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Preparing For a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Career

Aug 17, 2007
In order to be a heavy equipment mechanic, the preparation is quite different and interesting too. It can start at the school level (technical school), or as an apprenticeship in a factory. You must have completed a basic high school diploma or a GED to apply for the formal training of heavy equipment mechanic. After the qualifying education, aspiring heavy equipment mechanics usually go through systematic training programs or apprenticeship training.

The training programs vary from six months to two years. Associate degree programs are usually of two years duration. These programs focus on various topics like heavy equipment mechanics, fundamentals of hydraulics, basics of diesel engines, transmissions and so on. Most of these training programs offer a combination of theory and hands-on practical training. Training programs and workshops can hone skills and make candidates eligible for the job opportunities.

If one wants to grow further in this field, one needs to have a mechanical bent of mind. Then it becomes easier to grasp the things and put them into practice.
If you want to apply for the apprenticeship, you need to fulfill certain conditions like a high school degree, and have completed 18 years of age. Apprenticeship is an excellent training platform for the aspirants as well as students. It generally takes around three to five years to complete it, and has comprehensive on-the-job training.

These programs also impart classroom training that consists of safety practices, mishap prevention, and routine maintenance. Each year, around 144 hours of classroom training is provided in apprenticeship programs in general.

On-the-job training includes testing and repairs of wiring or fuel systems, repairs of brakes, clutches and transmissions, among other things. One can get more details about apprenticeship from the local apprentice agencies or companies.

Some military schools conduct training for mechanics in the forces as well as outsiders. The training conducted by the military is definitely useful, in order to pursue a career in this field. If you are really interested in making a career in heavy equipment mechanics and repairs, you need to get in-depth knowledge in the following areas:
. Industrial Mechanics
. Vehicle and Equipment Operations
. Automotive and Diesel Technology

The industrial mechanics programs equip students to maintain and repair heavy equipment. Vehicle Hydraulics and pneumatics, welding, system circuits and electronics are taught in this program. In the vehicle and equipment operations, they teach students to operate and maintain various kinds of heavy vehicles like bulldozers, cranes, tractors and trucks.The automotive and diesel technology covers aspects such as repairs of diesel automobile engines, installing transmissions, brakes, rebuilding of engines, etc.

Apart from the above-mentioned courses, there are some high school courses, which prepare you for this specific field, in order to get admission into technical colleges. The following is a list of some courses that serve this purpose (subjects are taught in technical schools):

Industrial and Technology Education

. Exploring Careers
. General Industrial Arts
. Industrial Safety
. Equipment Maintenance and Repair
. Work Experience

Energy and Transportation Technologies

. Introduction to Mechanics
. Advanced Auto Mechanics
. Automotive Service
. Diesel Mechanics and Repair

Health and Safety Education

. Safety and First Aid
. Drivers Education

Construction Trades

. Electronic
. Mathematics
. General Math
. Applied Math

One can choose any one of the above-mentioned topics for detailed study, or a combination of multiple subjects. When companies scout for candidates they prefer the ones who have completed their training programs and are familiar with the vehicle design, automotive electronics, and other related subjects. In fact, preparation for a heavy equipment mechanic career trains you to deal with just about anything that you may face in the job. Hence, for people with mechanical skills, and the ambition to grow in this field, this is an ideal career choice.
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