Bus Mechanics must have a strong mechanical aptitude manual dexterity sound judgment and reasoning ability attention to detail and good communication skills. Bus mechanics sometimes called diesel technicians or diesel service technicians maintain and repair diesel engines which come standard in most buses.
Bus mechanics use tools such as lathes grinding machines pneumatic wrenches welding equipments and jacks. They often use hand-held computers to diagnose problems that might require attention. When employed by companies that own a fleet of vehicles bus mechanics carry out routine maintenance which prevents the expense of total breakdowns. Bus mechanics usually work 40 hours per week although self-employed mechanics may work more hours.
In general bus mechanics must be 18 years of age or older and have a commercial drivers license so they can do test-drives. Bus mechanics must pass drug tests and should be in good physical condition because they must stand stoop kneel or lie in difficult positions. Many high schools offer courses in automotive repair and electronics which are a good background for this profession.
Trade schools vocational schools and community colleges have courses in diesel engine repair and programs can run from six months to two years and include both classroom and hands-on instruction. Some programs award certificates or associates degrees upon completion. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook is promising for individuals who complete some type of formal training in diesel mechanics.
National certification by the National Institute for Automotive Excellence (ASE) is not required but makes it easier to advance in this profession. Currently the median hourly salary for bus mechanics is $20.