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Career and Education Opportunities for Bus or Truck Garage Mechanics in Rapid City, South Dakota

Rapid City, South Dakota provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for bus or truck garage mechanics. There are currently 1,160 jobs for bus or truck garage mechanics in South Dakota and this is projected to grow by 15% to 1,330 jobs 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. In general, bus or truck garage mechanics diagnose, adjust, or overhaul trucks, buses, and all types of diesel engines.

Bus or truck garage mechanics earn about $16 hourly or $34,330 per year on average in South Dakota and about $18 per hour or $39,390 annually on average nationally. Bus or truck garage mechanics earn less than people working in the category of Heavy Transport Equipment generally in South Dakota and more than people in the Heavy Transport Equipment category nationally.

The Rapid City area is home to six schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Rapid City where you can get a degree as a bus or truck garage mechanic. Bus or truck garage mechanics usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Bus or Truck Garage Mechanic Training

Western Dakota Technical Institute - Rapid City, SD

Western Dakota Technical Institute, 800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, SD 57703-4018. Western Dakota Technical Institute is a small school located in Rapid City, South Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 959 students and an admission rate of 97%. Western Dakota Technical Institute has a two to four 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: Rapid City, South Dakota

Rapid City, South Dakota
Rapid City, South Dakota photo by Xnatedawgx

Rapid City is situated in Pennington County, South Dakota. It has a population of over 65,491, which has grown by 9.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Rapid City, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rapid City are priced at $147,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred ninety-eight new homes were constructed in Rapid City, down from two hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Rapid City are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 26.7% of Rapid City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rapid City is 5.7%, which is greater than South Dakota's average of 4.5%.

The percentage of Rapid City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 62.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.

Rapid City is home to the Lazy J RV Park and Campground and the Pioneer Museum as well as College Park and Dinosaur Park. Shopping malls in the area include Haines Station Shopping Center, Baken Park Shopping Center and Baken Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Rapid City can choose from Lazy U Motel, Stardust Motel and Motel Town House for temporary stays in the area.