• 11/1/2021
  • By Doosan Infracore North America LLC

A service technician replaces a filter in a Doosan crawler excavator.

Heavy equipment service technicians are in high demand at dealerships across North America. Much of the demand is due to the tight labor market coupled with fewer technicians in the industry.

This sought-after profession can be a lifelong career. Average service technician salaries range from $39,000 for an entry-level technician to $62,000, depending on location and years of experience.

What does it take to become a technician and work on construction equipment? Education, hands-on learning, and continuing education and training.


Education Requirements

While not required, it’s highly encouraged for aspiring technicians to earn an associate’s degree or a certificate in heavy equipment technology. These programs include classroom instruction and hands-on learning opportunities.

Community colleges are ideal places to earn an associate’s degree or complete a certification program. They can be more affordable than traditional four-year universities. There may be scholarships available from local companies to help pay for a student’s associate’s degree; plus they may offer internship experience.

While enrolled in a technician or diesel technology program, students may take classes in diesel engines, electricity, math and heavy equipment repair.

If you’re in high school and interested in becoming a service tech, be sure to study math and computer science. It can also be helpful if you take shop classes to learn about and work on equipment or vehicles.

A heavy equipment service technician performs work in the field using a mobile lubrication truck.


Hands-on Learning

In a technician training program, you’ll learn hands-on using construction equipment. These opportunities may involve training in a repair shop or in field conditions.

Community colleges may partner with manufacturers who help support tech training programs. Providing financial assistance to help fund a technician curriculum, for example.

Some manufacturers offer in-person learning opportunities where students can practice their skills on construction equipment. Manufacturers may invite students to their facilities to practice their skills on machines or components.

Skills learned during hands-on opportunities may include the following:

  • Properly using shop tools
  • Servicing machine systems
  • Performing system checks
  • Examining a drive line
  • Investigating failure analysis
  • Welding and fabrication to make repairs

A heavy equipment service technician retrieves tools from his field service truck and performs maintenance at a jobsite.


Continuing Education and Training

After completing a program and getting hired, technicians may have the chance to continue learning and participate in training opportunities.

For example, Doosan works with its dealers to offer a service learning path to provide additional training. According to Ben Rodriguez, Doosan dealer and service training manager, there are both online and in-person training opportunities.

“We offer service training 24/7 with our online learning program via Doosan University,” Ben says. “We have over 70 technical courses geared to familiarize and educate technicians on Doosan products and machine systems.”

In addition to online training, Doosan provides in-person training opportunities. Felix Colon, a Doosan training instructor manager, provides face-to-face classes. Additional off-site learning is available, too.

“We utilize two training facilities at education centers,” Ben says. “In Mexico, New York, we utilize the facilities at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation. A second location is at Conestoga College in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.”


The Evolution of Technicians

Much of today’s technician work is driven by increased technology in equipment and tools.

“The role of a technician has drastically changed over the years,” Ben says. “Not long ago, they were called mechanics, but today they are called technicians. I believe this change is in big part to the role and responsibility of a technician. Today, not only is a technician responsible for working on the mechanical portion of equipment but also to be able to connect diagnostic equipment and work on the electrical and electronics. The days of using a test light are gone.”

Today, not only is a technician responsible for working on the mechanical portion of equipment but also to be able to connect diagnostic equipment and work on the electrical and electronics. The days of using a test light are gone.
Ben Rodriguez, Doosan Infracore North America, Dealer and Service Training Manager