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Career profile Bus Mechanic

Also known as Bus Mechanic, Diesel Mechanic, Diesel Technician, Fleet Mechanic, General Repair Mechanic, Mechanic, Service Technician, Trailer Mechanic, Transit Mechanic, Truck Mechanic

Bus Mechanic

Also known as Bus Mechanic, Diesel Mechanic, Diesel Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$32,820 - $76,460 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Repairing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Operations Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Transportation
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • 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, or precision instruments, as well as power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, welding equipment, or jacks and hoists.
  • Adjust and reline brakes, align wheels, tighten bolts and screws, and reassemble equipment.
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What does a Bus Mechanic do?

Bus Mechanics diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engines.

In addition, Bus Mechanics includes mechanics working primarily with automobile or marine diesel engines.

What kind of tasks does a Bus Mechanic perform regularly?

Bus Mechanics are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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, or precision instruments, as well as power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, welding equipment, or 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.
  • Test drive trucks and buses to diagnose malfunctions or to ensure that they are working properly.
  • Perform routine maintenance such as changing oil, checking batteries, and lubricating equipment and machinery.
  • 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.
  • Inspect and verify dimensions and clearances of parts to ensure conformance to factory specifications.
  • Rebuild gas or diesel engines.
  • Inspect, test, and listen to defective equipment to diagnose malfunctions, using test instruments such as handheld computers, motor analyzers, chassis charts, or pressure gauges.
  • Rewire ignition systems, lights, and instrument panels.
  • Recondition and replace parts, pistons, bearings, gears, and valves.
  • 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.

The above responsibilities are specific to Bus Mechanics. More generally, Bus Mechanics are involved in several broader types of activities:

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 watercraft.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
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.

What is a Bus Mechanic salary?

The median salary for a Bus Mechanic is $50,200, and the average salary is $52,090. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Bus Mechanic salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Bus Mechanics earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Bus Mechanics earn less than $32,820 per year, 25% earn less than $40,180, 75% earn less than $62,290, and 90% earn less than $76,460.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Bus Mechanics is expected to change by 7.8%, and there should be roughly 28,100 open positions for Bus Mechanics every year.

Median annual salary
$50,200
Typical salary range
$32,820 - $76,460
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.8%

What personality traits are common among Bus Mechanics?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Bus Mechanic are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Bus Mechanics typically have very strong Realistic interests. 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.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Bus Mechanic tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Bus Mechanics strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Bus Mechanics moderately value 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.

Lastly, Bus Mechanics moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Bus Mechanics must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, adaptability/flexibility, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Bus Mechanics, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
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.

What education and training do Bus Mechanics need?

Bus Mechanics often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Bus Mechanics 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 this occupation.

Educational degrees among Bus Mechanics

  • 13.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 46.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.0% completed some college coursework
  • 13.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Bus Mechanics

Bus Mechanics may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, transportation, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Bus Mechanics might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Bus Mechanics

Bus Mechanics must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Bus Mechanics need abilities such as near vision, manual dexterity, and finger dexterity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Bus Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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.
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.
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 that there is a problem.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Critical Skills needed by Bus Mechanics

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Bus Mechanics frequently use skills like repairing, troubleshooting, and operations monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Bus Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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