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Career Profile: Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engines. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile or marine diesel engines.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 293,200 people employed as bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists in the United States. The median annual salary is $48,690. Entry level employees earn approximately $35,730 per year and senior employees earn approximately $76,150 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Test drive trucks and buses to diagnose malfunctions or to ensure that they are working properly.
  • Raise trucks, buses, and heavy parts or equipment using hydraulic jacks or hoists.
  • Attach test instruments to equipment, and read dials and gauges to diagnose malfunctions.
  • Rebuild gas or diesel engines.
  • Inspect and verify dimensions and clearances of parts to ensure conformance to factory specifications.
  • Inspect brake systems, steering mechanisms, wheel bearings, and other important parts to ensure that they are in proper operating condition.
  • Use handtools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, pressure gauges, or precision instruments, as well as power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, welding equipment, or jacks and hoists.
  • Adjust and reline brakes, align wheels, tighten bolts and screws, and reassemble equipment.
  • Examine and adjust protective guards, loose bolts, and specified safety devices.
  • Perform routine maintenance such as changing oil, checking batteries, and lubricating equipment and machinery.
  • Inspect, test, and listen to defective equipment to diagnose malfunctions, using test instruments such as handheld computers, motor analyzers, chassis charts, or pressure gauges.
  • Recondition and replace parts, pistons, bearings, gears, and valves.
  • Rewire ignition systems, lights, and instrument panels.
  • Specialize in repairing and maintaining parts of the engine, such as fuel injection systems.
  • Align front ends and suspension systems.
  • Inspect, repair, and maintain automotive and mechanical equipment and machinery, such as pumps and compressors.
  • Install or repair accessories.
  • Disassemble and overhaul internal combustion engines, pumps, generators, transmissions, clutches, and differential units.
  • Diagnose and repair vehicle heating and cooling systems.
  • Repair or adjust seats, doors, or windows.
  • Follow green operational practices involving conservation of water or energy or reduction of solid waste.
  • Adjust or repair computer controlled exhaust emissions devices.
  • Maintain or repair vehicles with alternative fuel systems, including biodiesel, hybrid, or compressed natural gas vehicles.
  • Operate valve-grinding machines to grind and reset valves.
  • Measure vehicle emissions to determine whether they are within acceptable limits.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
293,200
Annual Openings:
28,500
Increase in Openings by 2031:
4%
Annual Salary Range:
$35,730 - $76,150
Education Requirements:
High school diploma