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

For those living in the Columbia, South Carolina area, there are many career and education opportunities for bus or truck garage mechanics. Currently, 3,170 people work as bus or truck garage mechanics in South Carolina. This is expected to grow 16% to 3,660 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for bus or truck garage mechanics, which sees this job pool growing by about 5.7% over the next eight years. Bus or truck garage mechanics generally diagnose, adjust, or overhaul trucks, buses, and all types of diesel engines.

A person working as a bus or truck garage mechanic can expect to earn about $16 hourly or $35,280 per year on average in South Carolina and about $18 hourly or $39,390 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Heavy Transport Equipment, people working as bus or truck garage mechanics in South Carolina earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Heavy Transport Equipment nationally.

There are twenty 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

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College - Orangeburg, SC

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, 3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118-8299. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College is a small college located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,605 students. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College has a less than one year program in Diesel Mechanics Technology/Technician which graduated three 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, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.