Summary Report for:
49-3031.00 - Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engines. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile or marine diesel engines.
Sample of reported job titles: Bus Mechanic, Diesel Mechanic, Diesel Technician, Fleet Mechanic, General Repair Mechanic, Mechanic, Service Technician, Trailer Mechanic, Transit Mechanic, Truck Mechanic
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Inspect brake systems, steering mechanisms, wheel bearings, and other important parts to ensure that they are in proper operating condition.
- Use handtools such as screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, pressure gauges, and precision instruments, as well as power tools such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, welding equipment, and jacks and hoists.
- Adjust and reline brakes, align wheels, tighten bolts and screws, and reassemble equipment.
- Examine and adjust protective guards, loose bolts, and specified safety devices.
- Perform routine maintenance such as changing oil, checking batteries, and lubricating equipment and machinery.
- Test drive trucks and buses to diagnose malfunctions or to ensure that they are working properly.
- Raise trucks, buses, and heavy parts or equipment using hydraulic jacks or hoists.
- Attach test instruments to equipment, and read dials and gauges to diagnose malfunctions.
- Rebuild gas or diesel engines.
- Inspect and verify dimensions and clearances of parts to ensure conformance to factory specifications.
- Inspect, test, and listen to defective equipment to diagnose malfunctions, using test instruments such as handheld computers, motor analyzers, chassis charts, and pressure gauges.
- Recondition and replace parts, pistons, bearings, gears, and valves.
- Rewire ignition systems, lights, and instrument panels.
- Specialize in repairing and maintaining parts of the engine, such as fuel injection systems.
- Align front ends and suspension systems.
- Inspect, repair, and maintain automotive and mechanical equipment and machinery such as pumps and compressors.
- Install or repair accessories.
- Disassemble and overhaul internal combustion engines, pumps, generators, transmissions, clutches, and differential units.
- Diagnose and repair vehicle heating and cooling systems.
- Repair or adjust seats, doors, or windows.
- Follow green operational practices involving conservation of water or energy or reduction of solid waste.
- Adjust or repair computer controlled exhaust emissions devices.
- Measure vehicle emissions to determine whether they are within acceptable limits.
- Maintain or repair vehicles with alternative fuel systems, including biodiesel, hybrid, or compressed natural gas vehicles.
- Operate valve-grinding machines to grind and reset valves.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable widemouth pliers — Water pump pliers
- Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable crescent wrenches
- Automotive honing machine — Hones
- Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers
- Battery chargers
- Blow torch — Acetylene torches; Cutting torches
- Boring machines — Boring bars; Boring tools
- Box end wrenches
- Brake repair kits — Brake shoe adjusting tools
- Calipers — Dial calipers; Inside calipers; Outside calipers
- Circuit tester — Test lights
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Cold chisels
- Combination wrenches
- Compressed air gun — Blow guns
- Cross and straight pein hammer — Cross peen hammers
- Depth gauges
- Desktop computers
- Diagonal cut pliers — Diagonal cutting pliers
- Dial indicator or dial gauge — Dial gauges
- Drill press or radial drill — Drill presses; Punch presses
- Dynamometers — Dynanometers
- Ear plugs — Hearing protectors
- Engine or component test stands — Fuel pump test stands; Governor test stands
- Feeler gauges — Spark plug gapping tools
- Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Gas welding equipment
- Hacksaw — Hacksaws
- Hammers — Brass hammers
- Hand reamer — Reamers
- Hex keys
- Hole gauge — Bore gauges
- Hydraulic pumps — Hydraulic rams
- Impact wrenches
- Induction heaters — Bearing heating ovens
- Locking pliers — Vise grip pliers
- Metal inert gas welding machine — Metal inert gas MIG welders
- Mill saw file — Single-cut mill saw files
- Milling machines
- Needlenose pliers
- Open end wrenches
- Paint sprayers — Paint spray guns
- Personal computers
- Pneumatic impact wrenches — Pneumatic wrenches
- Pneumatic sanding machines — Blast cleaning cabinets
- Portable data input terminals — Detroit diesel electronic control DDEC readers; Flash card readers; Handheld diagnostic computers
- Power drills — Drill machines
- Power grinders — Grinding machines
- Power sanders
- Power saws
- Pressure indicators — Pressure gauges
- Pressure or steam cleaners — Steam cleaning equipment
- Pressure sensors — Injector pop testers
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Pry bars
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Brass drifts; Punch sets
- Putty knives
