Chattanooga State Community College

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Diesel Equipment Technology*  

The Diesel Equipment Technology program offered at Chattanooga State Community College is a full-time day program that has been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Students acquire technical instruction and develop skills in the repair and maintenance of large diesel engine-powered fleets of both on-highway and off-highway vehicles and machinery, learning from ASE certified, industry experienced instructors. 

In the classroom, students learn diesel theory and the basic fundamentals of the diesel engine system, developing important thinking and reasoning skills and effective communication skills through lectures, class participation, and written assignments. Six major topics are covered throughout the course of the program, including diesel engines, drive trains, brakes, suspension and steering, electrical and electronic systems, and HVAC. Two minor topics, preventive maintenance inspection and hydraulics, will also be covered.

In the training facility, students acquire the hands-on training needed to properly inspect, diagnose, and repair diesel engines, cylinder blocks, camshafts, crankcases, cylinder heads and valves, as well as timing and valve mechanisms, air intake systems, and governors. Students also learn how to service and repair the auxiliary systems that work together to power diesel trucks and heavy equipment, including diesel engines, electrical systems, electronic systems, steering and suspension systems, drive trains, hydraulics, brakes, and heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems. Students get their hands on brand specific fuel systems manufactured by industry leaders like CAT, Cummins, and Detroit.

Using computerized diagnostic equipment, hand tools, gauges, electronic meters, shop manuals, wiring schematics, and power tools, each student will learn diesel engine overhaul, as they disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines, training on the most up-to-date diagnostic software manufactured by industry giants such as CAT, Cummins, and Ford. 

Students also develop effective time management skills and learn the importance of peer collaboration, as they work both independently and in teams, to successfully complete each task assigned to them by their instructors in an efficient and timely manner. Shop safety and the proper procedures for handling and disposing hazardous waste materials according to OSHA guidelines are also discussed and practiced. Ethics, integrity, and professionalism are stressed throughout the Diesel Equipment Technology program at Chattanooga State Community College.

The Diesel Equipment Technology Curriculum

The Diesel Equipment Technology program consists of the following career-specific classes:

  • Diesel Engines
  • Suspension & Steering
  • Electrical / Electronics
  • Preventive Maintenance & Inspection
  • Hydraulics
  • Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning
  • Brakes
  • Drive Train

In order to graduate, each student is required to finish every class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Occupational Outlook

Graduates of the Diesel Equipment Technology program at Chattanooga State Community College Institute can rest assured that they possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and specialized training needed to secure an entry-level position in the diesel and heavy equipment repair industry. Some graduates may specialize in a particular type of diesel equipment repair work, such as power transmission, torque converter, diesel engine, and brake repair.

No matter what direction graduates of the of the Diesel Equipment Technology program at Chattanooga State Community College choose to go in, they can rest assured, knowing that there is an abundance of all kinds of jobs in the diesel technology field. Job opportunities include working for bus lines, commercial truck fleets, heavy construction companies, logging companies, mining companies, oil and natural gas extraction companies, train yards, shipyards, and independent repair shops.

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 Tennessee was $43,190 yearly and $20.77 hourly, just 4% lower than the national average.

The One-Year Undergraduate Certificate

Chattanooga State Community College offers a one-year Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Equipment Technology. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

*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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