Atlanta-Area Schools with Heavy Equipment Training Programs
Atlanta-area students who want to learn how to repair and maintain heavy equipment have the choice of several colleges that are part of the Technical College System of Georgia. All are within a 35-minute drive of downtown. This article examines those three schools and the programs they offer. There is a table of information about these institutions, such as enrollment, tuition and acceptance rates, that may help individuals choose their best option. Facts about one more school with a relevant program, a bit farther from the city, is included at the end of the article.
- Atlanta Technical College is less than three miles from downtown. This college offers diesel electrical/electronics systems technician, diesel truck maintenance technician and diesel engine service technician certificates, as well as a diesel equipment technology diploma program.
- Chattahoochee Technical College offers a technical certificate program in diesel equipment technology at its north metro campus, which is slightly more than 15 miles from downtown Atlanta.
- Gwinnett Technical College provides a certificate program for aspiring heavy equipment service technicians that can prepare them for employment after two semesters. It is about 28 miles from Atlanta's city center.
Comparison of Schools
Students need to be aware of many facts about a school when making a decision on their education. This table presents data about each institution in a format that makes it simple to compare them.
|Atlanta Technical College||Chattahoochee Technical College||Gwinnett Technical College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||4,098*||10,201*||8,321*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb||Large suburb|
|Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$2,816 in-state; $4,952 out-of-state*||$2,782 in-state; $4,918 out-of-state*||$2,868 in-state; $5,004 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||94%*||85%*||79%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||58% for full-time students; 42% for part-time students*||53% for full-time students; 43% for part-time students*||61% for full-time students; 53% for part-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for students who began studies in Fall 2014)||44%*||26%*||36%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
Atlanta Technical College
Students must be at least 16 and possess a high school diploma or GED for admission to the diesel certificate and diploma programs at Atlanta Technical College. Completion of all courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation.
Diesel Electrical/Electronics Systems Technician Certificate
This 2-course, 10-credit program is designed to train students for entry-level positions in the field. Studies address tools and safety as well as diagnosis and repair of electrical and electronics systems, such as charging, starting and lighting systems.
Diesel Truck Maintenance Technician Certificate
This certificate program prepares students for entry-level positions as diesel engine service technicians. Students must earn 25 credit hours in the six required classes to earn this certificate. These classes cover diesel electronics and electrical systems, tools and safety and diesel engines. Students are trained in the operations and repair of truck drivetrains, transmissions and brake systems.
Diesel Engine Service Technician Certificate
This certificate program prepares students for entry-level positions as diesel engine service technicians. Students must earn 17 credit hours in the three required classes to earn this certificate. These classes cover diesel electronics and electrical systems, tools and safety and diesel engines. Students are trained in shop operation, basic welding, electrical system diagnosis, fuel supply systems and engine brakes.
Diesel Equipment Technology Diploma
Students in this program complete English, computer and math courses, in addition to courses dealing with diesel technology. The technical courses train students in diesel electrical and electronic systems, heavy equipment heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, preventive maintenance and diesel engines. The program offers a medium/heavy truck specialization.
Chattahoochee Technical College
This north metro campus program prepares students for careers repairing and maintaining medium and heavy trucks and other heavy equipment. After completing this program, students are ready for employment as diesel equipment technicians.
Diesel Equipment Technology Diploma
This program provides a combination of basic courses, including math and English, and technical courses related to diesel equipment technology. Students are required to complete an introductory computer course along with courses on tools and safety, preventive maintenance and diesel engines. They must also choose a heavy equipment or medium/heavy truck specialization. Students who choose the heavy equipment specialization receive training in off-road drivelines and heavy equipment hydraulics. The medium/heavy truck specialization focuses on truck steering and suspension systems, brake systems and drivetrains.
Gwinnett Technical College
Gwinnett Technical College offers a certificate program that prepares students to become heavy diesel service technicians. This 2-semester program provides students the opportunity to complete an internship at a facility in the area.
Heavy Diesel Service Technician Certificate
Students must earn 32 credit hours to receive this certificate. The curriculum covers diesel electrical and electronics systems, tools and safety, heavy equipment hydraulics, diesel engines and off-road drivelines. In addition to the required courses, students receive a hands-on experience in an internship at a diesel equipment repair shop.
Other School Option
Southern Crescent Technical College offers a diesel equipment technology diploma program at its Butts County Center and Flint River campus; Butts County Center is less than an hour's drive (or 48 miles) from downtown Atlanta, while Flint River Campus in Thomaston is a one hour and 15 minute drive (64 miles). Students in this program learn how to maintain and repair heavy equipment, trucks and emergency power generators.