What Schooling Do You Need to be a Heavy Duty Mechanic in Virginia?


Do you have an aptitude for manual work? Do you like taking things apart and putting them back together again? Do you enjoy math? If you answered yes to these questions, you may enjoy a career as a heavy vehicle mechanic.

If you’ve ever owned a car, you know the importance of having a good mechanic. With more and more freight moving across the U.S. by diesel-powered trucks, it is critical to have heavy vehicle mechanics that can keep gas and vehicles running at top performance on the road.

What You will do in Your Role as a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic?

As a heavy vehicle mechanic, you will repair, maintain and test heavy vehicles like automobiles, busses, trucks, as well as heavy construction and agricultural equipment.

Specific jobs tasks may include:

  • Diagnosing, repairing, maintaining and testing diesel- and gas-powered vehicles such as trucks, buses, bulldozers, stationary engines, generators, compressors, agricultural and other heavy powered vehicles.
  • Test and detect mechanical and electrical issues using onboard equipment from batteries, circuitry, ignition, fuel injection systems, cylinder compression, brakes and wheel balance/alignment.
  • Assess and repair hydraulic components such as hoists, booms and buckets.
  • Repair and replace all faulty parts.

Career Options

If you are pursuing a career in heavy vehicle equipment, you may choose to pursue a career as a service team manager, who understands the business side of the industry as well as the mechanical part. The service manager’s role is to keep the business running efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

The coursework generally includes business management, customer service, communication skills, employee relations, inventory control and the ability to understand financial and payroll reports. Mastering these skills position graduates well to run their own automotive business in the future.

What are the Educational Requirements for a Heavy Vehicle Mechanic?

In Virginia, as in most states, in order to become a heavy vehicle mechanic, you must first have a high school diploma, a GED or some college. Some that pursue their certification as a heavy vehicle mechanic have completed an associate’s program in auto technology or other automotive programs.

Those that enter the job market without being in a certification program, usually require more on-the-job supervision—this leads to more on-the-job training from supervisors, so employers tend to look for those with training and experience.

Those that have invested in the future by pursuing their education are preferred hires than those without college degrees. Those that have completed service management programs are able to pursue higher-level positions.

Your Best Option for a Career as a Heavy Automotive Mechanic

Do you want to be a heavy vehicle mechanic? If you want to pursue an Associate of Occupational Science in Heavy Vehicle Technology with Service Management, ATI is here for you, every step of the way. You can learn more about the variety of automotive programs offered by ATI through connecting with a friendly admissions advisor today.

Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Training