Heavy Equipment Training in Michigan with School Overviews

Jul 25, 2019

Essential Information

Students interested in heavy equipment training will find that Michigan offers both heavy equipment operation and repair technician training programs at 2 and 4-year schools. Most of these schools offer certificate or associate's degree programs, though a bachelor's degree program is also available. Students interested in the bachelor's degree will need a previous degree. Students learn through a combination of classroom and laboratory work, and may have internship opportunities. Some programs offer courses in the evenings.

Baker College of Owosso

The diesel service technology program at Baker College of Owosso offers various programs that prepare students for industry certifications as diesel mechanics or technicians, with diesel courses taught at the Auto/Diesel Institute of Michigan. Students have access to a 20,000-square-foot auto shop and state-of-the-art equipment. The 40-week certificate program includes three areas of study, while the diesel service technology associate degree program offers students four areas in which to study and obtain certifications. Within the programs, students gain the skills to inspect and perform general maintenance on heavy-duty hydraulic systems. They also learn to work on various systems, including heavy-duty heating/refrigeration/air conditioning, suspension/steering, drive train, brakes and engines.

Ferris State University

The Heavy Equipment Department at Ferris State University in Big Rapids offers two programs that lead to careers in heavy equipment technology. Through the associate degree program in heavy equipment technology, students learn to operate and repair heavy equipment used for irrigating, pumping oil, delivering freight and creating electrical power. Students complete both lecture and lab courses, where they identify problems with heavy equipment, determine the cause of malfunctions and make repairs. Courses include maintenance fundamentals, electrical systems, power transfer technology, auto transmissions and diesel fuel systems technology.

When the heavy equipment service engineering technology (HSET) bachelor's degree was developed in 1991, it was a unique degree and is still the only B.S. program of its kind. To be eligible for the HSET bachelor's program, students must first complete an associate degree program in heavy equipment technology or a related field. Students gain experience testing, diagnosing and repairing heavy equipment through courses that include fleet management, testing systems and analysis, applied failure analysis, statistical quality control and hydraulic systems. To earn the degree, students must complete at least 63 credits.

Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College (LCC) in Lansing, also in a partnership with AIS Construction Corporation, offers students heavy equipment repair training in a certificate and associate degree program. Offered through LCC's transportation maintenance technologies division, the programs offer evening classes throughout the year. In addition to completing coursework, students are given their own engines to tear up and repair, providing the student with extensive hands-on training.

The 41-credit-hour certificate program includes courses in heavy equipment electronics, equipment service writing, diesel fuel systems and combination welding. The 66-credit associate degree program includes many of the same courses as the certificate program, as well as general education courses and electives. Students also might be eligible for internship opportunities, and they must perform work based on safety, MIOSHA (Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and environmental standards.

Career Requirements

According to Michigan laws, operating certain types of heavy equipment requires the operator to have a commercial driver's license (CDL). To earn a CDL, applicants must meet driving eligibility and medical requirements, pass written and driving skills tests, and pay licensing fees.

Michigan also requires that diesel service technicians have certification. To become state certified, applicants must complete a training program and pass a state certification exam. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers various certifications; however, ASE certification alone does not qualify you as a state certified mechanic. While schools with heavy equipment training in Michigan are not easily found, outlined below are three schools that offer heavy equipment training for aspiring technicians, operators or both.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Heavy Equipment Training Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)
Baker College of Owosso Four-year, primarily associate degrees, private not-for-profit; distant town Diesel Service Technology Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Service Technology
Ferris State University Four-year, public; distant town Associate in Applied Science in Heavy Equipment Technology,
Bachelor of Science in Heavy Equipment Service Engineering Technology
Lansing Community College Two-year, public; midsize city Heavy Equipment Repair Technician Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Heavy Equipment Repair Technician
$3,530 in-district; $6,680 in-state; $9,830 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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