Dauphin County Technical School

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology program at the Dauphin County Technical School is designed to teach and train students how to safely and properly maintain, service, and repair light and heavy industrial construction equipment, as well as medium and heavy duty trucks and transportation equipment used both on-road, off-road, and on-rail. Through a hybrid of classroom instruction and hands-on training, students acquire the 21st century skills necessary to service and repair the diesel engines, sub-systems, trucks, and heavy equipment in use by the agricultural, commercial trucking, construction, oceanic shipping, rail transportation, power generation, and oil and natural gas extraction industries today.

In the classroom, students learn the basics of the diesel engine system receive in-depth lectures on diesel theory. Class discussions, detailed learning materials, written assignments, and live demonstrations all play a unique part in the development of each student’s critical thinking and reasoning skills, communication skills, and analytical skills. Subjects include gear ratios, U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, effective shop management, customer service, and more.

In the laboratory, students gain practical hands-on training, carefully guided by their instructors, as they learn how to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair diesel engines, diesel fuel systems, brake systems, diesel electrical systems, diesel electronic systems, suspension systems, steering systems, drive trains, hydraulic systems, and mobile air conditioning and heating systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in oxyacetylene and AC/DC welding for diesel mechanics, as well as preventive maintenance and inspection. 

Using technical manuals, hand tools, power tools, machine tools, welding equipment, torch cutters, lathes, computerized diagnostic machines, precision measuring instruments, and wiring diagrams, students disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated sub-systems, gaining valuable job-ready experience in diesel engine overhaul and tune-up.

Students will also learn the value of teamwork and effective time management, as they work both independently and in groups to complete each task assigned to them by their instructors in an efficient and timely manner. Work ethics, professionalism, and maintaining a positive workplace attitude will also be stressed throughout the Diesel Technology program at the Dauphin County Technical School. 

The Diesel Technology Competencies

The Diesel Technology program focuses on the following career-specific topics:

  • Tools & Fasteners/Hardware
  • Suspension & Steering Systems
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Brake System
  • Engines
  • Air Intake & Exhaust Systems
  • Cooling System
  • Fuel System
  • Electrical/Electronic System
  • Drive Line

Students will also be required to take an Orientation & Safety class. Students must complete each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, to be eligible to graduate.

Job 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 Pennsylvania was $42,770 yearly and $20.56 hourly, just 6% lower than the national average.

Students who successfully finish the Diesel Technology program at the Dauphin County Technical School will be equipped with the skills, education, and training needed to qualify as entry-level bus and truck mechanics, diesel engine specialists, locomotive engineers, locomotive firers, rail yard engineers, dinkey operators and hostlers, transportation vehicle inspectors, equipment inspectors, and systems inspectors (except aviation).

The Certificate of Vocational Studies

The Dauphin County Technical School offers a two-year Certificate of Vocational Studies in Diesel Technology. Students will also have an opportunity to earn an International Mobile Air Conditioning Service Certification and Bendix Air Brake System Training Certificate of Completion. Certain students will be eligible to take the Pennsylvania Vehicle State Inspection and Emission programs. The  Diesel Technology program offered at the Dauphin County Technical School is available to high school students only. 

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