Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians
Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians held about 186,500 jobs in 2014. Most service technicians worked for private companies.
About 60 percent of farm equipment mechanics and service technicians worked for farm and garden machinery and equipment merchant wholesalers, and about 13 percent worked in crop production in 2014.
About 26 percent of mobile heavy equipment mechanics worked for machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers, and another 19 percent worked in construction in 2014. About 14 percent worked in government, and about 9 percent were employed in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.
Most rail car repairers—about 84 percent—worked in transportation and warehousing, which includes rail transportation and support activities for rail transportation in 2014.
Although many service technicians work indoors in repair shops, some service technicians travel to worksites to make repairs because it is often too expensive to transport heavy or mobile equipment to a shop. Generally, more experienced service technicians specialize in field service. These workers drive trucks that are specially equipped with replacement parts and tools, and they spend considerable time outdoors and often drive long distances.
Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians often lift heavy parts and tools, handle greasy and dirty equipment, and stand or lie in awkward positions.
Most heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians work full time, and many work evenings or weekends. Overtime is common.
Farm equipment mechanics' work varies by time of the year. During busy planting and harvesting seasons, for example, mechanics often work six or seven 12-hour days per week. In the slower winter months, however, they may work less than full time.