Home page

Farm Equipment Mechanics

At a Glance

  • Repair machines used in farming work
  • Use testing equipment and hand tools
  • Work alone most of the time
  • May travel to get to equipment needing repair
  • Train through formal training programs or on the job

Career summary

Farm equipment mechanics make sure that farm machinery operates correctly.

#3115 no alt titles or infor brought over, checked 2/26/15 lh

Farm equipment mechanics maintain, repair, and install machines used for planting, harvesting, and other farm activities. They check equipment and make minor adjustments, clean parts, and tune engines.

When a piece of farm equipment is not working correctly, mechanics must figure out what is wrong. They use testing equipment to find the problem. They watch the engine while it is running to find any loose parts or leaks. Sometimes they must take the engine apart to find a problem. Farm equipment mechanics replace worn and broken parts. They monitor the repaired machine to make sure it is running properly.

Some farm equipment mechanics focus on specific types of farm machines, such as large tractors or combines. Others install and repair irrigation and sprinkler systems. Farm equipment mechanics document the repairs they make and the parts they use in order to calculate a bill.

As farming practices are updated, more advanced farming equipment is being used. Modern farming equipment uses advanced electronics and computer technology. Farm equipment shops sometimes require mechanics to update their skills so they can service advanced equipment.

Usually farmers bring farm equipment to the shop for maintenance and repairs. Sometimes farm equipment mechanics travel to farms to work on large machinery. Mechanics may also make emergency trips to farms during the planting or harvesting season.

Related careers

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to farm equipment mechanics.

Common work activities

Farm equipment mechanics perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, farm equipment mechanics:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Farm equipment mechanics frequently:

It is important for farm equipment mechanics to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for farm equipment mechanics to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Farm equipment mechanics need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a farm equipment mechanic, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Some farm equipment mechanics learn their skills through formal training. Professional-technical schools and two-year colleges offer diesel technology programs. In these programs you learn the fundamentals of diesel engines, transmissions, and hydraulics. Most programs provide a combination of class instruction and hands-on practice. Programs last between six months and two years. Two-year programs usually grant an associate degree.

Work experience

Growing up on a farm or doing farm work can be good preparation for this occupation. Not only do you need to know how to fix the machinery, you also need to know how to operate it and what it does.

On-the-job training

Most farm equipment mechanics learn their skills on the job. They receive training from experienced mechanics. You begin by working as a helper. As a helper, you perform routine services and make minor repairs. As you get more experience, you work on more complex tasks. During training, you learn to:

On-the-job training usually takes three to four years to complete.

Mechanics who have a degree in diesel technology often receive on-the-job training as well. They start with more advanced tasks than people who learn all their skills on the job.

Because farming technology changes quickly, all mechanics may receive training from manufacturer's representatives.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate. Physics and Chemistry courses are good preparation for this occupation.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers prefer to hire mechanics who have a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers prefer people who have completed a training program in farm machinery repair. Training in mechanics, welding, and computers are very helpful for getting a job. Applicants should be physically able to perform the work. The work often requires lifting heavy parts and pieces of machinery.

Some employers may require applicants to obtain a commercial driver's license. Employers look for workers who are neat in appearance, punctual, willing to learn, and able to get along well with other staff and customers.


Any knowledge of hydraulic, electrical and/or diesel fuel systems, and small gas engines is helpful. People who have worked on farms and can operate farm machinery have an advantage. Take additional classes or seek on-the-job training to increase your skills. Get as much training in electrical systems and components as possible. Familiarity with computers and course work in basic computer technology is also important.

Costs to workers

Farm equipment mechanics usually must purchase their own tools.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Farm equipment mechanics and service technicians (SOC 49-3041)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $14.25 $16.37 $19.60 $25.21 $29.10
Monthly $2,470 $2,837 $3,397 $4,369 $5,043
Yearly $29,650 $34,050 $40,760 $52,430 $60,520
    Bellingham Hourly $13.28 $14.40 $18.38 $26.36 $29.90
Monthly $2,301 $2,496 $3,185 $4,568 $5,182
Yearly $27,616 $29,963 $38,241 $54,818 $62,187
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $13.92 $16.13 $18.82 $25.15 $29.47
Monthly $2,412 $2,795 $3,262 $4,358 $5,107
Yearly $28,939 $33,532 $39,144 $52,317 $61,288
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $15.56 $17.11 $20.34 $26.06 $29.58
Monthly $2,697 $2,965 $3,525 $4,516 $5,126
Yearly $32,370 $35,587 $42,315 $54,203 $61,509
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $16.21 $17.06 $18.49 $19.85 $22.72
Monthly $2,809 $2,956 $3,204 $3,440 $3,937
Yearly $33,704 $35,485 $38,452 $41,292 $47,264
    Vancouver Hourly $16.52 $20.13 $24.75 $27.77 $29.68
Monthly $2,863 $3,489 $4,289 $4,813 $5,144
Yearly $34,362 $41,855 $51,469 $57,776 $61,732
    Wenatchee Hourly $16.69 $18.58 $21.31 $24.55 $31.50
Monthly $2,892 $3,220 $3,693 $4,255 $5,459
Yearly $34,723 $38,648 $44,325 $51,062 $65,524
    Yakima Hourly $15.05 $17.18 $21.06 $26.26 $29.41
Monthly $2,608 $2,977 $3,650 $4,551 $5,097
Yearly $31,317 $35,722 $43,800 $54,628 $61,175
United States Hourly $12.88 $15.77 $19.54 $24.24 $29.13
Monthly $2,232 $2,733 $3,386 $4,201 $5,048
Yearly $26,790 $32,800 $40,630 $50,410 $60,590

Wages vary by time of the year. During the planting and harvest seasons, mechanics have many opportunities to work overtime and earn higher wages. However, mechanics may work less during some of the winter months.

Full-time farm equipment mechanics usually receive benefits. Common benefits are paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

In Washington, opportunities should be best for trained mechanics with experience or training in electronic systems, who can work on technically advanced farm equipment.

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Farm Equipment Mechanics (SOC 49-3041)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 1,451 11.6% 16.1% 179
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 400 12.3% 13.4% 50
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 108 9.3% 8.6% 12
    Benton and Franklin Counties 214 10.7% 15.0% 25
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 15 13.3% 15.2% 2
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 47 12.8% 14.1% 5
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 253 7.1% 14.6% 28
    King County 32 9.4% 19.6% 3
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 303 11.6% 13.8% 37
    Pierce County 51 15.7% 15.2% 7
    Snohomish County 12 16.7% 12.4% 1
    Spokane County 40 10.0% 13.9% 4
United States 45,400 3.7% 5.2% 4,800

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for farm equipment mechanics will be driven by the need for agricultural products to feed a growing population. Demand for other products, such as biofuels, will also increase jobs for mechanics.

Job openings will occur as people retire or leave the occupation. Competition for these openings will not be strong. Employers report difficulty finding trained people to fill farm mechanic positions. This may be because those who might repair farm equipment can also work as mechanics in other fields where they often earn more money. Opportunities are seasonal, and are, generally, best during warmer months.

Other resources

AgCareers.com (external link)
Western USA Office
Irrigation Association (external link)
8280 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22031
National Farmers Organization (external link)
528 Billy Sunday Road, Suite 100
PO Box 2508
Ames, IA 50010
National Future Farmers of America Organization (external link)
PO Box 68960
6060 FFA Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960
North American Equipment Dealers Association (external link)
165 North Meramec Avenue, Suite 430
Clayton, MO 63105
Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057
Washington Farm Bureau (external link)
975 Carpenter Road NE, Suite 301
Lacey, WA 98516


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster