Career Definition for a Recreation Vehicle Mechanic
Recreation vehicle (RV) mechanics inspect and repair recreational vehicles, such as motor homes and campers. RV mechanics examine and test parts, repair plumbing, locate and repair broken connections and wiring, connect electrical systems, inspect RVs, and test and repair gas lines. They may also repair exterior panels and broken trim, doors or windows. Recreation vehicle mechanics diagnose problems, estimate costs, and perform repairs on several different types of RVs.
|Education||High school diploma or GED and on-the-job or vocational training|
|Job Skills||Knowledge of updated RV and repair technology, manual dexterity, problem-solving skills, good customer service, and arm-hand steadiness|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$37,200 per year|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||-1%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A high school diploma or GED plus extensive on-the-job or vocational training is necessary to become a recreation vehicle mechanic. Automotive training programs can teach vehicle repair skills in six months to a year, but it may take from two to five years of repair experience to obtain the skills and knowledge to cover all types of repairs. The majority of recreation vehicle mechanics obtain Automotive Service Excellence (ASE, www.ase.com) certification and must recertify every five years.
Recreation vehicle mechanics must keep up-to-date with RV and repair technology. They also must possess manual dexterity and complex problem-solving skills, as well as customer service skills. RV mechanics need to have finger dexterity to manipulate small parts, as well as arm-hand steadiness to wrench on bolts or removed intricate mechanical equipment.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for RV service technicians was $37,200 in May 2017. The BLS predicts the number of jobs for these professionals to decrease by -1% from 2016-2026.
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Alternate Career Options
Similar careers to a recreational vehicle mechanic include:
A motorboat mechanic performs maintenance and repair tasks on outboard and inboard motors and related marine parts, like propellers and steering systems. According to the BLS, 12% of small engine mechanics, including motorboat mechanics, were self-employed as of 2016; a motorboat mechanic's workload can change with the season.
Employment is possible with a high school diploma, although candidates who have completed a postsecondary training program in small engine repair may fare better in job hunting. On-the-job training is common. Industry certification is available through the Equipment & Engine Training Council and through various manufacturers. According to the BLS, jobs in this field are expected to decrease 1% from 2016-2026; median pay for this job was $38,960 in 2017.
Farm Equipment Mechanic
A farm equipment mechanic keeps farm equipment, like tractors, in good working order. Tasks include performing general maintenance and repairs, including inspecting parts, replacing and testing them as needed. Employers may hire candidates with a high school diploma, but a postsecondary certificate or greater is often preferred. Farm equipment mechanics can earn manufacturer-issued certification. Jobs in this field are predicted to increase 8% from 2016-2026, and they paid a median salary of $39,340 in 2017, according to the BLS.