A two-year technical diploma program may prepare students to function at the entry level by teaching the fundamentals of welding, automotive electricity and hydraulics repair. A related two-year associate's degree program will have general education coursework along with core program subjects that may include fuel systems repair, power train mechanics and truck electrical systems. Both program types require high school diplomas for admission and allow opportunities for hands-on learning.
Technical Diploma Programs in Diesel Technology
Most diesel technology diploma programs provide hands-on experience in construction, truck and agricultural equipment repair. Students learn repair techniques, how to analyze trucks, farm and construction equipment for malfunctions and receive an overview in diesel technology. Courses may cover the following topics:
- Diesel engine repair
- Hydraulics repair
- Automotive electricity
- Suspension systems repair
- Preventative maintenance
Associate's Degree Programs in Diesel Mechanics
Classroom and laboratory coursework primarily covers the fundamentals of diesel technology and repair including use of shop tools, diagnostic equipment operation and basic business or customer service skills. Students spend much of their time in the shop, gaining practical first-hand knowledge of how to operate the tools of the trade. Most programs provide a thorough overview of multiple diesel vehicles - including farm equipment - and common required repairs. Courses may include the following subjects:
- Applied structural analysis
- Diesel brake systems
- Power train mechanics
- Fuel systems repair
- Truck electrical systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates often pursue an entry-level mechanic or repair technician position, as well as the following career options:
- Agricultural equipment consultant
- Tractor sales
- Bus repair
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of farm equipment mechanics was expected to increase 7% between the years 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS notes that the need for these mechanics will be driven by the demand for agricultural products for consumption, in addition to the call for biofuels. The BLS also reported that the mean annual wage of farm equipment mechanics in 2015 was $38,510.
Technical diplomas and associate's degrees in diesel technology prepare students for work as farm equipment mechanics. Both programs provide the training needed to repair and maintain complicated farm equipment machinery, but associate's degrees also offer general education courses in the curriculum.