Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center

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Automotive/Diesel Technology*  

The Automotive/Diesel Technology program at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center trains students in the service and repair of all types of vehicles, including passenger cars, light duty trucks, heavy duty trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), two-wheel drive vehicles, and four-wheel drive vehicles. High school students receive a total of 1,350 hours of combined classroom instruction and hands-on training during the three-year program, while post-secondary students receive 900 hours of combined classroom instruction and hands-on training during the one-year program. The Automotive/Diesel Technology program at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

Students gain practical hands-on training, carefully guided by their instructors as they learn how to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair diesel engines, heavy equipment systems, air intake systems, exhaust systems, fuel systems, brake systems, electrical systems, electronic systems, suspension and steering systems, drive lines, power trains, and cooling systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in the proper procedures for performing preventive maintenance and inspections. 

Using technical manuals, hand tools, computerized diagnostic machines, gauges, and wiring diagrams, students disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated system components, learning the process of diesel engine rebuild and tune-up, hands-on.

Each student will strengthen their mechanical aptitude and develop important analytical, technical, and critical thinking skills. Students will also be expected to practice shop safety and effective time management as they complete each task assigned to them by their instructors with proficiency and speed. Work ethics, professionalism, and maintaining a positive workplace attitude will also be stressed throughout the Automotive/Diesel Technology program at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center. 

High School Automotive/Diesel Technology Curriculum

The curriculum of the Automotive/Diesel Technology program for high school students contains the following classes:

  • Orient/Safety/Tools/ Fasteners/Certifications
  • Suspension & Steering Systems
  • Brake Systems
  • Drive Line
  • Air Intake/Exhaust/Fuel Systems
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Engines/Cooling System
  • Electrical/Electronics

Students are also required to take College Prep English II, College Prep English III, College Prep English IV, Algebra II, Geometry, College Prep Math, Chemistry, Physics, U.S. History, World History, and Foreign Language II during the three year program in order to fulfill the minimum graduation requirements. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to complete each course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Employment 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 finish the Automotive/Diesel Technology program at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center will be equipped with the skills, education, and training needed to qualify as entry-level diesel mechanics.

The Undergraduate Certificate

The Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center offers a two-year Undergraduate Certificate in Automotive/Diesel Technology. The three-year program is available to high school students only, while the one-year program is a post-secondary program. 

*Program is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF)

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