Riverland Community College

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology program at Riverland Community College challenges students in a variety of academic areas as they learn the diesel technology trade.

Through minimal classroom lecture and maximum hands-on training, students not only learn diesel engine theory, they are trained on how to use the manuals, machinery, instruments, and hand tools needed to properly diagnose and solve the complex mechanical, electrical and computerized problems that arise with today’s sophisticated diesel engine systems. Students develop their technical and mechanical skills as they progress to basic maintenance procedures and minor repairs.

In a state-of-the-art laboratory, students observe live demonstrations from highly qualified industry experienced instructors who guide them on how to use the latest industry techniques and equipment in diesel engine diagnosis, repair, and overhaul. Students also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience inspecting, testing, and repairing Caterpillar and Cummins engines.

Thanks to an active board of local industry employers, the curriculum of the Diesel Technology program at Riverland Community College remains highly relevant and up-to-date.

The Diesel Technology Curriculum

The curriculum of the The Diesel Technology program at Riverland Community College is made up of the following career-relevant courses:

  • Shop Safety, Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to the Diesel Engine
  • Applied Diesel Engines Lab
  • Introduction to Electrical Systems
  • Applied Electrical Systems Lab
  • Clutch and Manual Transmission I
  • Industry Related Welding
  • Commercial Vehicle Preventative Maintenance and Inspection
  • Caterpillar Engines and Fuel Systems
  • Air & Hydraulic Brakes
  • Electronic Engine Controls I
  • Electronic Engine Controls II
  • Introduction to Hydraulics
  • Diesel Fuel Systems I
  • Commercial Vehicle ABS Braking Systems
  • Commercial Vehicle Power Trains I
  • Commercial Vehicle Power Trains II
  • Commercial Vehicle Steering & Suspension Systems
  • Commercial Vehicle Drive Lines
  • Commercial Vehicle HVAC Systems
  • Diesel Project Lab
  • Automated Transmissions
  • Cummins Engines & Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Information Systems
  • Diesel Technology Internship

Students are also required to take Technical Math I. Employment Search Skills, Workplace Human Relations, and AHA CPR and First Aid Certification in order to meet the minimum 69 credit requirements for the Diesel Technology Diploma program. Certain Math and English courses may have additional prerequisites. Students must have a minimum Accuplacer score of 52 in Reading in order to be eligible to enter the Diesel Technology program. Students who are accepted into the program must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate.

Occupational 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 Minnesota was $45,780 yearly and $22.01 hourly, 1% higher than the national average.

Graduates of the Diesel Technology program at Riverland Community College have been known to experience high job placement success. Job opportunities include entry-level employment as a qualified diesel mechanic, diesel service specialist, parts specialist, and diesel maintenance technician.

The Diesel Technology Diploma

Riverland Community College offers a 21-month Diesel Technology Diploma. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

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