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How to Train to Become a Bus Mechanic

Dec 28, 2021 ·

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Without skilled trade professionals, many of the things we do every day would be impossible. This includes technicians and mechanics who specialize in fixing and repairing vehicles out on the road.

Bus mechanics, also known as bus technicians, help fix and diagnose issues with buses and trucks and are familiar with the diesel engines that power these vehicles. Keeping buses in good condition is important for those who commute to work, school and everywhere in between.

Interested in this field? Keep reading to find out more about how you can take steps to train to become a bus mechanic.

Bus Mechanic Job Description

Buses and other large transit vehicles operate with diesel engines, so bus technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing these parts, along with other important systems.

The day-to-day duties of a bus mechanic can vary depending on what sector of the industry they’re in, but some common job tasks can include:

  • Diagnosing and repairing electrical systems
  • Maintaining hydraulic systems
  • Rebuilding and repairing engines
  • Troubleshooting transmissions
  • Performing road calls and repairs as needed
  • Testing the performance of parts
  • Performing engine tuneups
  • Recording maintenance work when completed
  • Adhering to safety policies and procedures

The role of a bus mechanic is a physical one that often requires standing and walking for long periods of time. A bus mechanic can also face changing weather conditions. Those who like working with their hands and have attention to detail could find this role fulfilling!

Bus Mechanic Salary and Job Outlook

It can be important to research all aspects of a potential career before deciding to pursue it. Knowing things like estimated salary and job outlook can help determine whether the job is the right fit for you.

Individuals who pursue careers as bus mechanics or technicians likely will start as entry-level diesel mechanics to become familiar with the powerful engines. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a great resource that can help give an idea of what to expect as far as median annual salary in various fields.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists in the United States was $54,360 in May 2022.29 This means half of diesel technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

Total diesel technician employment is expected to be 305,800 by 2031.48 There is a demand for skilled trade professionals in a range of fields, including diesel technology. Bus and truck mechanics play an important role in the day-to-day lives of many people, making the outlook for their positions bright.

How to Train to Become a Bus Mechanic

Like most hands-on jobs, having a combination of education and experience can make a big difference when looking to enter the workforce. Diesel engines found in buses are sophisticated machines, and having a foundational knowledge of them is important.

Getting a basic education in the form of a high school diploma or GED is the first step. Those interested in the field should then consider attending a trade school, where they can gain education and hands-on experience.

The Diesel Technology program at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) teaches students how to maintain diesel engines used in commercial vehicles on the road today. Courses touch on everything from preventative maintenance to the latest in high-tech electronics.

Students have the opportunity to train on equipment used by some of the biggest names in the industry, including Daimler Trucks North America, Cummins, Inc.,11 and Detroit Diesel Corporation.

The program is also Master Certified by the ASE Education Foundation, a division of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE. Those graduating from the Diesel program are able to substitute their training for one of the two years of work experience required to become ASE certified.16

This certification can help grads stand out when starting their careers in the industry. Along with their education, UTI grads are prepared for a range of entry-level jobs and can eventually specialize their crafts to align with the role of a bus mechanic or technician.1

Diesel Technology Training at UTI

If you’d like to take the first steps toward a role as a bus mechanic, getting the foundational education you need is a great start. UTI’s Diesel Technology program can help prepare you for a future you’re excited about.

Students can graduate from the program in less than a year7 and be ready to enter the workforce. Request more information today!

UTI Campuses That Offer Diesel Mechanic Training

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

11) See program details for eligibility requirements and conditions that may apply.

16) Not all programs are accredited by the ASE Education Foundation.

29) UTI’s Diesel Technology Program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as diesel technicians. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as diesel truck technicians, including in industries such as heavy equipment repair, power generation, and agriculture. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists (49-3031) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $32,360 to $94,400 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled diesel technicians in North Carolina is $24.18 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $20.56 and $17.49, respectively.

48) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that total national employment for Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists will be 305,800 by 2031. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2021 and projected 2031, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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