These days, being a large vehicle mechanic requires much more than being handy with a wrench. Innovations in the field of automotive repair have transformed the process of diagnosing problems with and repairing vehicles in amazing ways, and if you want to break into the thriving field of heavy truck repair in the Virginia Beach area you need to have the highest possible understanding of these technological advances. Employers are scrambling to find fully qualified technicians to take on these challenging positions and the importance of a formal education program for new mechanics cannot be overstated.
Why a Truck Mechanic Degree Is So Important
Whether or not you have worked as a mechanic in the past, you may wonder why vocational training is more important for heavy vehicle mechanics. The truth is that the repair of large commercial vehicles requires a more specialized skill set than working with small and midsized vehicles. Employers are looking for mechanics that are not only prepared for the current state of automotive technology but will also be prepared for big changes that are right around the corner in the realm of working with cutting-edge low-emission engines or even autonomous vehicles.
What Do You Learn in a Heavy Vehicle Program?
Large commercial vehicles have a wide variety of mechanical systems to master, but the first and most important lessons that you learn in the curriculum of a heavy vehicle program is safety. Even the simplest procedure like changing a tire can have dire consequences if performed incorrectly. A heavy vehicle mechanic also needs to learn the intricacies of the truck’s electrical, hydraulic, and pneumonic systems in order to properly repair and maintain the starting action, drivetrain, suspension, transmission, steering, and brakes.
As each system is mastered throughout the program, you also learn non-mechanical skills such as communications, technical writing, schematics, management, and documentation that will become more important as you advance in your mechanical career.
How Technical Training Prepares You for Success
Becoming a fully trained and qualified professional in the automotive repair industry has manifold benefits. Not only will you be more prepared for your first day on the job but also you will be ready to turn in quality work on day one. Many of the top employers in the Virginia Beach are do offer long-term on the job training, but coming through the door with a degree already under your belt may enable you to hit the ground running and get to work immediately as a more trusted and highly-compensated employee. Employers may also be more willing to invest in training you if you have a degree as it already has shown that you are dedicated to the craft and have already proven your ability to be successful in this demanding occupational specialty.
A Day in the Life of a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic
In a typical day, a heavy vehicle mechanic in a diesel engine service shop starts early in the morning getting everything ready for the workday. This includes doing inspections and preventative maintenance on tools and equipment, checking the appointment schedule, and doing other miscellaneous tasks to open the shop.
Throughout the day they will have consultations with customers or clients who are concerned about the state of their vehicles. They will be constantly working toward diagnosing and resolving problems with vehicles, completing maintenance checklists, and performing preventative maintenance on vehicle fleets.
In some cases, they may need to operate vehicles to ensure that the vehicle is running correctly after a repair or replacement of a mechanical component. Throughout this full day, they must also ensure that the shop is clean and free from clutter or potential hazards. When the day is done, the shop often needs to be thoroughly cleaned to prepare for the next shift.
Opportunities Abound in the Virginia Beach Area
The Virginia Beach area is hungry for fully qualified diesel engine mechanics. These professionals work for large transportation companies, small private employers, service shops, local and state government, and even public schools. It is a competitive industry with a wealth of experienced professionals vying for every open position, and technical education can help you level the playing field when you are aiming for success.
Are you interested in starting a new career in heavy vehicle maintenance and repair? Contact Advanced Technology Institute today for more information on how our Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management can have help you reach your goals.