Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Elizabethton

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Diesel Powered Equipment Technology  

The Diesel Powered Equipment Technology program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Elizabethton provides students with comprehensive knowledge and practical experience in the repair and maintenance of heavy-duty trucks and diesel powered equipment.

The competency-based program operates on an open-entry, open-exit basis, allowing students to enter the program at any time during the school year, based on space availability. Students must be at least 18 years of age and not currently attending high school to gain acceptance into the program. However, high school students are allowed to attend the program through dual enrollment, provided they have been given approval by their guidance counselor, the local school administrator, and the technology center director.

In the classroom, students receive in-depth lectures on diesel theory and learn the basics of the diesel engine system, including heavy duty truck systems, medium/heavy duty truck engines, and fuel and computerized management systems.

Through lively class discussions, study materials, and written assignments, students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, communication skills, and comprehension in both mathematics and technical writing. Topics of discussion include gear ratios, U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, effective shop management, and more.

In the fuel injection laboratory, students gain practical hands-on training in engine trouble diagnosis and engine analyses, carefully guided by their instructors as they learn how to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair diesel engines, fuel systems, brakes, electrical systems, diesel electronic systems, frame suspension systems, diesel truck steering systems, tractor steering systems, axles, drive-lines, drive trains, clutches, transmissions, hydraulic systems, and air conditioning and heating systems.

Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in welding and cutting for diesel mechanics as well as preventive maintenance and inspection. Using technical manuals, hand tools, computerized diagnostic machines, gauges, and wiring diagrams, students disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated system components. Students may also receive Snap-on Certification in Safety, Torque, Multi-Meter, Wheel Balance and Alignment, and Scan Tool.

Each student will strengthen their mechanical aptitude and develop important analytical, technical, and problem solving skills. Students will also be expected to practice shop safety and effective time management as they complete each task assigned to them by their instructors with proficiency and speed.

Work ethics, professionalism, and maintaining a positive workplace attitude are also stressed throughout the Diesel Powered Equipment Technology program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton. 

The Diesel Powered Equipment Technology Courses

The Diesel Powered Equipment Technology Diploma program contains the following industry-relevant courses:

  • Safety and Orientation
  • Welding and Cutting
  • Diesel Engines
  • Drive Trains
  • Brakes
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Electricity/Electronics
  • Heating/Air Conditioning
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Hydraulics
  • ASE Test Prep

Students are required to complete every class and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

From Education to Occupation 

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.

Due to relatively high wages, a diesel powered economy, and an abundance of challenging repair work in the diesel technology job field, graduates of the Diesel Powered Equipment Technology program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Elizabethton can be confident they will be rewarded with a highly successful and fulfilling career.

Occupational opportunities include servicing and repairing buses, trucks, locomotives, marine vessels, farm equipment and construction equipment at commercial trucking companies, bus lines, train yards, shipyards, farms, ranches, construction companies, logging companies, mining companies, oil and natural gas extraction companies, and independent service garages.

The Diesel Powered Equipment Technology Diploma and Undergraduate Certificate

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton offers a 20-month Diesel Powered Equipment Technology Diploma with a Heavy Diesel Equipment Technician concentration.

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton also offers an 18-month Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Powered Equipment Technology.

Finally, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton also offers four separate Undergraduate Certificates in Diesel Powered Equipment Technology, each with a different concentration, including a Diesel Technician Assistant concentration, a Diesel Technician Apprentice concentration, a Diesel Engine Assembler concentration, and a Preventive Maintenance Service Technician concentration.

The Diesel Powered Equipment Technology Diploma program and the 18-month Undergraduate Certificate program are both Pell Grant eligible. 

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