Heavy Vehicle Technology: Diploma Overview

Vehicle technology diploma programs equip students with diagnostic and preventative maintenance skills in hydraulic systems, electrical engines, and power train systems. Graduates are prepared to work on diesel engines in various vehicle types.

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Essential Information

Students enrolled in a vehicle technology diploma program learn about shop and equipment safety, professionalism, and how to care for the shop and their personal tools. Programs allow students to learn through classroom lectures and lab studies and sometimes even include cooperative work experiences.

While no technical skills are required for admission, good reading, writing, comprehension, and overall communication skills are expected. Prospective students must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some schools also ask applicants to submit drug test results. After completing these one-year training programs, graduates can earn certification as heavy vehicle technicians.


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Diploma Programs for Heavy Vehicle Technology

Diploma programs train future technicians to become comfortable working with electronics and computers due to the modern technology involved in heavy vehicles. Course topics include:

  • Preventative maintenance
  • Medium/heavy duty tune-up
  • Diesel engines
  • Mechanical fuel injections
  • Applied mathematics
  • Equipment braking systems

Popular Career Options

Graduates are trained to professionally repair, maintain, and entirely overhaul a wide range of vehicles. They may find career opportunities working for farms, construction companies, railroad industries, or companies offering heavy vehicle repair and maintenance services. Common job titles are:

  • Heavy vehicle service technician
  • Service technician
  • Heavy vehicle mechanic
  • Mobile equipment service technician or mechanic
  • Farm equipment mechanic

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment opportunities for heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians will increase by 5% from 2014 to 2024, which is about as fast as the average compared to other occupations. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics earned an annual average salary of $50,080 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Although service technicians may be hired without training and receive on-the-job training, most employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed formal training programs. Formal training often gives employees a competitive edge in the workplace. Once employees have obtained some work experience, they may seek field service jobs or choose to become service managers or shop supervisors.

Although this field doesn't typically have one certification for heavy vehicle technicians, applicants may obtain certifications through specific vehicle manufacturers. Certifications demonstrate both ability and knowledge in a specific area.

In brief, a diploma program in heavy vehicle technology trains students to perform tasks expected from mechanics, such as the assessment, repair, and maintenance of vehicles used in various industries. Mechanics who obtain a diploma are well-versed with the different technology found in heavy vehicles and may opt to take certification exams to increase their work prospects.

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