There are 4 public schools in Florida that provide diesel technology training to prospective mechanics, though these institutions typically award vocational certificates rather than degrees. In addition to classroom and laboratory coursework, common program requirements include passing scores on a Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) in reading, math, and language. Curriculum concentrates on hands-on training on equipment and parts, as well as safety standards.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
This Jacksonville school offers a 60-credit certificate program in diesel technology through its Florida Coast Career Tech Division. Students receive 1,800 contact hours of training, and the program can be completed in 15 months. Topics of study include the maintenance, diagnosis, and repair of diesel engines. Students also learn how to work on electrical, electronic, brake, and hydraulic systems components. Steering and suspension systems, transmissions and drive trains, and heating and air conditioning systems are also covered. Students who fulfill all program requirements are awarded a Certificate of Completion and are prepared to take applicable ASE certification exams. A minimum TABE score of 7 is required for entrance to this program.
Miami Lakes Educational Center
Miami Lakes Educational Center in Miami Lakes offers a training program that prepares students for employment as mechanics who work on heavy-duty trucks and buses, industrial engines, or earth-moving equipment. This program provides 1,800 clock hours of training, and a full-time student can complete the program in 24 months. Students learn how to maintain and repair the following: chassis and power train components, electrical systems, and gas and diesel engines. The curriculum also covers job safety and includes an ASE test preparation course.
Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth offers 3 certificate programs for aspiring diesel technicians. The introductory diesel technology program provides 1,050 clock hours of training and can be completed in 1 year. Coursework prepares students to take the ASE's diesel engine, brake systems and electrical/electronic systems exams. Graduates can matriculate to the second diesel technology program, which provides an additional 750 hours of training through advanced courses in drive trains, heating and cooling systems, and hydraulic systems. This training can be completed in 8 months. A more comprehensive heavy equipment mechanics program is also available. Curriculum provides 1,800 total hours of training and prepares students for entry-level employment as mechanics who work on heavy trucks and buses as well as other diesel-powered vehicles and equipment.
Robert Morgan Educational Center
Students enrolled in the bus and truck mechanic program at this Miami technical school can learn how to overhaul and perform preventative maintenance on diesel engines. They can also learn how to repair fuel injection systems and service brakes, drive trains, and hydraulics systems. In addition to employment as diesel technicians, graduates of this 1,800-clock-hour program can find jobs as mechanics who work on boats, agricultural equipment, and power generation equipment.
Though certification isn't required to work as a diesel technician in Florida, some employers prefer to hire technicians who've been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). To be eligible for ASE certification, applicants must pass an exam and acquire at least 2 years of work experience. However, graduates of a trade or technical school's 2-year training program can substitute their education for up to 1 year of experience.
Some employers also require diesel technicians to earn a commercial driver's license. They might also need to provide their own tools.
Read on for more information about each of the schools to offer programs related to diesel technology and to find a comparison table with schools' tuition costs and settings.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Diesel Technology Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees|
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||4-year, public; large city||Medium and Heavy Duty Truck and Bus Technician (Diesel Technology) Workforce Certificate||$2,830 in-state; $9,944 out-of-state (2015-2016)*|
|Miami Lakes Educational Center||2-year, public; large suburb||Heavy Duty Truck and Bus Mechanics Program||Approximately $5,155; includes program tuition, application fees and miscellaneous equipment fees (as of 2015)**|
|Palm Beach State College||4-year, public; large suburb||Diesel Technology 1 Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate,
Diesel Technology 2 Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate,
Heavy Equipment Mechanics Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate
|$2,444 in-state; $8,732 hour out-of-state (2015-2016)*|
|Robert Morgan Educational Center||2-year, public; large suburb||Heavy Duty Truck and Bus Mechanics Certificate of Completion||$4,608 program tuition (2015-2016)**|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Schools' websites