Through a combination of hands on tools and computer diagnostic equipment, truck maintenance technicians provide servicing to diesel trucks in shops or on the road. This job is physically demanding, so potential technicians should be prepared. A blend of formal training and acquired skills is the best combination for a truck maintenance technician to find employment.
Truck maintenance technicians service diesel-fueled vehicles, whether they work for privately owned shops or for companies that own vehicles. Training can begin in high school, but students who complete additional formal education programs in truck repair and maintenance greatly enhance their job prospects. Students in this field need mechanical ability and the physical stamina to work in all types of weather conditions. Professional certification is available.
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent; postsecondary training is becoming more commonly required|
|Certification||Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is common|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||12% for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$44,520 for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Career Overview of Truck Maintenance Technicians
Truck maintenance technicians repair and maintain trucks of all types. Many use computers to perform diagnostic tests and must also use both power and hand tools to investigate problems and perform repairs. They may work for a shop that performs repairs for third-party clients, or they may work for a company that maintains its own vehicle fleet.
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Becoming a Truck Maintenance Technician
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), truck maintenance technicians who have a combination of strong technical skills as well as formal education or training have the best chances of finding employment (www.bls.gov). Formal training in automotive mechanics, diesel engines and truck maintenance can begin in high school, since many schools offer this type of training through vocational courses.
Community colleges and trade schools also offer training in truck maintenance and repair. These programs often last from six months to two years and result in diplomas, certificates or associate's degrees. Additionally, some truck companies collaborate with technical schools to provide tools, parts and training materials so that students gain instruction in trucks produced by their firms.
Truck maintenance technicians must have a strong understanding of truck systems and the ability to work with diagnostic equipment, such as computers and diagnostic tools. The ability to work in areas that may be loud or uncomfortably cold is important, as is the ability to work outside one's standard workplace, such as when making roadside repairs. Truck mechanics may document their skills and knowledge by earning professional certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Truck Maintenance Technician Job Outlook and Salary
The BLS projected employment opportunities for all diesel service technician mechanics to grow at an average rate of 12% between 2014 and 2024. Increases in freight transportation were expected to lead to a growing demand for technicians to maintain these vehicles; however, increased durability of these vehicles may offset growth. The median salary for truck mechanics was $44,520 as of May 2015.
Truck maintenance technicians can get the formal training they need from programs available at vocational and community colleges. Formal training can be found in the form of certificates, diplomas, or associate degrees, and certification is also available. Truck maintenance technicians can find work for companies with truck fleets or for repair companies.