Houston Community College

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Heavy Vehicle and Truck Repair  

The curriculum of the Heavy Vehicle and Truck Repair program offered at Houston Community College is designed to provide students with the specialized knowledge and mechanical skills necessary to troubleshoot, maintain, and repair today’s heavy-duty diesel vehicles and trucks. Most graduates go on to become highly qualified heavy vehicle and truck engine specialists, maintenance specialists, and field technicians.

Students receive in-depth lectures in the classroom on topics such as diesel theory and the basics of the diesel engine system, including the design, function, and principles of operation of the modern diesel engine. Students also develop career-relevant computer skills, while they advance their mathematical computation, English comprehension, and diesel trade terminology through written assignments and academic research. Detailed study materials and class discussions cover topics such as the U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, gear ratios, effective shop management, shop safety, customer service, alternative fuels, and more.

Inside the state-of-the-art laboratory is where students acquire valuable hands-on training, watching live demonstrations and receiving instructor guidance as they learn how to inspect, test, and repair diesel engines, brake systems, diesel electrical systems, electronic control systems, automotive electronic systems, power trains, hydraulic systems, steering systems, suspension systems, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Students will also gain hands-on experience in the proper procedure for performing preventive maintenance and inspections, as well as shop safety and procedures.

Students will learn on the most up-to-date computerized diagnostic equipment, as they diagnose and repair the integrated auxiliary sub-systems found on today’s diesel engines. Service manuals, wiring diagrams, electronic multi-meters, precision measuring instruments, lab scopes, lathes, grinders, torch cutters, pneumatic wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches and other hand tools will all be used throughout the program as students learn how to repair, recondition, and rebuild diesel engines and their integrated system components by disassembling, inspecting, testing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel engines and their sub-system counterparts.

Strong communication skills, effective time management, and a positive workplace attitude will also be stressed throughout the program. Students will be expected to work both independently, and as a team, to successfully complete each task assigned to them by their instructors in an efficient and timely manner. Shop safety and the proper handling of hazardous materials according to OSHA regulations will also be discussed and practiced. Cooperative Education internships allow each student to gain real world job experience in their chosen specialized field before they graduate from the Heavy Vehicle and Truck Repair program at Houston Community College.

The Heavy Vehicle and Truck Repair Curriculum

The Heavy Vehicle and Truck Repair program consists of the following career-specific classes:

  • Shop Safety & Procedures
  • Basic Brake Systems
  • Diesel Engine Testing & Repair I
  • Diesel Engine Testing & Repair II
  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Electronic Controls
  • Automotive Electronics
  • HVAC Troubleshooting & Repair
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Steering & Suspension I
  • Power Train Applications I
  • Cooperative Education – Diesel Mechanics Technology/Technician

Students are required to take Workforce Leadership and Critical Thinking Skills for Student Success in order to meet the graduation requirements of the Level I Undergraduate Certificate program. In order to graduate, students must finish every class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

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 Texas was $43,720 yearly and $21.02 hourly, just 3% lower than the national average.

Students who finish the Heavy Vehicle and Truck Repair program at Houston Community College can be confident they have the education and skills training needed to become a professional engine specialist, maintenance specialist, or field technician in the heavy vehicle and truck repair job field.

The Level I Undergraduate Certificate

Houston Community College offers a 9-month Level I Undergraduate Certificate in Heavy Vehicle and Truck Repair. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

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