Overall employment of heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians is projected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
As the stock of heavy vehicles and mobile equipment continues to increase, more service technicians will be needed to maintain them. In particular, demand for heavy equipment used in construction, mining, and energy exploration will result in employment growth for service technicians. Growth rates will vary by specialty.
Employment of farm equipment mechanic and service technicians is projected to grow 13 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for farm equipment repairers will be primarily driven by the need for agricultural products to feed a growing population. Demand for other products, such as biofuels, will also increase repairer employment.
Employment of mobile heavy equipment mechanics is projected to grow 16 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth of mobile heavy equipment mechanics will be spurred by increased construction activity. Population and business growth will result in the construction of more houses, office buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures.
Employment of rail car repairers is projected to grow 17 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Rail car repairers will be needed to accommodate the continued expansion of railways for freight shipping and transportation.
Most job opportunities will come from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation. Those with certificates from vocational schools or 2-year degrees from community colleges should have very good job opportunities as employers strongly prefer these candidates. Those without formal training will have difficulty finding jobs.
The majority of job openings are expected to be in sectors that sell, rent, or lease heavy vehicles and mobile equipment, where a large proportion of service technicians are employed.
The construction and mining industries, which use large numbers of heavy equipment, are sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. As a result, job opportunities for service technicians in these sectors will vary with overall economic conditions.
Job opportunities for farm equipment mechanics are seasonal, and are, generally, best during warmer months.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition