Montana State University

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology program at Montana State University-Northern is designed to match industry standards and expectations by adhering to a curriculum that focuses on industry relevant content and competencies. Students are educated and trained by experienced diesel mechanic instructors on how to properly maintain and repair a variety of industrial diesel equipment such as farm tractors, commercial trucks, and construction equipment.

Students study both diesel theory and welding theory in the classroom and obtain hands-on experience in the laboratory, as they disassemble, inspect, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and equipment components, developing their own analytical, technical, and mechanical skills with each assigned task.

Using the latest diagnostic equipment, specialized instruments, shop manuals, gauges, and hand tools, each students gains valuable work-related experience as they troubleshoot and fix the sophisticated auxiliary systems found on today’s diesel engines.

Students also develop strong verbal and written communication skills, leadership skills, and business skills that will prepare them for a successful career in the diesel technology field. Students can choose to pursue the four-year Bachelor of Science degree or two-year Associate of Applied Science degree. A Diesel Technology Undergraduate Certificate is also available.

The Diesel Technology Bachelor of Applied Science Degree

The curriculum of the Diesel Technology Bachelor of Applied Science Degree program consists of the following classes:

  • Auto/Diesel Electrical/Electronic Systems I
  • Automatics
  • Auto/Diesel Electrical/Electronic Systems II
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Auto/Diesel Electronic Applications
  • Shop Procedures
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines Lab
  • Introduction to Diesel Fuel Systems
  • Introduction to Hydraulics and Pneumatics
  • Introduction to Hydraulics and Pneumatics Lab
  • Heavy Duty Power Trains
  • Heavy Duty Chassis
  • Diesel Engine Diagnosis & Repair
  • Diagnosis of Diesel Engine & Repair Lab
  • Diesel Shop Practices
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics II
  • Diesel Shop Management
  • Advanced Fuel Systems
  • Current Model Year Technology
  • Diagnosis of Power Shifts & Heavy Duty Automatics
  • Machining Processes
  • Welding Theory I
  • Welding Theory I Practical
  • Repair and Maintenance Welding

Students are also required to take Communications, Mathematics, Natural Sciences with Lab, Social Sciences or History, Cultural Diversity, Fine Arts or Humanities, Technology, and Cooperative Education in order to meet the minimum 120 credit requirements of the Bachelor of Applied Science Degree program. Students are required to complete each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

The Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree

The curriculum of the Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree program contains the following courses:

  • Auto/Diesel Electrical/Electronic Systems I
  • Automatics
  • Auto/Diesel Electrical/Electronic Systems II
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines Lab
  • Introduction to Diesel Fuel Systems
  • Introduction to Hydraulics and Pneumatics
  • Introduction to Hydraulics and Pneumatics Lab
  • Heavy Duty Power Trains
  • Heavy Duty Chassis
  • Diesel Engine Diagnosis & Repair
  • Diagnosis of Diesel Engine & Repair Lab
  • Diesel Shop Practices
  • Welding Theory I
  • Welding Theory I Practical

Students are also required to take Elementary Technical Writing, Mathematics, Intro to Public Speaking or Intro to Interpersonal Communication in order to meet the minimum 64 credit requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. In order to graduate, students must complete every course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel Technology Undergraduate Certificate Program

The Diesel Technology Undergraduate Certificate program is comprised of the following courses:

  • Introduction to Diesel Engines
  • Introduction to Diesel Engines Lab
  • Introduction to Diesel Fuel Systems
  • Introduction to Hydraulics and Pneumatics
  • Introduction to Hydraulics and Pneumatics Lab
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics II
  • Diesel Shop Management
  • Current Model Year Technology
  • Advanced Fuel Systems
  • Diagnosis of Power Sifts and Heavy Duty Automatics

Students are required to finish each course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

Occupational Opportunities

Graduates of the Diesel Technology program at Montana State University-Northern will possess the skills necessary to gain entry-level employment in the diesel equipment technology field, including equipment diagnosis, troubleshooting, repairing, servicing, maintenance, and management. Graduates will be qualified to inspect, service, and repair railroad locomotives, heavy duty trucks, buses, agriculture equipment, and construction equipment, in various segments of the diesel industry, including, heavy-duty construction companies, oil exploration companies, farms, ranches, mining companies, logging companies, train yards, truck repair shops, bus lines, and commercial trucking companies. 

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 Montana was $38,770 yearly and $18.64 hourly, 14% lower than the national average.

The Bachelor of Applied Science Degree, Associate of Applied Science Degree and Undergraduate Certificate

Montana State University-Northern offers a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Diesel Technology as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Diesel Technology with an Equipment Management Option and a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Diesel Technology with a Field Maintenance Option. Montana State University-Northern also offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diesel Technology and a one-year Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Technology. All five programs are Pell Grant eligible. 

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