How to Become a Heavy Equipment Mechanic

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junio 7, 2024

Average Salary:

  • Entry-Level: $35,000 - $45,000 per year

  • Mid-Career: $50,000 - $65,000 per year

  • Experienced: $70,000 - $85,000+ per year

  • Field Technicians: Can exceed $90,000 per year

Education Required:

  • High School Diploma or GED

  • Postsecondary Education: 1-2 years for a certificate or associate degree in heavy equipment mechanics or diesel technology


  • ASE Certification for Diesel Mechanics

  • CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) may be required for some positions

Job Outlook:

  • Expected to grow 4-5% over the next decade

How to Become a Heavy Equipment Mechanic

1. Obtain a High School Diploma or GED

To become a heavy equipment mechanic, you should start by obtaining a high school diploma or GED, focusing on courses such as mathematics, physics, and shop classes.

2. Pursue Postsecondary Education

Next, pursue postsecondary education by enrolling in a technical school or community college program that offers a certificate or associate degree in heavy equipment mechanics or diesel technology, which typically takes 1-2 years. These programs will cover essential topics like hydraulics, electrical systems, and engine repair.

3. Gain Hands-On Experience

Gaining hands-on experience is crucial, so look for internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions that provide practical experience. Entry-level salaries usually range from $35,000 to $45,000 per year.

4. Obtain Certifications

Obtaining certifications, such as ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) and potentially a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), can significantly enhance your credentials and job prospects.

5. Develop Essential Skills

Developing essential skills such as mechanical aptitude, problem-solving, physical stamina, attention to detail, and communication skills is also critical.

6. Apply for Jobs

Once you have the necessary education and experience, start applying for jobs with construction companies, equipment rental businesses, and dealerships. Mid-career salaries typically range from $50,000 to $65,000 per year, while experienced mechanics can earn between $70,000 and $85,000+ per year. Field technicians with significant experience and specialization can exceed $90,000 per year.

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