South Plains College

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Diesel Service Technology  

The Diesel Service Technology program at South Plains College is designed to train students to service and repair diesel powered trucks, buses, agricultural equipment like tractors and combines, and heavy equipment used in the construction industry. Students receive a hybrid of academic instruction and hands-on training in everything from major engine overhaul to rear axle assembly. 

In the classroom, students receive in-depth lectures on diesel theory and learn the basics of the diesel engine and its integrated sub-systems. Students gain a basic understanding of the construction, function, and principles of operation of the diesel engine. Through lively class discussions, detailed study materials, and written assignments, students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, while strengthening their English comprehension, mathematical computation, and basic computer skills. Topics of discussion include gear ratios, U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, effective shop management, and more.

Using technical manuals, computerized diagnostic equipment, hand tools, machine tools, power tools, precision measuring instruments, electronic multi-meters, and wiring diagrams, students gain practical hands-on training in specific areas of diesel mechanics, including major engine overhaul, transmission overhaul, rear axle assembly, drive line overhaul, steering gear overhaul, linkage overhaul, fuel injection systems, hydraulic systems, and the overhaul or replacement of auxiliary equipment such as starters, generators, alternators, switches, regulators, and other miscellaneous items. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in preventive maintenance and inspection procedures, troubleshooting procedures, and effective shop management procedures. 

Each student will strengthen their mechanical aptitude while developing important analytical, technical, and problem solving skills required to succeed in the diesel service technology job field. 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 Diesel Service Technology program at South Plains College. 

The Diesel Service Technology A.A.S. Degree

The curriculum of the Diesel Service Technology Associate Degree program contains the following career-relevant courses:

  • Shop Safety & Procedures
  • HVAC Troubleshooting & Repair
  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Steering & Suspension I
  • Brake Systems
  • Powertrain Applications I
  • Powertrain Applications II
  • Diesel Engine I
  • Diesel Engine II
  • Advanced Diesel Tune-up & Troubleshooting
  • Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Testing & Repair I
  • Failure Analysis
  • Electronic Controls

Students are also required to take Contemporary Mathematics I, Composition I, Humanities/Fine Arts, Business and Professional Speech, Social/Behavioral Science, and an Approved Elective in order to fulfill the 71 credit hour requirements of the Associate in Applied Science Degree program. In order to graduate, students must successfully complete each course and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel Service Technology Certificate of Proficiency

The Diesel Service Technology Certificate of Proficiency program contains the following job-relevant classes:

  • Shop Safety & Procedures
  • HVAC Troubleshooting & Repair
  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Steering & Suspension I
  • Brake Systems
  • Powertrain Applications I
  • Powertrain Applications II
  • Diesel Engine I
  • Diesel Engine II
  • Advanced Diesel Tune-up & Troubleshooting
  • Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Testing & Repair I
  • Failure Analysis
  • Electronic Controls

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

The Auxiliary and Drive Systems Certificate of Proficiency

The Auxiliary and Drive Systems Certificate of Proficiency program contains the following specialized classes:

  • Shop Safety & Procedures
  • HVAC Troubleshooting & Repair
  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Steering & Suspension I
  • Brake Systems
  • Powertrain Applications I
  • Powertrain Applications II

Students are required to finish every class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

The Diesel Engine and Controls Certificate of Proficiency Program

The Diesel Engine and Controls Certificate of Proficiency program contains the following specialized courses:

  • Diesel Engine I
  • Diesel Engine II
  • Advanced Diesel Tune-up & Troubleshooting
  • Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Systems & Repair I
  • Failure Analysis
  • Electronic Controls

In order to graduate, students must finish each course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, 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 Texas was $43,720 yearly and $21.02 hourly, just 3% lower than the national average.

Graduates of the Diesel Service Technology program at South Plains College can be confident that they possess the education and training necessary to secure an entry-level position as a qualified diesel mechanic in the diesel service technology career field. Occupational opportunities include, but are not limited to, working for bus lines, commercial trucking fleets, construction companies, mining companies, oil and natural gas extraction companies, oceanic shipping companies, rail transport companies, on farms and ranches, and at independent repair shops.

The Associate in Applied Science Degree and Certificate of Proficiency

South Plains College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Diesel Service Technology, as well as a 20-month Certificate of Proficiency in Diesel Service Technology. South Plains College also offers a 10-month Certificate of Proficiency in Diesel Service Technology with an Auxillary & Drive Systems specialization, as well as a 10-month Certificate of Proficiency in Diesel Service Technology with a Diesel Engine & Controls specialization. All four programs are Pell Grant eligible.

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