Prospective heavy truck mechanics can receive training by obtaining a certificate through a diesel technology program or an associate's degree. Students learn about truck engines and systems through classroom and hands-on training. This training is obtained in campus shop settings as well as internships in professional garages.
Certificate Programs in Medium and Heavy Truck Technology
In addition to developing an honest work ethic, students learn about the diagnosis and repair of diesel engines, suspension and steering, brakes, and electrical and electronic system repairs. Credits can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science degree program. Sample courses include:
- Basic truck electricity
- Truck drivetrains
- Fuel systems
Associate's Degree Programs in Heavy Truck Technology
Students learn how to repair and service medium and heavy-duty trucks, and other diesel machinery. Topics such as hybrid powertrain systems, multi-fueled engines and environmentally friendly diesel engines are covered in the curriculum. Internships may be required with trucking companies, garages, dealerships and construction companies. Courses in the classroom that supplement hands-on training include:
- Fundamentals of truck technology
- Truck service
An associate's degree for heavy equipment, truck and diesel technicians can lead to many other specialized job opportunities as:
- Service managers
- Diesel engine specialists
- Shop foremen
- Truck fleet mechanics
- Wheel alignment specialists
From 2018-2028, jobs for diesel service technicians and mechanics, including those who work on trucks, are expected to increase at a rate of 5%. Job opportunities may arise due to the increase of freight being shipped across the United States. In 2018, the mean salary for truck and bus mechanics and diesel engine specialists was $49,150 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
Certificate and associate's degree programs in heavy truck mechanics prepare students not only to become heavy equipment technicians and mechanics, but also diesel engine specialists, shop foremen and truck fleet mechanics. Curriculum is taught through a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on training and internships in garages, dealerships and trucking companies.