Farm Equipment Mechanics
Farm equipment mechanics repair, service and maintain a wide array of equipment, including large vehicles utilized on farms and lawn and garden vehicles used by the public. They also perform routine maintenance on engines and brake, hydraulic, transmission and fuel systems. They also work on electrical problems.
Some farm equipment mechanics work on dairy equipment and irrigation systems. Modern farm equipment often includes electronics, computers and hydraulics which makes it difficult for people that don't have specialized training and tools to make repairs.
Common job titles include tractor mechanic, agricultural mechanic, agricultural technician, service technician, mechanic, harvester mechanic and service mechanic.
- Repair, overhaul and maintain farm machinery and vehicles
- Reassemble machines and equipment
- Repair undercarriages and track assemblies
- Record details of repair work
- Confer with customers to locate and diagnose problems
- Weld frames and structural parts
- Test and replace electrical components
- Tune or overhaul engines
- Replace or repair defective parts
Farm equipment mechanics typically fix farm equipment in a shop setting, however sometimes they travel to farms to make repairs. They should have mechanical aptitude and basic math skills and computer skills. They should also be good at solving problems. A farm equipment mechanic needs to be able to interpret complex service manuals.
Farm equipment mechanics typically work 6 or 7 days a week and often 10 to 12 hours per day during the busy planting and harvesting seasons. During the slow months, they might work less than 40 hours per week.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted an employment growth of 7 percent for farm equipment mechanics between 2008 and 2018. In addition, the median hourly rate for farm equipment mechanics in 2008 was $15.32.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Many farm equipment mechanics gain their knowledge and skills from on-the-job-training. Many employers prefer applicants that have completed a formal education program such as a certificate or an associate degree program in agricultural or diesel mechanics.
Some education programs are designed for farm equipment mechanics. The programs offer training with the newest technologies and help students understand complex technical manuals. Trainees without related experience or previous education may go through a two year training period before they are highly skilled. In addition, experienced employees are typically required by their employers to attend special training classes sponsored by manufacturers and vendors.
The major job providers are farm equipment dealers.
Schools for Farm Equipment Mechanics are listed in the Browse Schools Section.