Bulldozer Mechanic: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a bulldozer mechanic. Learn about the education requirements, employment growth and potential salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Heavy Equipment degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Bulldozer Mechanic?

A bulldozer mechanic is a heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technician who specializes in servicing bulldozers. These professionals perform scheduled maintenance on bulldozers, which can include general cleaning and lubrication. When a bulldozer malfunctions, they run diagnostic tests to identify the source of the problem and design a solution strategy, such as part replacement. After completing any kind of maintenance, bulldozer mechanics record the work that they have done, so that they have a continuous log of information on the machine's condition.

The following table provides information for this profession:

Education Required High school diploma
Training Required Diesel mechanic or construction equipment education program, on-the-job training
Key Responsibilities Inspect and maintain bulldozers, troubleshoot mechanical problems, test major components
Certification Certification is voluntary
Job Growth (2014-2024) 5% (for all mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines)*
Median Salary (2015) $48,770 (for all mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Become a Bulldozer Mechanic?

If you want to become a bulldozer mechanic, you can enroll in diesel mechanic or construction equipment education programs. These are often available as associate's degree, undergraduate certificate and professional training programs through community colleges, technical schools and vocational institutions. Diesel mechanic and construction equipment programs typically feature hands-on training and can be completed in 1-3 years, depending on the type of education.

What Will I Learn?

You'll learn about diesel repair and electronics, in addition to general education areas that can aid your professional development, such as English and math. The following are courses you're likely to find in the curriculum:

  • Diesel engine design
  • Engine maintenance and performance
  • Lubrication and cooling systems for diesel machines
  • Induction exhaust maintenance
  • Power trains and transmissions

Courses also introduce you to the equipment you're likely to use on the job. Such equipment might include power, hand-held and machining tools. A few examples of devices and machines you'll learn to employ include:

  • Jacks
  • Hoists
  • Grinding machines
  • Lathes
  • Welding equipment
  • Frame cutting equipment

In construction equipment training programs, you could learn about multiple types of construction equipment while specializing in diesel equipment technology. Areas of study frequently include diesel testing and repair, preventative maintenance, hydrostatic transmissions and undercarriage repair. You'll become familiar with hydraulic systems, heating and cooling systems, electrical maintenance, ventilation and brake systems.

What Would My Job Duties Entail?

As a bulldozer mechanic, you could be employed by large construction firms, mining companies, wholesale distribution organizations, leasing firms or government agencies. In general, you could be responsible for inspecting and maintaining bulldozers. This might include using diagnostic computers to pinpoint faulty components, dismantling the vehicle and cleaning or repairing parts. You'll also provide preventative maintenance and ensure equipment complies with safety standards.

What Is the Job Market Like?

According to projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for mobile heavy equipment mechanics, which includes bulldozer mechanics, was expected to increase by 5% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Major factors in employment growth for this profession included an increase in heavy equipment use and greater sophistication of technology, which requires trained mechanics. The median annual salary for mobile heavy equipment mechanics was $48,770 as of May 2015, according to the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of working on bulldozers and other construction equipment, you could become a different kind of equipment service mechanic. For instance, as a rail car repairer, you would focus on maintaining and repairing locomotives and subway cars for railroad, transportation companies and rail car manufacturers. Alternatively, you could choose to operate heavy equipment yourself. In this job, you might make minor repairs to the machine you use, but your main job would be to run the controls. For work as either a mechanic or an operator, you need to have at least a high school diploma.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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