What does a bus mechanic do?
Bus mechanics maintain and repair the diesel engines and other components that power buses. They often work on a variety of systems such as electrical systems, water-cooling systems, and air-conditioning and heating systems. They typically focus on preventative maintenance to prevent more complicated problems. They perform routine checks and follow a checklist that includes checking steering mechanisms, brake systems, wheel bearings, and other essential components. They often adjust and repair parts that are not functioning properly and replace components that cannot be repaired. Bus mechanics use a variety of tools and equipment such as drills, wrenches, grinders, lathes, and welders.
What kind of training does a bus mechanic need?
Bus mechanics must have at least a high school diploma, but most employers prefer applicants with formal training. Many colleges and vocational and technical schools offer programs in diesel engine repair. Prospective bus mechanics often complete courses in mathematics, machine shop, electronics, and automobile repair. Many bus mechanics complete apprenticeship programs that combine classroom instruction and on the job training. Many employers provide on the job training to bus mechanics. New bus mechanics typically start out completing simple duties and move on to more advanced tasks as the gain the necessary skills and experience. Many employers require bus mechanics to complete regular continuing education and additional training to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with the latest technology and repair methods.
What are the prospects for a career as a bus mechanic?
Employment of bus mechanics is expected to grow slower than average for all professions, increasing 6% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need for a variety of buses will create some job growth.
Job prospects should be good especially for bus mechanics with formal training and related experience. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace bus mechanics that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do bus mechanics make?
As of March 2010, the average annual salary for bus mechanics is $36,000; average annual bus mechanic salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a bus mechanic is a great choice for people with a strong interest in performing a variety of maintenance and repair tasks on many different types of buses. Bus mechanics must have a solid understanding of the components and mechanisms of diesel engines and other parts of buses. Mechanical aptitude, detail orientation, physical stamina, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Bus mechanics must have good communication to be able to explain mechanical issues. They must be able to effectively work independently under stress and pressure.