Everybody dreams of getting paid to do what they love. While some people dream about singing a hit single or closing a big deal in a boardroom, you might be fascinated by motors, engines, and making things work. If so, you might be able to join the ranks of those who do what they love by becoming a heavy vehicle mechanic.
What is a heavy vehicle?
Vehicle classifications are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. Heavy-duty vehicles are those with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,501 lbs and above. The highest weighted class is HDV 8b, with a GVWR of more than 60,000 lbs.
What does a heavy vehicle mechanic do?
Heavy vehicle and mobile service technicians inspect, maintain, and fix vehicles such as trucks, tractors, and bulldozers. These are the vehicles and machines that are used in farming, transportation, construction, and other industries. Heavy vehicle mechanics work tend to work indoors in noisy repair shops.
As a heavy vehicle mechanic, you will spend a surprising amount of time sealing things; just about everything on a vehicle has a gasket that has to be sealed with grease, silicone, or another sealant. The work often involves lifting heavy tools or equipment and standing or sitting in uncomfortable positions.
What is the job outlook for heavy vehicle mechanics in Virginia Beach VA?
In Virginia Beach, one of the major drivers behind the demand for heavy vehicle technicians is the shipping industry. For more than 400 years, the Port of Virginia has been recognized as one of the world’s leading maritime gateways. In 2016, more than 60 percent of the cargo that passed through the port was transported by truck.
Some of the biggest employers of heavy vehicle mechanics in Virginia Beach are:
- Huntington Ingalls Industries America’s largest military shipbuilding company and the sole builder of aircraft carriers for the US Navy. With annual revenues of approximately $7.4 billion, HII employs approximately 5,000 engineers and designers.
- i+iconSOUTHEAST specializes in the construction of bridges, theme parks, and marine structures. It hires heavy duty mechanics to maintain, diagnose and repair heavy equipment manufactured by John Deere, Hitachi, Volvo, Caterpillar, and others.
- Precon Marine, Inc. is a marine contractor specializing in marine and waterfront construction. It takes on bridge, pier, and bulkhead rehabilitation as well as subaqueous utility installation. It employs heavy equipment mechanics to maintain, service, and troubleshoot all types of equipment, including mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic components.
Other local employers include Orion Solutions, Rish Equipment Company, and BAE Systems.
How to become a heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technician
Most heavy vehicle mechanics have at least a high school diploma. As technology becomes more sophisticated and advanced, many employers are starting to look for candidates that have some postsecondary training. One way to achieve this is to pursue an Associate in Occupational Science (A.O.S.) degree in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management. Such a program would not only prepare you for the technical rigors of the work but would also provide you with highly marketable management skills.
Technical training takes place in a classroom and a laboratory using modern equipment and tools. You gain hands-on training with an emphasis on logical diagnostic methods and repair procedures. The management coursework provides a foundation in business management, communication skills, employee relations, customer service, finance, and inventory management.
If you want to learn more about becoming a heavy vehicle mechanic and earning an Associate in Occupational Science (A.O.S.), make the decision to connect with ATI today and learn more about this degree program!