Farm Equipment Mechanics Education and Training Program Overviews
Farm equipment mechanics are an important part of the agricultural industry and in high demand during the growing season. Students with an aptitude for mechanics who are interested in farm equipment repair may seek a technical diploma or associate's degree in diesel technology.
Technical Diploma Programs in Diesel Technology
Students who are considering an entry-level career in farm equipment repair may pursue a technical diploma in diesel technology. Most programs last two years and provide hands-on experience in construction, truck and agricultural equipment repair.
Graduates are prepared for jobs as diesel service technicians or mechanics. In general, most schools prefer to admit applicants who have earned a high school diploma or who have passed the General Educational Development (GED) examination prior to enrollment.
Students learn how to analyze trucks, farm and construction equipment for malfunctions, repair techniques and an overview of diesel technology. Courses may cover the following topics:
- Diesel engine repair
- Hydraulics repair
- Automotive electricity
- Suspension systems repair
- Preventative maintenance
Popular Career Options
Graduates often pursue an entry-level mechanic or repair technician position, as well as the following career options:
- Agricultural equipment consultant
- Tractor sales
- Bus repair
Associate's Degree in Diesel Mechanics
A student interested in a general education in math and science in addition to professional skills in farm equipment repair may wish to complete an associate's degree in diesel mechanics. A full-time student can complete most programs in two years and many students continue their studies to complete a bachelor's degree in a related field.
Classroom and laboratory coursework primarily covers the fundamentals of diesel technology and repair including use of shop tools, diagnostic equipment operation and basic business or customer service skills. Most programs require that applicants to earn a high school diploma or pass the GED examination in order to qualify for admission.
Students spend much of their time in the shop, gaining practical first-hand knowledge of how to operate the tools of the trade. Most programs provide a thorough overview of multiple diesel vehicles - including farm equipment - and common required repairs. Courses may include the following subjects:
- Applied structural analysis
- Diesel brake systems
- Power train mechanics
- Fuel systems repair
- Truck electrical systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of farm equipment mechanics was expected to increase 13% between the years 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). The BLS notes that the need for these mechanics will be driven by the demand for agricultural products for consumption, in addition to the call for biofuels. The BLS also reported that the median annual wage of farm equipment mechanics in 2012 was $34,760.
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