Vaterott College – Springfield
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The 70-week Diesel Mechanics program at Vatterott College is an educational training program that is split up into seven 10-week terms. The program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level employment as a diesel mechanic or heavy truck technician, servicing and repairing heavy trucks in a variety of sectors of the trucking and transportation industries, including trucking fleets, bus lines, and new truck dealerships.
Students are taught diesel theory in the classroom and acquire hands-on training through lab based applications on the shop floor as they test, repair, and maintain diesel engines, fuel injection systems, brakes, clutches, drivelines, hydraulic systems, electrical systems, and diesel electronic systems, using a variety of hand tools, power tools, diagnostic equipment, shop manuals, and specialized instruments.
Working both independently and in groups, students develop strong communication, leadership, and analytical skills that are vital to succeeding in today’s rapidly changing diesel industry. Students also take part in an “externship” provided through the college’s partnerships with local career-relevant businesses.
The Diesel Mechanics Course Curriculum
The Diesel Mechanics program at Vatterott College is made up of the following career-relevant courses:
- Diesel Mechanic Basics
- Electrical and Electronic Systems for Medium to Heavy Duty Trucks
- Diesel Engines and Fuel Systems
- Drivelines & Brakes for Medium to Heavy Duty Trucks I
- Drivelines & Brakes for Medium to Heavy Duty Trucks II
- Steering and Suspension
Students are also required to take English Composition I, English Composition II, and College Algebra in order to meet the 91.5 credit requirements of the Associate of Occupational Studies Degree program. In order to graduate, students must complete every course and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.
What to Expect After College
The job outlook for diesel mechanics is good and is expected to increase as fast as average for all occupations as the commercial trucking industry continues to grow at a steady rate. Graduates of the Diesel Mechanics program at Vatterott College will have the specialized knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level employment as a diesel mechanic or heavy truck technician, servicing and repairing heavy trucks in a variety of sectors of the trucking and transportation industries, including trucking fleets, bus lines, and new truck dealerships.
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 Missouri was $42,200 yearly and $20.29 hourly, just 7% lower than the national average. Entry-level diesel mechanics can expect to be paid an annual salary of $28,130 and advance to $65,350 with more experience.
The Two-Year Associate of Occupational Studies Degree
Vatterott College offers a two-year Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Diesel Mechanics. This program is Pell Grant eligible.