Students in associate's degree programs in diesel and heavy equipment mechanics work with hand tools as well as computerized testing equipment, allowing them to experience and identify real-world problems. Safety topics - such as mechanic safety and hazardous materials disposal - are also covered in accordance with national standards. Many programs go beyond technical training to include communication and customer service skills. Programs typically take two years to complete and require extensive hands-on practice in a laboratory setting. Applicants need only a high school diploma in order to enroll.
Associate's Degree in Heavy Equipment
Diesel and heavy equipment mechanic associate's degree programs are generally offered at technical or vocational colleges. Some programs allow students to enroll by taking a standardized test, such as the COMPASS, to evaluate basic skills. Submission of scores from more competitive standardized tests, such as the ACT and SAT, is rarely required. Heavy equipment mechanic programs cover the diagnostics and repair of diesel-powered vehicles. Course topics address:
- Fundamentals of electrical systems, air conditioning and refrigeration
- Diesel fuel systems
- Servicing drive trains and diesel engines
- Basic and advanced hydraulics
- Introduction to equipment welding
- Environmentally safe practices
Popular Career Options
Graduates of diesel and heavy equipment mechanic associate's degree programs are qualified for the following entry-level jobs:
- Diesel mechanic
- Farm equipment mechanic
- Truck mechanic
- Construction equipment mechanic
- Hydraulics technician
Continuing Education Information
Diesel and heavy equipment mechanic associate's degree programs provide the necessary education for a career as a forklift mechanic. While advanced degrees in the same field are not available, some students pursue bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering, which offer in-depth study of related subjects.
By dedicating two years to earning an associate's degree in heavy equipment, students will become qualified for a career as a diesel mechanic or hydraulic technician, among many other jobs. If students wish to further their education, they may elect to pursue a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.