Northern Tier Career Center

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology program at the Northern Tier Career Center teaches students the fundamentals of diesel engines, emphasizing medium and heavy duty vehicle and truck repairs. Students receive a hybrid of classroom instruction and practical hands-on experience, studying and practicing all phases of diesel technology, including malfunction diagnosis, engine dis-assembly and examination, parts replacement and reconditioning, and more. Students also learn how to test and diagnose computer-controlled engine systems, as well as diagnose and repair diesel electrical systems.

In the classroom, students receive in-depth lectures on diesel theory, learning the basics of the diesel engine system. Students also strengthen their English comprehension, mathematics computation, and interpersonal communication skills through class discussions, detailed textbooks, and written assignments. Topics of discussion include gear ratios, U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, effective shop management, and more.

In the laboratory, students learn, hands-on, how to diagnose, service, and repair diesel engines, air intake systems, brake systems, cooling systems, driveline systems, electrical and electronic systems, exhaust systems, fuel systems, and suspension and steering systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in performing proper preventive maintenance and inspection procedures. 

Each student will also learn, hands-on, how to rebuild and tune-up diesel engines using service manuals, hand tools, power tools, digital diagnostic machines, gauges, circuit diagrams, electronic multi-meters, lab scopes, and more as they disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated sub-systems.

Students will learn the value of teamwork and leadership as they work both independently and in groups to solve problems and complete the tasks at hand. How to efficiently manage your time, maintain a positive workplace attitude, and produce quality workmanship will also be discussed and practiced throughout the Diesel Technology program at the Northern Tier Career Center. 

The Diesel Technology Course Outline

The Diesel Technology program focuses on the following areas of study:

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

In order to graduate, students are required to complete each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

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

Graduates of the Diesel Technology program at the Northern Tier Career Center will be well-qualified to secure an entry-level position as a parts specialist, service writer, equipment service technician, automotive service technician, mobile equipment service technician, small engine technician, or bus and truck technician.

The Certificate of Vocational Studies

The Northern Tier Career Center offers a two-year Certificate of Vocational Studies in Diesel Technology. Students may also qualify to receive their Pennsylvania Inspection License through the program. The Diesel Technology program offered at the Northern Tier Career Center is only available to high school students. 

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