About Me

auto body prep-work to do yourself

When you take your car in for auto body work, the mechanic will have a lot of work to do. Each minute that the mechanic spends prepping your car to make the repairs is money that you will owe when the repairs are finished. So, is there anything that you can do to make the mechanic's job a little easier and lower the cost of the repairs for you? This blog is all about preparing vehicles for auto body repairs. Here, you will learn what prep-work you can do at home so that the repairs are completed more quickly and the cost is less.

auto body prep-work to do yourself

Begin A Career As A Heavy Equipment Repair Technician In High School And Avoid College Debt

by Jeremy Hudson

As the cost of a four-year college education continues to rise, many high school graduates are turning to career paths that don't require bachelor's degrees. One such path is working as a heavy equipment technician. If you're in high school, here's how you can become a heavy equipment technician, along with the what the job market currently looks like for techs.

Start Working at a Heavy Equipment Repair Facility During High School

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there aren't any formal requirements for entry-level heavy equipment technicians, but fully qualified techs have 3 to 4 years of experience in the field.

Because there aren't any formal requirements for entering the field but experience is important, you should start looking for a job as a heavy equipment technician as soon as you're able to. You can even jump-start your career in the field by looking for a position during high school. While your friends are bagging groceries and filing papers, you could be starting to learn about bulldozers, graders, excavators and dump trucks. This knowledge will prove more valuable as you advance in your career than knowing how to properly stack milk and eggs in a grocery bag will be.

Depending on your location and availability, you may have a hard time initially getting a position as a heavy equipment technician during high school. There might not be any heavy equipment repair facilities nearby, or the facilities close to you might be looking for full-time technicians only. Even if you can't get a position as a heavy equipment technician, there are jobs you can look for during high school that will provide relevant experience you can use to land tech jobs after graduating. If a heavy equipment technician job isn't available, you might try the following:

  • look for an office job at a heavy equipment repair facility
  • offer to help repair large equipment on farms in your area
  • spend your summers working with marine mechanics repairing diesel-powered boats
  • volunteer to help pit crews if there's an auto race track nearby

Any experience you can get working at a heavy equipment repair facility, or fixing large or diesel-powered machines, will help you prepare for working in the heavy equipment repair industry.

Save Up for an Associate Degree

If you land a paid position working on heavy equipment or similar engines during high school, set aside some of the money you make for post-high school classes. The BLS notes that pursuing education or training can shorten the amount of experienced required to become a fully qualified heavy equipment service technician. Getting an associate degree after high school in heavy equipment service or a related field could help you become a qualified tech more quickly.

Although post-secondary classes aren't free, going for an associate degree will be much less expensive than attending college for four years -- especially if there is a program in your area and you can live at home. If you continue to work in the field while getting your degree and have some money saved up from working during high school, you may not need to take out student loans to pay for the degree.

Enjoy a Viable Career Path

Just a few years out of high school you should be able to be a fully qualified heavy equipment service technician. Once you are, you'll have a long, stable career path ahead of you. The field is expected to grow by 5 percent through 2024, and the median wage for a technician is $45,930 annually.

If you're in high school and the thought of graduating college with $33,000 of debt, which was the average student loan debt for college graduates in 2014, scares you, consider pursuing a career as a heavy equipment technician. The career path offers a decent salary, and you can begin pursuing a career in the field while you're still in high school.