Diesel technology courses involve classroom study to explore the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of engines along with lab courses to provide hands-on experience with power tools, lifts and testing equipment. Some programs also include units on welding and repair shop procedures. Applicants need a GED or high school diploma for admission to this associate's degree program.
Associate's Degree in Diesel Technology
Associate's degree programs normally have a general education component, but the requirements vary in intensity for diesel technology programs. Some schools only require courses in math and English, while others also require electives in the humanities or social sciences. Most programs require two years of full-time study and graduates may qualify to apply for professional certification as diesel mechanics upon graduation. Students study electrical systems, engines, brakes and preventative maintenance. Diesel technology course topics include:
- Engine technology introduction
- Engine repair
- Basic electrical systems
- Diagnostic procedures
- Brake hydraulics
- Steering and suspension
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Earning a diesel technology associate's degree qualifies graduates to work as diesel mechanics and diesel engine specialists. Trucking companies, auto repair shops and manufacturers are among the employers of mechanics. Over the 2014-2024 decade, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment of diesel service technicians and mechanics will grow 12 percent; this growth will come from an increase in the number of diesel-powered vehicles in use, offset by the durability of new engines (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists earned a median wage of $44,520, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers multiple certifications related to diesel technology. Associate's degree holders may earn ASE certification in medium and heavy trucks, school buses and transit buses, and well as a diesel engine diagnostic specialist. Certification in the first three entails passing multiple exams on engine and vehicle systems. Certification in the last entails passing a single exam.
Associate's degree programs in diesel technology prepare aspiring mechanics for work with trucking companies, manufacturers and auto repair shops as diesel mechanics and engine specialists. Following graduation, students can apply for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications specific to heavy trucks, buses or diesel engines.