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Oregon Apprenticeship Guide
Job Description
Fare technicians clean and repair fare registers used in rapid transit railway stations. They disassemble, clean, replace defective parts, repair, reassemble and maintain registers.
Heavy-duty bus mechanics inspect, repair and maintain diesel and liquefied natural gas buses. They maintain and repair electrical systems, air systems, heating and cooling systems, brake systems, suspensions, steering systems, wheelchair lifts, engines and transmissions.
Maintenance mechanics repair and replace defective parts, maintain and test mechanical equipment- such as engines and motors including electrical equipment. They install special functional and structural parts in devices. Apprentices must pass the Oregon State Electrical Board´s Limited Maintenance Electrician license at the completion of the program.
Overhead technicians, rail vehicle mechanic technicians and traction/substation technicians all install, maintain and test electrical wiring and equipment such as motors, generators, air conditioning units, electrical outlets and lighting fixtures of light rail vehicles.
Signal technicians inspect, test and repair electrical gate crossings, signals and signal equipment.
Working Conditions
All public transit positions are located in the Tri-Met Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District in Portland. Most of the positions work inside the shop, although the mechanics may do some outside work and the signal technicians work primarily outside. Many work with or around electricity and heavy equipment. The working conditions may be greasy, dirty and dusty and exposure to solvents and exhaust is common. The work is often done in awkward and cramped positions.
Beginning apprentices start at between 65 to 73 percent of the journey-level wage. Upon successful completion of required class work and on-the-job hours, wages increase usually every six months until the journey-level rate is achieved.
Length of Apprenticeship
The apprenticeship for these programs lasts three to four years. Apprentices must complete a minimum of 144 (most require 500) related classroom hours per year and 6,000 to 8,000 on-the-job training hours.
Minimum Qualifications
Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, they must provide proof of high school graduation or general education development (GED) equivalent. Local apprenticeship committees may require additional qualifications.
Apprenticeship Committees  
MA# 1061
Tri-Met Heavy Duty Bus Mechanic JATC
Area 1
MA# 1078
Tri-Met Rail Maint/Vehi/Mech/Tech JATC
Area 1