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Career and Education Opportunities for Bus or Truck Garage Mechanics in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for bus or truck garage mechanics in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 3,360 working bus or truck garage mechanics in Maryland; this should grow 14% to 3,840 working bus or truck garage mechanics in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for bus or truck garage mechanics are expected to grow by about 5.7%. In general, bus or truck garage mechanics diagnose, adjust, or overhaul trucks, buses, and all types of diesel engines.

Income for bus or truck garage mechanics is about $20 hourly or $43,340 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $18 per hour or $39,390 annually. Earnings for bus or truck garage mechanics are better than earnings in the general category of Heavy Transport Equipment in Maryland and better than general Heavy Transport Equipment category earnings nationally.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a bus or truck garage mechanic. Given that the most common education level for bus or truck garage mechanics is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a bus or truck garage mechanic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Bus or Truck Garage Mechanic

Bus or Truck Garage Mechanic video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, bus or truck garage mechanics diagnose, adjust, or overhaul trucks, buses, and all types of diesel engines. They also includes mechanics working primarily with automobile diesel engines.

Bus or truck garage mechanics use handtools such as screwdrivers and precision instruments, as well as power tools such as pneumatic wrenches and jacks and hoists. They also examine brake systems and other important parts to insure that they are in proper operating condition. Equally important, bus or truck garage mechanics have to attach test instruments to equipment, and read dials and gauges to diagnose malfunctions. They are often called upon to perform routine maintenance such as changing oil and lubricating equipment and machinery. They are expected to rewire ignition systems and instrument panels. Finally, bus or truck garage mechanics examine and maintain automotive and mechanical equipment and machinery such as pumps and compressors.

Every day, bus or truck garage mechanics are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they control objects and devices with precise control.

It is important for bus or truck garage mechanics to recondition and remove parts, pistons and valves. They are often called upon to rebuild gas or diesel engines. They also specialize in repairing and maintaining parts of the engine. They are sometimes expected to align front ends and suspension systems. Somewhat less frequently, bus or truck garage mechanics are also expected to use handtools such as screwdrivers and precision instruments, as well as power tools such as pneumatic wrenches and jacks and hoists.

Bus or truck garage mechanics sometimes are asked to operate valve-grinding equipment to grind and reset valves. They also have to be able to test drive trucks and buses to diagnose malfunctions or to insure that they are working properly and raise trucks and heavy parts or equipment using hydraulic jacks or hoists. And finally, they sometimes have to rebuild gas or diesel engines.

Like many other jobs, bus or truck garage mechanics must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Bus or Truck Garage Mechanic Training

North American Trade Schools - Baltimore, MD

North American Trade Schools, 6901 Security Blvd, Suite 16, Baltimore, MD 21244. North American Trade Schools is a small school located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 550 students and an admission rate of 40%. North American Trade Schools has a one to two year program in Diesel Mechanics Technology/Technician which graduated fifty-six students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Truck Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist: The Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist (L2) test consists of questions that test technicians' diagnostic knowledge of diesel engine mechanical and computer-controlled fuel systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Master School Bus Technician: The ASE School Bus Technician Test Series includes seven certification exams: Body Systems and Special Equipment (S1), Diesel Engines (S2), Drive Train (S3), Brakes (S4), Suspension and Steering (S5), Electrical/Electronic Systems (S6), and Air Conditioning Systems and Controls (S7).

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Master Transit Bus Technician: The ASE Transit Bus Test Series has two certification exams: H4-Brakes and H6-Electrical/Electronic Systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Transit Bus Technician: Brakes: Successfully passing test H4 will certify you in transit bus brakes.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Transit Bus Technician: Electrical/Electronic Systems: Successfully passing test H6 will certify you in transit bus electrical/electronic systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Truck Equipment Specialist: Installation and Repair: Successfully passing test E1 will certify you as a truck equipment specialist in installation and repair.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Truck Equipment Specialist: Electrical/Electronic Systems: Successfully passing test E2 will certify you as a truck equipment specialist in electrial/electronic systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Truck Equipment Specialist: Auxiliary Power Systems: Successfully passing test E3 will certify you as a truck equipment specialist in auxiliary power systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.