The curriculum of an associate's degree program in diesel heavy truck technology generally includes coursework and hands-on training to give students experience working on vehicles. Internship opportunities could also provide additional experience. Students must pass the commercial driver's license (CDL) exam. An applicant should have a high school diploma or GED equivalent for admission.
These 2-year programs are commonly offered at community colleges and tech schools. They prepare students for jobs in many different industries and can help them work towards voluntary professional certification.
Associate's Degree in Diesel Heavy Truck Technology
Students can develop skills in heavy vehicle maintenance, repair and fabrication. They can also develop skills to follow instructions in repair manuals easily and the problem-solving skills to address new problems as they present themselves. Course topics may include:
- Truck and automotive shop management, preventative maintenance inspections
- Heating and air conditioning, truck and trailer refrigeration systems
- Automated and hybrid drive systems
- Electrical and electronics systems
- Diesel engine repair
- Pneumatic brakes and systems, steering and suspension
Popular Career Options
Once students have completed the program, they may find job opportunities in various industries, such as construction companies, road and highway crews, forestry industries and diesel trucking companies. Possible career titles may include:
- Diesel equipment technician
- Electronic systems diagnostic specialist
- Repair and diagnostic technician
- Engineering assistant
- Fleet maintenance manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists earned an annual median salary of $44,520 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). From 2014-2024, diesel service technicians and mechanics could expect 12% growth in jobs, which was faster than the national average for all occupations, per the BLS.
Certification and Advancement Information
Although post-secondary education is not typically required of diesel heavy truck technology professionals, formal education with a college or vocational school could help prepare students for work and may offer an advantage in the field. In addition, promotions and advancements often come when employees gain more experience in the profession. With experience and additional training, individuals may find positions as shop foremen, service writers or manager, DOT (Department of Transportation) inspectors, equipment sales specialists, factory sales specialists and research and development technicians.
After at least two years of work experience in a specific field, diesel service technicians and mechanics can obtain voluntary certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE offers certification in multiple areas, such as inspection, electronic systems, brakes and truck repair.
Training for heavy truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists is available at the associate's degree level in diesel heavy truck technology programs. Although these programs aren't required for employment, post-secondary training and voluntary industry certifications may give mechanics an advantage when looking for jobs.