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Heavy Equipment Mechanics Wages and Jobs

Aug 17, 2007
The wages for heavy equipment mechanics varies from region to region. Nationally, the median wage for heavy equipment mechanics is $3,100 per month, which translates to $17.87 per hour. Generally, half of all heavy equipment mechanics earn from $2,530 and $3,710 per month, which amounts to $14.59 and $21.38 per hour.

Wages and benefits differ as per the employer. Sick leave, health insurance, vacation pay, and other such benefits are given to full-time mechanics.

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides wage information. Further, the extent of this data on wages has been increased by the Fourth Quarter 2006 Employment Cost Index.

Heavy Equipment Mechanics

Generally, their job involves repairing machines that are used in construction, logging, and other industrial work. Because of safety requirements and adequate operation, the equipment needs to be maintained properly. If the equipment breaks down, it is examined for defects. Hand-held computers are usually used for the diagnosis of the components that need repair. In order to inspect or repair the various parts, they may disassemble the equipment. At times, to lift or move large parts, they make use of jacks or hoists.

Heavy equipment mechanics use gauges and meters to check parts for damage.
They either spray or soak these parts in solvents to clean them. They also oil or grease any parts that require it. Mechanics either replace or repair the damaged or worn parts. Hand tools are used to remove the parts, and to repair them, they use machine tools. Welding equipment is also used to solder broken parts or frames. Once the repair is complete the equipment is reassembled and tested by the mechanics for safety and performance.

When heavy equipment mechanics work in large repair shops, they are exposed to more complex kinds of repair jobs. For example, they may repair hydraulic pumps, fix electrical problems, rebuild engines, etc. Mechanics in large shops usually specialize in one or two types of work. For instance, a shop may have experts in major engine repair, electrical systems, brake systems, and transmission work.

Equipment such as graders, backhoes, and loading shovels are maintained and repaired by heavy equipment mechanics.

Working Conditions

. They may get exposed to hazardous equipment. The chances of getting injured are low. However, in the event of injuries, they will not be very serious.
. Sometimes they may need to go out and work on the site, and at other times they will need to work in the repair shop.
. According to the demands of the work, they may need to lie or stand in an awkward position in order to repair equipment.
. Sometimes they have to work in shops that are noisy and drafty. Such sounds and noise levels are uncomfortable.
. Some situations may lead to minor injuries like cuts or burns.

Physical Demands

People in this career generally have to be able to do the following:

. Have the ability to use one or two hands to hold, move, or assemble objects.
. Be flexible, bend, stretch, or reach out.
. Make precise and quick adjustments to machine tools.
. Use muscular strength in order to lift, push, pull, or carry objects, and also to jump, sprint, and throw objects.

Skills and Abilities

In this career, people need to analyze problems, using reason to solve them:

. First identify the problem and evaluate the information.
. Be able to detect when something goes wrong, or even sense if there are chances of something going wrong.
. Evaluate the possible benefits and costs of a possible course of action.
. Be able to study the solutions to various problems and analyze the effectiveness.


The mechanical knowledge of repairing, designing, and using tools and machines is a mandatory requirement in this career.


To be a professional heavy equipment mechanic, you must:

. Complete a formal training program
. Complete on the job training
. Have mechanical aptitude and
. Have a high school diploma or GED.
About the Author
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