AVTEC – Alaska’s Institute of Technology

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Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology 

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology program at AVTEC provides training, knowledge and skills for students who desire to learn how to service, maintain, and repair truck and heavy equipment systems. The program consists of approximately 60% hands-on training and 40% classroom instruction.

Specialized classroom and laboratory activities provide each student with the opportunity to learn all phases of repair work on diesel-powered equipment, such as disassembling, measuring, and reassembling diesel engines to their factory specifications. Students will also learn how to properly use technical manuals, laptops, and tools to diagnose electronically controlled engines and systems. Students will work on on dump trucks, road graders, front-end loaders, backhoes, bulldozers, and a large transport truck during their training. Each student will be able to progress at their own speed. Students will be working outdoors and are expected to come to class equipped with warm clothing, rain gear, and proper safety boots. 

Graduates of the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology program will have the opportunity to earn up to 30 University of Alaska college credits towards the requirements of an Associate of Applied Science Diesel Technology Degree through AVTEC’s TechPrep agreement.

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology Courses

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology program centers around the following courses:

  • General Shop Operations
  • Brakes
  • Tire Repair
  • Introduction to Commercial Transportation
  • Chassis Components
  • Electrical
  • Transmissions
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Engines
  • Fuel Systems
  • Engine Cooling and Lubrication
  • Intake and Exhaust Systems
  • Undercarriage
  • Governors
  • Arc and Gas Welding
  • Cab/Body Systems
  • Education/Technical Knowledge

In order to graduate, students must complete each course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

From Graduation to Occupation

Graduates of the Diesel Technology program at the University of Alaska Southeast will possess the technical knowledge and specialized skills necessary to secure an entry-level position in various sectors of the diesel technology job field, including:

  • Construction Companies
  • Power Generation Plants
  • Trucking Fleets
  • Freight Handlers
  • Municipal Maintenance Shops
  • Airport Maintenance Facilities
  • Heavy Machinery Dealers
  • Mining Companies
  • Logging Companies
  • Tour Bus Operations
  • Sand and Gravel Operations

As the diesel industry continues to grow rapidly, job opportunities for qualified diesel mechanics is expected to increase 11% by the year 2020, as fast as average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual wage for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists working in the United States in 2014 was $45,160, while the mean salary for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists employed in the state of Alaska was $59,080 yearly and $28.41 hourly, an astounding 30% higher than the national average!

The Entry-Level Certificate and Undergraduate Certificate

Alaska’s Institute of Technology offers three different Undergraduate Certificates in Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology. The first certificate is a 7-month entry-level certificate in Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology. The second certificate is an Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology with a Diesel/Heavy Equipment Assistant concentration. Finally, the third certificate is an Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology with an Oiler concentration. All three programs are Pell Grant eligible. Certain students may qualify for the Alaska Performance Scholarship. Enrollment is in August and January.

*Program is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF)

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