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Career and Education Opportunities for Farm Equipment Mechanics in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Farm equipment mechanics can find many career and educational opportunities in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. There are currently 1,740 working farm equipment mechanics in Iowa; this should shrink 2% to 1,710 working farm equipment mechanics in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for farm equipment mechanics, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.9% over the next eight years. Farm equipment mechanics generally diagnose, adjust, or overhaul farm machinery and vehicles, such as tractors, harvesters, and irrigation systems.

Income for farm equipment mechanics is about $15 hourly or $32,640 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $31,860 per year. Earnings for farm equipment mechanics are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Heavy Transport Equipment in Iowa and not quite as good as general Heavy Transport Equipment category earnings nationally.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a farm equipment mechanic. The most common level of education for farm equipment mechanics is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a farm equipment mechanic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Farm Equipment Mechanic

Farm Equipment Mechanic video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, farm equipment mechanics diagnose, adjust, or overhaul farm machinery and vehicles, such as tractors, harvesters, and irrigation systems.

Farm equipment mechanics repair or remove faulty parts, using hand tools, milling and woodworking equipment, lathes or saws. They also reassemble equipment following repairs, test operations, and make adjustments as needed. Equally important, farm equipment mechanics have to clean and lubricate parts. They are often called upon to maintain and overhaul farm machinery and vehicles, such as tractors and irrigation systems. They are expected to dismantle faulty equipment for repair, using hand tools. Finally, farm equipment mechanics drive trucks to haul tools and equipment for on-site maintenance of large machinery.

Every day, farm equipment mechanics are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices. It is also important that they twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for farm equipment mechanics to calculate bills in line with record of fixes made and parts used. They are often called upon to set up and repair agricultural irrigation and sprinkler systems. They also examine and listen to equipment, read inspection reports, and talk with customers to place and diagnose malfunctions. Somewhat less frequently, farm equipment mechanics are also expected to record specifics of fixes made and parts used.

And finally, they sometimes have to test and remove electrical parts and wiring, using test meters and hand tools.

Like many other jobs, farm equipment mechanics must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Auto Body Mechanic. Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.
  • Auto Mechanic. Repair automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles. Master mechanics repair virtually any part on the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system.
  • Bus or Truck Garage Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul trucks, buses, and all types of diesel engines. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile diesel engines.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Farm Equipment Mechanic Training

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has an associate's degree program in Agricultural Power Machinery Operation which graduated thirteen students in 2008.


Automatic Sprinkler System Layout: This certification program is for engineering technicians engaged in the layout and detailing of automatic sprinkler systems which must meet existing and proposed code and statutory requirements.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.