Advanced Technology Institute

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Diesel/Heavy Vehicle  

The Diesel/Heavy Vehicle program at the Advanced Technology Institute combines the Automotive Technology program and core requirements of the Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Technology program, providing students with specialized knowledge and comprehensive training in the fundamentals of diesel technology. 

Through in-depth lectures, class discussions, and textbooks, students gain a broad understanding of diesel theory and the fundamentals of automotive and diesel technology, learning about the design, function, and operating principles of both the four stroke diesel engine and gasoline engine and their sub-systems. Each student will strengthen their comprehension in Math and English, while developing critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills though written assignments.

In the laboratory, students observe live demonstrations and acquire hands-on training as they learn how to inspect, service, and repair four stroke diesel engines, gasoline engines, diesel fuel systems, electrical systems, electronic systems, steering and alignment systems, brakes, manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, drivelines, hydraulic systems, and climate control systems using modern test equipment and specialized tools. Students will also learn about automotive diagnostics, fuels, and emissions.

By disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling diesel engines and their integrated sub-systems, using sophisticated diagnostic equipment, service manuals, wiring diagrams, multi-meters, gauges, power tools, and hand tools, students gain valuable hands-on experience in diesel engine rebuilds and tune-ups. Students are given the opportunity to overhaul engines found in tractor trailers, marine vessels, farm equipment, and off-road construction equipment, ranging from 400 to 12,000 lbs. in the maintenance shop and the full-service fuel injection shop.

Students will also be expected to utilize teamwork, shop safety, and effective time management, as they complete each task assigned to by their instructors with speed and proficiency, developing strong analytical and technical skills while strengthening their mechanical aptitude. Work ethics, professionalism, and maintaining a positive workplace attitude will also be stressed throughout the Diesel/Heavy Vehicle program at the Advanced Technology Institute. 

The Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Curriculum

The Diesel/Heavy Vehicle program consists of the following job-specific classes:

  • Fundamentals of Technology
  • Basic Gasoline Engine
  • Vehicle Electrical & Electronics I
  • Steering & Alignment
  • Brakes
  • Drivelines I
  • Drivelines II
  • Vehicle Electrical & Electronics II
  • Environmental Comfort System
  • Automotive Diagnostics & Fuels
  • Advanced Diagnostics & Emissions
  • Four Stroke Diesel Engines
  • Diesel Fuel Systems
  • Advanced Diesel Fuel Systems
  • Hydraulic Systems

Students attend class four days a week on various schedules for approximately 75 weeks. In order to graduate, students are required to complete every class and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

College and Beyond 

Graduates of the Diesel/Heavy Vehicle program at the Advanced Technology Institute can be confident that they possess the education and training necessary to secure an entry-level position as a qualified diesel mechanic in the medium and heavy-duty truck and equipment service and repair industry. 

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 Virginia was $43,200 yearly and $20.77 hourly, just 4% lower than the national average.

The Associate of Occupational Studies Degree and Undergraduate Certificate

The Advanced Technology Institute offers a 75-week Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Associate of Occupational Studies Degree as well as a 14-month Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Undergraduate Certificate. The Advanced Technology Institute also offers an 18-month Diesel/Heavy Vehicle Undergraduate Certificate with a Automotive/Diesel Technology specialization. A Commercial Driving Undergraduate Certificate is also available. All four programs are Pell Grant eligible. 

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