Diesel Mechanics Degree Programs in Houston with Course Summaries

Sep 14, 2018

The Houston area has three public schools within 25 miles of downtown that offer diesel mechanics programs. Learn about the degree and certificate programs, admission info and program requirements for these three schools to make an informed education decision.

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Houston Diesel Mechanics Schools

This article offers an overview of three schools within a half-hour's drive of downtown Houston that offer certificate and degree programs in diesel mechanics. Also included is a table of information, such as enrollment figures and costs, which can aid prospective students in comparing the schools.

  • Houston Community College is one of Texas' largest 2-year schools. Its Northeast College campus is just eight miles from downtown and offers two diesel mechanics certificate programs.
  • Lone Star College System is another large public community college. Its industrial diesel technology program is available at the North Harris location, about 20 miles from downtown Houston.
  • Students who would rather enroll in an associate's degree program have the option of attending San Jacinto College in Pasadena, about 24 miles from downtown Houston. This school also offers certificate programs.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are looking for a Houston-area school at which to study diesel mechanics can use the following table to help them make a decision.

Houston Community College Lone Star College System San Jacinto College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 57,120* 72,336* 30,509*
Campus Setting Large city Small city Large suburb
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $1,632 for in-district students;
$3,360 for in-state students;
$3,756 for out-of-state students*
$1,600 for in-district students;
$3,403 for in-state students;
$3,760 for out-of-state students*
$1,500 for in-district students;
$2,580 for in-state students;
$4,140 for out-of-state students*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017-2018) 62%* 55%* 50%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2017) 65% for full-time students;
49% for part-time students*
67% for full-time students;
53% for part-time students
72% for full-time students;
57% for part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for Students Who Began in 2014) 18% (22% transfer-out rate)* 12% (21% transfer-out rate) 28% (13% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Houston Community College

The heavy vehicle and truck repair programs at Houston Community College prepare students for entry-level jobs as field technicians or engine and maintenance specialists. Students enrolled in these programs are required to provide their own tools in addition to textbooks.

Diesel Preventative Maintenance - Occupational Skills Award

The 12 credits required for this award can be completed in one full-time semester. In addition to learning how to test and repair diesel engines, students examine shop safety and brake systems.

Heavy Vehicle and Truck Repair Certificate

Students must earn 40 credits to obtain this certificate. Coursework can be completed in three full-time semesters. During the first semester, students take the same courses required for the Occupational Skills Award program. The second semester focuses on the diagnosis and repair of climate control and electrical systems. The program ends with courses in steering and suspension systems, preventative maintenance, hydraulics and transmissions. A diesel mechanics technician cooperative education course is also required.

Lone Star College System

Lone Star College System's Automotive Technology Department offers certificate and associate's degree programs at the North Harris and Montgomery locations. Its industrial diesel technology program is one of several fast-track certificate options available to students who would like entry-level career training.

Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Diesel Technology

This associate program teaches students how to disassemble, repair and reassemble diesel engines. Students also examine preventative maintenance procedures as well as electrical and control systems. This program requires 60 credit hours to complete.

San Jacinto College

Students who enroll in the diesel technology programs at San Jacinto College have the opportunity to receive credit for field experience during their final semester. Graduates of these programs are in high demand, and some students are hired before they graduate by such companies as AAA Cooper Freight Lines, Cummins, Gulf States Toyota and the City of Houston.

Diesel-Heavy Power Certificate

This 42-credit certificate program can be completed in three semesters. Courses include diesel engine testing and repair, shop safety, HVAC troubleshooting, motor control and power plant systems. This program excludes the general education courses required for the degree program.

Associate of Applied Science in Diesel-Heavy Power

This program requires 60 credits and can be completed in two years of full-time study. The curriculum includes the same diesel technology courses as the certificate program. Students also complete general education courses in composition, math and speech. They must choose a social or behavioral science course and a fine arts or humanities course as well.

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