Heavy truck mechanics work for trucking companies, truck fleet dealers, independent repair shops and local government agencies. Depending on their type of employment, some also perform maintenance and repair work on buses, farm equipment and other vehicles with diesel engines. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects slow job growth in this occupation, favorable job prospects are likely, partly because many heavy truck mechanics are reaching retirement age. Most heavy truck mechanics are paid at least $15 per hour as of 2010.
The average salary for heavy truck mechanics as of May 2010 was $20.31 per hour, or $42,250 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent of these workers were making $15.85 to $24.30 per hour, or $32,970 to $50,550 per year. The bottom 10 percent had wages of $12.76 per hour and less, and the top 10 percent were earning $29.24 per hour and higher, or $60,830 per year and more.
Types of Employment
Heavy truck mechanics working in general freight trucking had pay rates of $18.68 per hour in 2010, and those employed in specialized trucking were making a bit less at $18.29 per hour. Other heavy truck mechanics worked in automotive repair and maintenance at an average pay rate of $19.16 per hour; for motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies wholesalers at $20.12 per hour and for local government agencies at $23.33,
The highest employment levels for heavy truck mechanics by state were in some of the most populous regions. Texas had the largest number in 2010 with an average pay rate of $18.72 per hour. Heavy truck mechanics in California had average wages of $23.23 per hour, in New York state $23.14, in Ohio $19.13, and in Pennsylvania $18.99 per hour.
The top-paying states for heavy truck mechanics were not the same as those with the largest numbers of these workers. Ranking in first place was Alaska, where heavy truck mechanics were paid $26.97 per hour on average, or $56,110 per year. Rounding out the top five areas by state or district were Hawaii, with an average salary for heavy truck mechanics of $26.01 per hour, Nevada at $24.21, the District of Columbia at $23.62, and Wyoming at $23.61.