Farm Equipment Mechanics Overview
Farm equipment mechanics with postsecondary formal training in heavy equipment repair will have good job opportunities. Some employers consider a technician with 3 or 4 years on the job to be qualified.
Nature of the Work for Farm Equipment Mechanics
The work of a farm equipment mechanic involves repairing, servicing, and maintaining farm equipment, including garden or smaller lawn tractors. Specialized training and tools are essential for farm equipment mechanics due to the fact that modern equipment uses computers and electronics. Different forms of farm machinery altogether can be worked on by farm equipment mechanics.
Farm equipment mechanics who work outdoors will lift heavy parts, use tools as well as stand and lie in awkward positions. Farm equipment mechanics may also receive minor cuts, burns or bruises when working.
Farm equipment mechanics’ hours vary according to season, the busiest being planting and harvesting seasons, when farm equipment mechanics work 10 to 12 hour days, 6 to 7 days a week. Farm equipment mechanics may work less than 40 hours a week during slow winter months.
Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Farm Equipment Mechanics
Though most farm equipment mechanics qualify for jobs by training on the job, many employers seek employees with mechanical aptitude and who are knowledgeable about their specific field.
Those interested in becoming farm equipment mechanics should take high school courses such as physics, chemistry or mathematics. Farm equipment mechanics that complete some sort of formal training can advance to an experienced worker level or to the journey faster than those without formal training. Some employers will even send their farm equipment mechanics to training sessions so they can keep up with electronic changes and advances in equipment.
Communication skills and reading abilities are important qualifications for farm equipment mechanics, since reading and interpreting service manuals is a part of their job. Farm equipment mechanics should also be familiar with computers since technology used in farm equipment is becoming more sophisticated.
Advancements for farm equipment mechanics can include working in field service jobs or moving up to supervisor or service manager positions. They may also invest in a franchise or open up their own repair shop.
Top 10 Most Popular Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technology/Technician Schools
1. Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport (Williamsport, Pennsylvania)
2. Albany Technical College (Albany, Georgia)
3. Ferris State University (Big Rapids, Michigan)
4. North Central Kansas Technical College (Beloit, Kansas)
5. Okefenokee Technical College (Waycross, Georgia)
6. The University of Montana, Missoula (Missoula, Montana)
7. Indian Capital Technology Center, Tahlequah (Tahlequah, Oklahoma)
8. Altamaha Technical College (Jesup, Georgia)
9. San Joaquin Delta College - Stockton (Stockton, California)
10. Fox Valley Technical College (Appleton, Wisconsin)
Employment and Job Outlook for Farm Equipment Mechanics
Number of People in Profession
Changing Employment (2008-2018)
Employment is projected to grow about as fast as average (increase 7 - 13%).
Out of the 190,700 jobs held by service technicians, 30,250 of those jobs are held by farm equipment mechanics.
Sophisticated advancements in technology as well as the use of heavy equipment in the construction industry will contribute to the demand for farm equipment mechanics and the skills they can provide.
Farm equipment mechanic jobs will also increase due to an increased use of agriculture products as well as the need to feed a growing population. Many jobs for farm equipment mechanics will also be found in firms that lease, rent or sell machines since their repair services are an important part of their business revenue.
Many jobs will also arise for farm equipment mechanics due to people who retire or leave the occupation altogether that need to be replaced.
Jobs for farm equipment mechanics are also best during warmer months rather than winter months.
Earnings and Salary for Farm Equipment Mechanics
Median hourly wages of farm equipment mechanics are $15.85. The middle 50 percent earn between $12.93 and $19.17. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $10.52, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $23.11.
Hourly Wage for Farm Equipment Mechanics
On average, Farm Equipment Mechanics earn $15.85 per hour.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook