Bulldozer Technician: Career Information and Requirements

Specializing in a field is a great way for mechanics to find their services in demand, and there is always a need for bulldozer mechanics and bulldozer technicians. With approximately two years of training in heavy equipment plus time as an apprentice, a career as a bulldozer mechanic or bulldozer technician can provide interesting, steady work.

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Career Definition for a Bulldozer Technician

Bulldozer mechanics and technicians work to fix, repair, and maintain the specialty vehicles that take a beating as they clear massive amounts of land in construction projects. Bulldozer mechanics and technicians know the mechanics craft and implement those skills to remedy any problems involving bulldozers, which are quite complex. Large mining companies, construction firms, government entities, and other companies that are large enough to have multiple pieces of equipment are the main employers for bulldozer technicians; work is sometimes done in the field to minimize lost time.

Education Certification, trade schools, community colleges, apprenticeships
Job Skills Mechanical aptitude, troubleshooting, knowledge of computers and electronics
Median Salary (2017) $49,440 (Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most firms hiring bulldozer mechanics and technicians require applicants to have graduated from an academic program in heavy equipment or diesel repair; students can expect to take classes in basic mechanics, electronics, welding, and technical writing. These usually last for up to two years and are available at trade schools and community colleges. Many heavy equipment repair programs also require students to apprentice in the trade, which works well for bulldozer mechanics and technicians because potential employers usually require experience. Voluntary certifications are available from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

Skills Required

Bulldozer technicians must have mechanical aptitude, experience working with complex machines, and an ability to troubleshoot. Bulldozer mechanics and technicians must also have strong reading comprehension skills, particularly an ability to digest blueprints and technical manuals. They should be comfortable with the computers and electronics used in their work. Communication skills are also useful for bulldozer mechanics and technicians to with construction workers, project managers, customers, and supervisors.

Career and Economic Outlook

The BLS expects job growth for heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians to increase at an average rate of 8% between 2016 and 2026, with job prospects best in areas with heavy construction activities. The BLS also says that the median annual salary for heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians was $49,440 in May 2017, with pay varying depending upon region and experience.

Alternate Career Options

Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic

Many of these technicians and mechanics complete diesel engine repair postsecondary programs, in addition to industry certifications, to secure employment repairing trucks, buses, and other vehicles with diesel engines. An average increase of 9% (average) is expected from 2016-2026, for employment in this occupation, according to the BLS. As of May 2017, diesel service technicians and mechanics earned a median salary of $46,360 per year according to the BLS.

Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic

Postsecondary training programs, including on-the-job training, are often the best way to enter this career, where techs and mechanics repair and inspect light trucks and cars. The BLS anticipated as fast as average employment growth of 6% during the 2016-2026 decade. According to the BLS, automotive service technicians and mechanics had a median annual salary of $39,550 in 2017.


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