St. Philip’s College

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Diesel Mechanics  

The Diesel Mechanics program at St. Philip’s College is designed to provide students with the specialized knowledge and mechanical skills necessary to troubleshoot, maintain, and repair today’s diesel engines and heavy equipment. Students receive a combination of class lecture and practical hands-on training, preparing them for entry-level employment as highly qualified diesel mechanics. Students can choose from two different Associate Degree programs, three different Certificate programs, and two different Skills Award programs, each specializing in a different area of diesel mechanics.

In the classroom, students receive in-depth lectures on diesel theory and learn the basics of the diesel engine system, including heavy duty truck systems, medium/heavy duty truck engines, and fuel and computerized management systems. Through lively class discussions, study materials, and written assignments, students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, communication skills, and comprehension in both mathematics and technical writing. Topics of discussion include gear ratios, U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, effective shop management, and more.

In the laboratory, students gain practical hands-on training, watching live demonstrations before being carefully guided by their instructors, they learn how to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair diesel engines, fuel systems, brakes, electrical systems, electronic controls, suspension and steering systems, power trains, hydraulic systems, and mobile heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in proper procedures for preventive maintenance and inspection, as well as failure analyses, diesel engine tune-up, and diesel engine troubleshooting. 

Using detailed technical manuals, wiring diagrams, sophisticated diagnostic equipment, precision measuring instruments, lab scopes, electronic multi-meters, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, pneumatic wrenches, lathes, and more, students disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated system components, learning, hands-on, how to perform diesel engine overhauls and tune-ups by replacing, repairing, or reconditioning the necessary parts.

Each student will strengthen their mechanical aptitude and develop important analytical, technical, and problem solving 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 in an accurate, detailed, and timely manner. Ethics, professionalism, and integrity will also be stressed throughout the Diesel Mechanics program at St. Philip’s College.

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology A.A.S. Degree

The Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology A.A.S. Degree program consists of the following classes:

  • Diesel Engine
  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Basic Brake Systems
  • Power Train
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Advanced Diesel Tune-up and Troubleshooting
  • Advanced Electrical Systems
  • Practicum (or Field Experience) Diesel Engine Mechanic and Repair

Students are also required to take Business and Professional Communication or a Humanities/Fine Arts Elective, Introduction to Computers, Introductory Physics I Lecture or a Computation Elective, Composition I or a Communications Elective, Introduction to Economics or a Social/Behavioral Sciences Elective, and Contemporary Mathematics II or a Natural Sciences/Mathematics Elective in order to fulfill the 62 credit requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. Students are required to finish each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, to be eligible for graduation.

The Diesel Construction Equipment Technician A.A.S. Degree

The Diesel Construction Equipment Technician A.A.S. Degree program is made up of the following courses:

  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Basic Brake Systems
  • Diesel Engine
  • Electronic Controls
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Advanced Hydraulics
  • Advanced Diesel Tune-up and Troubleshooting
  • Tracks and Undercarriages
  • Practicum (or Field Experience) Diesel Engine Mechanic and Repair

Students are also required to take Business and Professional Communication or a Humanities/Fine Arts Elective, Introduction to Computers, Introductory Physics I Lecture or a Computation Elective, Composition I or a Communications Elective, Introduction to Economics or a Social/Behavioral Sciences Elective, and Contemporary Mathematics II or a Natural Sciences/Mathematics Elective in order to fulfill the 63 credit requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to finish each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel/Light to Heavy Truck Technology Certificate of Completion

The Diesel/Light to Heavy Truck Technology Certificate of Completion program is made up of the following courses:

  • Diesel Engine
  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Basic Brake Systems
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Power Train
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Advanced Diesel Tune-up and Troubleshooting
  • Advanced Diesel Electrical/Electronics
  • Practicum (or Field Experience) Diesel Engine Mechanic and Repair

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

The Heavy Duty Truck Transmission Specialist Certificate of Completion

The Heavy Duty Truck Transmission Specialist Certificate of Completion program consists of the following classes:

  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Power Train
  • Automatic Power Shift & Hydrostatic Transmissions I
  • Automatic Power Shift & Hydrostatic Transmissions II
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Practicum (or Field Experience) Diesel Engine Mechanic and Repair

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

The Brake and Front End Specialist Undergraduate Certificate

The Brake and Front End Specialist Undergraduate Certificate program is made up of the following classes:

  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Basic Brake Systems
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Practicum (or Field Experience) Diesel Engine Mechanic and Repair

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 Mechanic Helper I Marketable Skills Achievement Award

The Mechanic Helper I Marketable Skills Achievement Award program consists of the following classes:

  • Diesel Engine
  • Basic Brake Systems
  • Basic Electrical Systems

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 Mechanic Helper II Marketable Skills Achievement Award

The Mechanic Helper I Marketable Skills Achievement Award program consists of the following classes:

  • Steering and Suspension
  • Power Train
  • Basic Hydraulics

To be eligible to graduate, students are required to finish each 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.

Graduates of the Diesel Mechanics program at St. Philip’s College can rest assured that they possess the technical knowledge and specialized training necessary to secure an entry-level position as a qualified diesel mechanic in the diesel-powered truck and heavy machinery maintenance and repair industry. Employment opportunities include working for commercial trucking companies, bus and coach lines, rail shipping companies, oceanic freight companies, oil drilling companies, natural gas extraction companies, working on farms and ranches, and repairing diesel-powered trucks and equipment at independent service garages.

The Associate of Applied Science Degree & Certificates

St. Philip’s College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diesel Mechanics with a concentration in Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology.

St. Philip’s College also offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diesel Mechanics with a Construction Equipment Technician concentration. 

St. Philip’s College also offers a one-year Certificate of Completion in Diesel Mechanics with a concentration in Diesel/Light to Heavy Truck Technology, as well as an 8-month Certificate of Completion in Diesel Mechanics with a Heavy Duty Truck Transmission Specialist concentration.

St. Philip’s College also offers an 8-month Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Mechanics with a Brake and Front End Specialist concentration.

Finally, St. Philip’s College also offers two separate 4-month Marketable Skills Achievement Awards in Diesel Mechanics, each with a Mechanic’s Helper specialization.

All programs are Pell Grant eligible, except the 4-month Marketable Skills Achievement Award programs. These two programs are not Pell Grant eligible.

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