Is It Hard To Switch Fields as a Heavy Duty Mechanic?

3 Min
HD Mechanic standing with a clipboard in his hand

We’ve been getting lots of questions lately from many heavy-duty mechanics who are curious about exploring other fields but aren’t sure how to make the switch. However, the one that struck us the most because of the countless times we’ve come across it is whether or not it’s hard to switch fields. Particularly, switching between transportation, construction, forestry, manufacturing, farming, mining and oil, and gas.

Well, the short answer is No. It’s not hard. 

However, there are a lot of factors to consider before making the transition. In addition, there might be a learning curve because of the difference in equipment.

Let’s delve deeper.

Heavy Duty Mechanic Q&A: Is it hard to switch fields?
How Hard Or How Easy Is It To Switch Fields?

As we’ve said, it’s not difficult to switch from one field to the other because a lot of the skills are transferable from one trade to the other.

Most of the heavy-duty mechanics in the transport, construction, forestry, farming, and mining industries work a lot of the time with heavy equipment that are more often than not very similar. For example, excavtaors are used in construction, forestry, and mining, so your skills with performing a 250 hour service on an excavator can certainly be used in any of those industries.

However, it’s going to be a little difficult to transition to the oil and gas and the manufacturing fields because they deal more with chemicals, instrumentation, and automation. Therefore their equipment is totally different.

For instance, in these fields, you will be working on equipment like mills, whereas in transport construction, forestry, mining, and farming, you may be working on a mini-excavator or other similar equipment.

Ideally, on the latter, you’d be working a lot on mobile equipment, while in the oil and gas and the manufacturing fields, you’d work a lot on stationary equipment.

HD Mechanic standing with a clipboard and answering questions
HD Mechanic explaining how to make the switch to HD
How To Make The Switch

While it is not hard to switch from one field to the other, what seems to be the biggest problem for a lot of people is getting their foot in the door.

For example, If you’ve been working on transport trucks for years and wish to transition to heavy equipment, it may take a little struggle to get your foot in the door. But once you get in and you get that first job it becomes so much easier to find your footing. 

To make the switch easier, you could start by familiarizing yourself with the industry by joining relevant programs, network with people in your target industry, consider career coaching, gain relevant skills, update your resume among others.

Have You Considered Becoming An Operator?

Heavy equipment operators are still in demand and in no danger of being made obsolete any time soon. It can be a challenging but rewarding career if you’re up for it. You will have to undergo heavy equipment operation training to make the transition, but you’ll have the advantage of already being familiar with the equipment.

Want to learn more heavy-duty mechanic tips? Visit our FortisHD blog

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