-on career, consider looking at training programs to become a heavy equipment mechanic.

Is being a heavy equipment mechanic difficult?

This career comes with its fair share of challenges. Job responsibilities include working with complex machinery and troubleshooting a wide range of mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems. This requires a body of skills that will likely need to grow over time.

Troubleshooting can be a daunting task. Equipment malfunctions can be caused by a multitude of factors, including mechanical issues, electrical problems, or hydraulic failures. Mechanics must possess strong problem-solving skills and the ability to diagnose and repair these issues efficiently.

Despite the challenges, being a heavy equipment mechanic can be highly rewarding. The demand for skilled trade workers in this field remains high, providing ample opportunities for career growth and job stability.

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a heavy equipment mechanic or looking for resources to enhance your skills, sign up for a free SkillHero account. Our app connects students and skilled trade workers with opportunities, training, and resources in their trade.