University of Alaska Fairbanks

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Diesel/Heavy Equipment  

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment program at University of Alaska Fairbanks provides training, knowledge and skills for students who desire to learn how to perform preventative maintenance inspections, diagnose causes of equipment malfunctions, and make necessary repairs and adjustments ranging from tune-ups to complete equipment and engine overhauls. 

Students will receive hands-on training as they work on large trucks, air and hydraulic systems, diesel engines, transmissions, engine electronics, differentials, crawler tractor undercarriages, steering and suspension systems, and final test drives. Due to the limited class size, students will receive the individual help necessary for them to excel in this ever changing field.

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment instructors at University of Alaska Fairbanks are not only highly knowledgeable and experienced in the industry, they are extremely effective at communicating this knowledge to the students, both in the classroom and in the shop. 

Students who complete the Diesel/Heavy Equipment program at University of Alaska Fairbanks will be equipped to work for independent diesel and heavy equipment repair businesses and contractors as they command an entry level wage ranging from $15 to $25 per hour.

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment Course Outline

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment program is made up of the following courses:

  • Safety Including Rigging and Lifting
  • Basic Equipment and Truck Operation
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Basic Electrical Systems and Electrical Fuel Injection
  • Basic Industrial Fabrication
  • Diesel Emissions
  • Heavy Duty Braking Systems
  • Diesel Fuel Injection
  • Manual Transmissions and Differentials
  • Heavy Duty Automatic Transmissions
  • Heavy Equipment Fabrication
  • Engine
  • Starting and Charging Systems
  • Hydraulics

Students must also take one Communication course, one Computation course, and one Human Relations course, in order to meet the 36 credit hour requirements of the Undergraduate Certificate program. In order to graduate, students are required to finish each class and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Diesel Technology Jobs

Students who successfully finish 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 Undergraduate Certificate

University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a one-year Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel/Heavy Equipment. This program is Pell Grant eligible.

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