Diesel Mechanics Degree in NC with Course Overviews

Jul 29, 2019

Research diesel mechanics degrees in North Carolina, which currently has about 13 schools offering programs. Read an overview of courses, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to decide which program is right for you.

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Essential Information

North Carolina has several colleges that offer associate degree programs related to diesel mechanics. Curricula for these programs prepare students to work with diesel engines and operating systems. Students learn to diagnose and repair engine and system components according to factory specifications. Many schools also offer certificate or diploma programs to accommodate non-degree seeking students.

Classes tend to focus on welding, lighting, steering, instrumentation, suspension and gauges as well as mechanical transmissions and tune-up procedures. Laboratory experiences and internships are often included, and students may have flexible scheduling options.

Although there are no certifications required by the state to work in diesel mechanics, the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers several voluntary certification test series that include diesel mechanics: Automobile and Light Truck Certification, Transit Bus Certification, School Bus Certification, Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification and Medium-Heavy Truck Certification. Many of the ten North Carolina-based programs below prepare students for one or more of these exams.


Asheville - Buncombe Technical Community College

This technical community college in Asheville offers three programs for students interested in the field of diesel mechanics. For degree-seeking students, the college's Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology is offered during the evening hours. Prior to enrolling in the associate program, students must complete the heavy equipment and transport technology diploma program. The associate program includes education on power trains as well as medium- and heavy-duty tune-up. Students are also required to complete a co-op internship prior to graduation. Graduates are prepared for ASE certification exams after meeting the experience requirements.

The diploma program requires completion of 47 credit hours. Students explore diesel engine, electrical systems and equipment. Six credit hours are devoted to the study of diesel engines. The class covers multiple aspects of engine work, including inspection and rebuilding specifications. Students also learn about lighting, instrumentation and gauges during the diesel electrical systems course. Welding, suspension and steering classes are also included. The school also offers a 17-credit certificate program.

Cape Fear Community College

Located in Wilmington, Cape Fear Community College offers associate degree, diploma and certificate programs in diesel and heavy equipment technology within the marine and diesel mechanics program. The school's Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program provides training in the maintenance and repair of marine and industrial engines and equipment. Students explore diagnosis and repair in courses that cover diesel engines, preventative maintenance and power trains. During the diesel engine course, students learn to rebuild engines according to faculty specifications. Students must complete a total of 52 credit hours for program completion.

CFCC also offers 41-credit hour diesel and heavy equipment technology diploma program that prepares students to inspect, test and repair marine and diesel equipment through courses on marine engines, diesel engines, diesel electrical systems and mechanical fuel injection. There is also a 15-credit certificate program that includes three course related to diesel mechanics. A majority of the class is devoted to lab time, so students gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis and repair of electrical circuits and components.

Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont Community College, located in Charlotte, offers numerous programs that include courses in diesel mechanics, including an associate degree program. Its Associate of Applied Science in Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology requires completion of 66 credit hours. The program begins with two courses in diesel engines, focusing on the operation, inspection and rebuilding of engine systems. Curriculum also covers mechanical orientation, diesel electrical systems and hydraulic systems. Students may also choose to complete eight credit hours of co-op work experience prior to graduation.

The school also offers two diploma programs and three certificate programs in diesel mechanics. Non-degree seeking students may choose to pursue a diploma in heavy equipment and transport technology or heavy equipment and transport technology/construction equipment systems. The three certificate programs allow specialization in diesel service and are each focused on types of repair work. The first includes courses on engines, diesel electrical systems, brake systems and preventative maintenance. The second reviews mechanical transmissions, suspension and steering. Students can also choose to take courses in welding and structural damage. The final certificate program includes instruction on medium- and heavy-duty tune-up, hydraulics, heating and AC systems. Students can choose to earn some required credits by completing a co-op work experience.

Coastal Carolina Community College

Situated in Jacksonville, Coastal Carolina Community College offers a diploma program and two certificate programs that include study in diesel mechanics. The college's heavy equipment and transport technology diploma program spans three semesters and 45 total credit hours. Students begin with courses on diesel engines and diesel electrical systems. The curriculum includes a review of factory specifications for engine rebuilds, as well as electrical theory and application in various types of vehicle equipment. The program also includes study in basic welding, heavy-duty braking systems and heavy-duty tune-up procedures.

Students can also enroll in the school's heavy equipment and transport technology certificate program. The 18-credit hour program focuses on the basics of heavy-duty machines. Coastal Caroline Community College also hosts a medium/heavy-duty power train certificate program. Students review the theory and application of skills needed to make adjustments to diesel engines. Shop rules and regulations, functionality of diesel electrical systems and hydraulic systems are also covered. The program requires completion of 14 credit hours.

Davidson County Community College

Davidson County Community College in Thomasville provides various courses of the study in diesel and heavy equipment technology. Students can choose from an associate program or five certificate programs with separate emphases. The Associate of Applied Science program in diesel and heavy equipment technology provides students with four semesters of diesel mechanics study. The first semester is dedicated to a 6-credit hour course in diesel engines. Students learn about the operation and design of diesel engines, as well as adjustment and reconstruction skills. Other class requirements include air brakes, hydraulics, transmissions and preventative maintenance.