- Retaining ring pliers — Snap ring pliers
- Rivet tools — Riveting tools
- Round file — Rat tail files
- Safety glasses
- Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Shielded arc welding tools
- Sledge hammer — Sledgehammers
- Slings — Chain slings
- Slip or groove joint pliers — Slip joint pliers
- Socket sets — Socket wrench sets
- Spark plug wrench — Spark plug sockets
- Specialty wrenches — Bleeder wrenches; Flare nut wrenches; Pump wrenches; Slug wrenches
- Speed sensors — Decelerometers
- Spot welding machine — Portable welding equipment
- Stamping dies or punches — Punches
- Stripping tools — Wire strippers
- Tape measures
- Thickness measuring devices — Snap gauges
- Tire pressure gauge — Tire pressure gauges
- Torque wrenches
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Lathes
- Tungsten inert gas welding machine — Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment
- Two way radios
- Utility knives
- Vacuum pumps
- Valve refacer — Valve seat grinders
- Voltage or current meters — Voltmeters
- Welder torch — Brazing equipment
- Welding masks — Welding hoods
- Wheel balancing equipment — Wheel balancers
- Wire cutters — Wire cutting tools
- Wire lug crimping tool — Wire crimpers
- Workshop cranes
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software
- Facilities management software — Shop management software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Detailed Work Activities
- Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
- Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
- Align equipment or machinery.
- Repair defective engines or engine components.
- Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning.
- Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
- Install vehicle parts or accessories.
- Inspect mechanical components of vehicles to identify problems.
- Adjust vehicle components according to specifications.
- Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
- Troubleshoot equipment or systems operation problems.
- Service vehicles to maintain functionality.
- Observe equipment in operation to detect potential problems.
- Repair non-engine automotive or vehicle components.
- Operate transportation equipment to demonstrate function or malfunction.
- Measure equipment outputs.
- Measure distances or dimensions.
- Dismantle heavy equipment or machinery.
- Grind parts to required dimensions.
- Rebuild parts or components.
- Rewire electrical or electronic systems.
- Service green vehicles to make repairs or maintain good working order.
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 90% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 73% responded “Every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 49% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 51% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 58% responded “More than half the time.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 49% responded “More than half the time.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “40 hours.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 42% responded “Very important.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 22% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 45% responded “More than half the time.”
- Time Pressure — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 49% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Deal With External Customers — 45% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 46% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 44% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 32% responded “Very important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 51% responded “High responsibility.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 40% responded “High responsibility.”
- Electronic Mail — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 34% responded “Never.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 40% responded “About half the time.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|40||High school diploma or equivalent|
|30||Less than high school diploma|
Interest code: RC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$21.40 hourly, $44,520 annual|
|Employment (2014)||264,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Faster than average (9% to 13%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||76,900|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Diesel service technicians and mechanics . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) , 2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 302, Arlington, VA 22201. Phone: (703) 247-4212. Fax: (703) 247-4533.
- National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) , 101 Blue Seal Dr. SE, Suite 101, Leesburg, VA 20175. Phone: (703) 669-6650. Fax: (703) 669-6125.
- National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) , 101 Blue Seal Dr. SE, Suite 101, Leesburg, VA 20175. Phone: (703) 669-6600.
- SkillsUSA , P.O. Box 3000, Leesburg, VA 20177-0300. Phone: (703) 777-8810. Fax: (703) 777-8999.