According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for skilled heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians will add an additional 14,900 job positions between 2016 and 2026. These rewarding careers are also highly competitive. For those seeking a career in the heavy vehicle field, education is a key element in achieving the desired results.
You might be wondering : why is formal education an important part of this field? What skills and qualities do you need to be a successful heavy vehicle mechanic? How does earning a degree help job applicants do better in their job search and throughout their careers?
The Importance of Formal Education for Heavy Vehicle Mechanics
Many heavy vehicle operators begin their careers with little more than a high school diploma. Through on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs, they are able to build up their skills and fulfil the needs of the employer.
While on-the-job training is an effective way to get started in a new career field, it isn’t always the best choice. Completion of a formal education program offers a number of important benefits for those without practical experience. This is especially true in the heavy vehicle maintenance field. How does a formal education directly benefit aspiring technicians?
- In on-the-job training, your employer only focuses on the skills and knowledge relevant to their business. A trained employee who decides that it’s time to move on might have a difficult time convincing other businesses that their skills are a fit for the new position. A formal degree validates base skills that make applicants a good fit for a variety of positions.
- In the highly competitive field of heavy vehicle maintenance, job openings can be hard to find. Employers often look to trade schools or existing employees to help them fill their employment rosters. That leaves those without connections out in the cold.
- Apprentices who are hired with low skills and little practical experience are given low wages to compensate for their lack of abilities. It can take years to accumulate enough skill and experience to reach higher pay rates. With a degree, workers sometimes don’t have to start at the bottom of the pay ladder.
Another important benefit of formal education for heavy vehicle technicians is depth of knowledge. Rather than just learning how to do something, students learn why it is necessary to do it in a certain way. This background helps them consistently deliver high-quality results to their clients throughout their careers.
Qualities of a Successful Heavy Vehicle Mechanic
Are you thinking about a career in the heavy vehicle field but aren’t sure if it’s right for you? This list of personal qualities help aspiring mechanics achieve their best. If this list fits your personality, heavy vehicle work might be the ideal career path for you.
- Problem solver. In essence, vehicle repair is all about problem solving. Those who love to sleuth their way through a mystery, then develop a plan to correct the issue do best in this line of work.
- High manual dexterity. Strong and flexible arms, hands, and fingers are essential to vehicle maintenance. The ability to work with intricate parts makes it possible to perform necessary operations.
- Ability to stay organized. Whether working in a small shop or supporting a large corporate fleet, the ability to keep track of various projects and repair stages enables mechanics to deliver high-quality results on time.
If you feel deficient in some of these areas, don’t lose hope. With dedication and education, you can still become an excellent heavy vehicle mechanic.
The Career Benefits of a Formal Education
Getting a degree before beginning your job search offers a number of benefits that boost your prospects, pay, and the longevity of your career.
- After graduation, the people that helped you learned your trade become a vital resource for references and information on potential job openings. This includes fellow students, instructors, and the staff at your training school.
- A degree provides independent validation of your skills. In the competitive job market, that instantly puts you ahead of your competition. Prospective employers don’t have to work as hard to validate knowledge when you present your degree.
- With your degree, you can avoid low-paying entry-level positions. Employers are often willing to pay more to those with established skillsets.
- Your degree program exposes you to a range of techniques and procedures. Rather than relying on one set of skills taught by an employer, students are taught skills that can be used in a variety of positions and industries. That gives you more career options throughout your lifetime.
Are You Ready to Start Your Heavy Vehicle Journey?
A career as a heavy vehicle mechanic is possible. Start your journey with an Associate in Occupational Science in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management concentration from Advanced Technology Institute. This accelerated degree program is designed for those who want to quickly acquire the skills needed for ultimate career success. Contact our admissions counselors to reserve your spot in upcoming classes.