Two of the certificate programs are available with an emphasis in diesel engines and service technician training. These programs range in length from 12-17 credits.

Forsyth Technical Community College

Located in Winston Salem, Forsyth Technical Community College offers diesel mechanics training through its diesel and heavy equipment technology program that may result in an associate's degree, diploma or certificate. Students pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technology spend 70 total credit hours in courses such as diesel engine repair, preventative maintenance, power trains and auto body MIG welding. Non-degree seeking students may choose to pursue the 17-credit hour D&HET certificate or the 41-credit hour diploma.

Guilford Technical Community College

Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown offers both a diploma and certificate program for students interested in diesel mechanics. Students enrolled in the diesel and heavy equipment technology diploma program spend three semesters reviewing shop rules and regulations, working with electrical engines and learning preventative maintenance practices. A mathematical models course is also required, where students explore sampling techniques and functional notation that will aid them in the field of diesel mechanics. The program requires 41 total credit hours.

The college's Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate is offered to students seeking a shorter program. Requiring completion of only 13 credit hours, the program includes four courses. Students review diesel electrical systems, suspension, steering and preventative maintenance. During the second semester, the medium- and heavy-duty brake system course provides instruction on the diagnosis and repair of hydraulic, ABS and air braking systems.

Johnston Community College

Situated in Smithfield, Johnston Community College offers students both full-time and part-time enrollment options in its associate degree and diploma diesel mechanics programs. The college also offers four separate certificate programs that include diesel mechanics study.

During the school's 2-year associate degree program in diesel and heavy equipment technology, students learn to troubleshoot and service diesel equipment. Curriculum includes classes in diesel engines, medium- and heavy-duty tune-up, air brakes and suspension systems. The diesel and heavy equipment technology diploma program can be completed within three semesters. Students review preventative maintenance, heavy-duty tune-ups and mechanical transmissions. Johnston Community College's certificate programs are available with a focus on diesel electrical systems, diesel electronics, diesel engines or diesel power train.

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh offers several associate degree programs related to diesel vehicles and mechanics. Students may choose between a diesel and heavy equipment program or ones that focus on construction equipment systems technology. Required classes include mechanical fuel injection, advanced equipment repair and construction equipment servicing.

Other related programs at this school include diplomas in diesel and heavy equipment technology and in construction equipment systems technology. Certificates are also available through the CEST program that focus on hydraulics, engines, and transmissions, and fuel injection, electrics, and electronics.

Wilkes Community College

Located in Wilkesboro, Wilkes Community College offers students three separate programs in the field of diesel mechanics. The school's Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology requires completion of 71 total credit hours. Course offerings include diesel electronic systems, biofuels and preventative maintenance.

Non-degree seeking students may choose a diploma program in diesel and heavy equipment technology. With only 39 required credit hours, the curriculum focuses on diesel engines and multiple heavy duty systems. A majority of the credit hours are devoted to lab hours, specifically in the power trains and diesel engines courses. The engine systems certificate program can be completed in one semester and requires 12 credit hours. Students take three courses: diesel engines, diesel electrical systems and shop rules and regulations. The majority of hands-on time is spent during the diesel engines course, where students learn the operations needed to inspect and rebuild engines to factory specifications.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Diesel Mechanics Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)
Asheville - Buncombe Technical Community College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate
$2,632 (in-state); $8,776 (out-of-state)*
Cape Fear Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate
$2,748 (in-state); $8,892 (out-of-state)*
Central Piedmont Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology,
Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology Diploma,
Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology/Construction Equipment Diploma,
Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology Certificate - Introduction to Diesel Service Repair I, II, III
$2,792 (in-district); $2,795 (in-state); $8,936 (out-of-state)*
Coastal Carolina Community College 2-year, public; small city Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology Diploma,
Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology Certificate,
Medium/Heavy Duty Power Train Certificate
$2,462 (in-state); $8,606 (out-of-state)*
Davidson County Community College 2-year, public; rural fringe Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate,
Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate with Emphasis in Diesel Engines
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate - Service Technician
$2,588 (in-state); $8,732 (out-of-state)*
Forsyth Technical Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate
$2,199 (in-state); $7,215 (out-of-state)*
Guilford Technical Community College 2-year, public; midsize suburb Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Certificate
$2,319 (in-state); $7,695 (out-of-state)*
Johnston Community College 2-year, public; rural fringe Associate of Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology,
Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma,
Diesel Electrical Systems Certificate in Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diesel Electronics Certificate in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diesel Engine Certificate in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diesel Power Train Certificate in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology
$2,657 (in-state); $8,801 (out-of-state)*
Wake Technical Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diploma in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Associate of Science in Construction Equipment Systems Technology,
Construction Equipment Systems Technology Diploma,
Fuel Injection, Electrics and Electronics Certificate,
Hydraulics, Engines and Transmissions Certificate
$2,768 (in-state); $8,912 (out-of-state)*
Wilkes Community College 2-year, public; distant town Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology,
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Diploma,
Engine Systems Certificate
$2,572 (in-state); $8,716 (out-of-state)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator.

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