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Details for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists


Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul trucks, buses, and all types of diesel engines. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile diesel engines.


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


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Related Careers

  • Electric Motor, Power Tool, and Related Repairers
  • Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines
  • Motorboat Mechanics
  • Motorcycle Mechanics
  • Outdoor Power Equipment and Other Small Engine Mechanics
  • Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
  • Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators
Wages for this career
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