What Is a Fleet Mechanic?

Mar 9, 2021 ·
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Companies that rely on cars, large trucks, buses and/or heavy equipment like cranes and bulldozers need to keep their vehicles up and running. This collection of vehicles and equipment is called a company fleet. A fleet mechanic, also known as a fleet technician, works on the engines and machinery that power a fleet, keeping businesses operating with minimal interruption.

If you like working on cars or big trucks and are interested in working for a business rather than at a shop or dealership, you might be interested in a career as a fleet technician. Get the answer to what is a fleet technician, learn about typical duties and work environment, and find out how to become a fleet mechanic in this guide.

Fleet Mechanic Job Description

Fleet technicians work for corporations and businesses that employ a collection of vehicles used to transport goods or provide services, or that use a fleet of equipment to produce work. These vehicles might be big trucks with diesel engines that transport goods across the country. They might be cranes and bulldozers at a construction site. The vehicles a company uses may be regular-size cars, like at a rental car company. Or they might be vans that a cable service company provides for its technicians.

Other examples of fleets include:

  • Delivery fleets that transport products to customers
  • Car rental and taxi fleets
  • Trucking and commercial fleets that carry products
  • Public utility fleets for maintenance and repair services, like electrician services
  • Trucking fleets for moving companies
  • Vehicles for police departments, fire departments and ambulance services
  • Limousines for chauffeur services

Fleet mechanics service, maintain and diagnose these vehicles so there’s no interruption in business operations. All vehicles need proper maintenance to stay running, and it’s the fleet mechanic’s job to make sure vehicles are in top condition to keep employees safe and business moving.

Typical Duties of Fleet Mechanics

The role of a fleet mechanic is similar to a mechanic who works in a dealership or shop, but a main difference is that the fleet mechanic is employed by a specific company. This might give a fleet mechanic access to similar perks someone working in a corporate office might get. If a mechanic is passionate about a particular brand or is interested in working for a company with a specific focus, they may be able to find work as a technician for the company’s fleet.

The day in the life of a fleet mechanic may include:

  • Repairing vehicles
  • Diagnosing automotive or diesel issues
  • Creating a scope of work to fix problems
  • Communicating with a fleet manager about work
  • Traveling to make remote repairs

Diesel students work on an engine in a UTI lab.

A fleet mechanic may work on-site at a company garage, where the fleet is located. Fleet mechanics may also travel to make repairs when vehicles or equipment break down and can’t be towed. A fleet mechanic may work with other mechanics and usually reports to a fleet manager.

Career Outlook & Salary for Fleet Mechanics

The career outlook and salary for fleet mechanics will vary depending on the employer, location, the types of vehicles you’re working on and other factors. There are fleet mechanic positions in every state for a variety of industries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists was $50,200 in May 2020.29 For automotive service technicians and mechanics, the median annual salary was $44,050 in May 2020.25 This means half of diesel and automotive technicians and earned more, while half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

As long as there are cars and trucks on the road, the need for fleet mechanics will remain, which can make this a great choice for those looking for stability in their career. Plus, becoming a fleet mechanic can provide flexibility, as your skills will most likely be transferrable to a variety of industries.

How to Become a Fleet Mechanic

Like any mechanic position, employers often prefer to hire fleet technicians who have automotive technology training and/or diesel technology training.

In addition to training, certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is preferred for fleet technicians. ASE is the standard service technician credential for both automotive and diesel service technicians. Many fleet technicians get ASE certified while working, since certification requires two years of work experience.

Diesel and automotive technician training at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) provides formal fleet technician training. Plus, it qualifies for one year of work experience toward ASE certification, which means entry-level fleet technicians who are UTI graduates can become certified for their employers more quickly.16

Fleet mechanics who want to continue to work for their current company can progress in their role by becoming a fleet manager. A fleet manager is responsible for other fleet mechanics on the team.

Learn More About Auto & Diesel Technician Training

If you’re interested in working as a fleet technician, formal training that moves you toward ASE certification can help you stand out as a candidate. UTI training can bring you up to speed to begin an entry-level position as a fleet technician. 2 That saves employers time and money to train you, so you can get on track to your career sooner.

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