Big Sandy Community & Technical College

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology program at Big Sandy Community & Technical College is designed to train students to become fully qualified diesel mechanics.

Certified instructors help each student to develop the analytical, mechanical, and technical skills required to troubleshoot, rebuild, and maintain today’s construction equipment. Students gain valuable knowledge and practical hands-on training in various areas of diesel equipment technology including diesel engines, fuel injection systems, steering and suspension, electrical and electronic systems, hydraulics, transmissions, on-board computers, undercarriage, mobile air conditioning systems, heavy duty brakes, and preventive maintenance.

Using the latest electronic diagnostic systems and manufacturing software from Cummins and Caterpillar, students learn how to properly diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair diesel engines, diesel engine systems, and diesel equipment both independently and as a team.

Students who successfully complete the Diesel Technology program at Big Sandy Community & Technical College will be well-equipped and highly qualified to secure an entry-level position as a diesel mechanic in the truck transportation, agriculture equipment, and construction equipment industries.

The Construction Equipment Technician Diploma

The Construction Equipment Technician Diploma program is made up of the following technical classes:

  • Computer/Digital Literacy course or
  • Demonstrated Competency
  • Climate Control
  • Climate Control Lab
  • Basic Electricity for Non-Majors and
  • Basic Electricity Lab for Non-Majors or 
  • Basic Automotive Electricity and
  • Basic Automotive Electricity Lab or
  • Circuits I
  • Preventive Maintenance Lab
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines and
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines Lab or
  • Engine Repair and
  • Engine Repair Lab
  • Diesel Engine Repair
  • Diesel Engine Repair Lab
  • Power Trains
  • Power Trains Lab
  • Powertrain for Construction Equipment
  • Powertrain for Construction Equipment Lab
  • Introduction to Maintenance Welding Lab or
  • Welding for Maintenance and 
  • Welding for Maintenance Lab or
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding and
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding Lab
  • Undercarriage Lab
  • Hydraulics and
  • Hydraulics Lab or
  • Fluid Power and
  • Fluid Power Lab
  • Electrical Systems for Diesel Equipment and
  • Electrical Systems for Diesel Equipment Lab or
  • Electrical Systems and
  • Electrical Systems Lab

Students must also take Written Communication, either Oral Communication or Humanities/Heritage, Social/Behavioral Science, and either Natural Sciences or Quantitative Reasoning in order to fulfill the 58 credit hour requirements of the Diploma program. Students are required to complete every class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

The Medium and Heavy Truck Technician Diploma

The curriculum of the Medium and Heavy Truck Technician Diploma program contains the following courses:

  • Computer/Digital Literacy course or
  • Demonstrated Competency
  • Climate Control
  • Climate Control Lab
  • Basic Electricity for Non-Majors and
  • Basic Electricity Lab for Non-Majors or 
  • Basic Automotive Electricity and
  • Basic Automotive Electricity Lab or
  • Circuits I
  • Preventive Maintenance Lab
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines and
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines Lab or
  • Engine Repair and
  • Engine Repair Lab
  • Diesel Engine Repair
  • Diesel Engine Repair Lab
  • Hydraulics and
  • Hydraulics Lab or
  • Fluid Power and
  • Fluid Power Lab
  • Power Trains
  • Power Trains Lab
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Steering and Suspension Lab
  • Brakes
  • Brakes
  • Electrical Systems for Diesel Equipment and
  • Electrical Systems for Diesel Equipment Lab or
  • Electrical Systems and
  • Electrical Systems Lab

Students are also required to take Written Communication, either Oral Communication or Humanities/Heritage, Social/Behavioral Science, and either Natural Sciences or Quantitative Reasoning in order to meet the 55 credit hour requirements of the Diploma program. Students must finish each course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

The Agriculture Equipment Technician Diploma

The Agriculture Equipment Technician Diploma program consists of the following courses:

  • Computer/Digital Literacy course or
  • Demonstrated Competency
  • Climate Control
  • Climate Control Lab
  • Basic Electricity for Non-Majors and
  • Basic Electricity Lab for Non-Majors or 
  • Basic Automotive Electricity and
  • Basic Automotive Electricity Lab or
  • Circuits I
  • Preventive Maintenance Lab
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines and
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines Lab or
  • Engine Repair and
  • Engine Repair Lab
  • Diesel Engine Repair
  • Diesel Engine Repair Lab
  • Introduction to Maintenance Welding Lab or
  • Welding for Maintenance and 
  • Welding for Maintenance Lab or
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding and
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding Lab
  • Hydraulics and
  • Hydraulics Lab or
  • Fluid Power and
  • Fluid Power Lab
  • Power Trains
  • Power Trains Lab
  • Powertrain for Construction Equipment
  • Powertrain for Construction Equipment Lab
  • Electrical Systems for Diesel Equipment and
  • Electrical Systems for Diesel Equipment Lab or
  • Electrical Systems and
  • Electrical Systems Lab

Students are also required to take Written Communication, either Oral Communication or Humanities/Heritage, Social/Behavioral Science, and either Natural Sciences or Quantitative Reasoning in order to meet the 55 credit hour requirements of the Diploma program. In order to graduate, students must complete every course and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Career Outlook

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 Kentucky was $40,650 yearly and $19.54 hourly, just 10% lower than the national average (BLS 2017, [https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/diesel-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm]).

The Diesel Technology Diploma and Undergraduate Certificate

Big Sandy Community & Technical College offers three separate Diesel Technology diplomas with an emphasis in Construction Equipment Technician, Agriculture Equipment Technician, and Medium and Heavy Truck Technician, respectively. Big Sandy Community & Technical College also offers fourteen different Undergraduate Certificates with various specializations in Diesel Technology. The Diesel Technology Diploma programs, the 48-week Undergraduate Certificate program, 38-week Undergraduate Certificate program, and the three 32-week Undergraduate Certificate programs are all Pell Grant eligible. 

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