Northern Virginia Community College

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Diesel Mechanics Technology

The Diesel Mechanics Technology program at Northern Virginia Community College introduces students to the fundamentals of diesel mechanics technology by providing specialized instruction and hands-on training in the service and repair of diesel-powered equipment and heavy machinery. 

In the classroom, students are given in-depth lectures on the basic diesel equipment technology principles, developing important verbal and written communication skills, mathematical skills, and problem-solving skills through learning materials, class participation, and written assignments. 

In the shop, students observe live demonstrations and receive guided instruction, as they learn, hands-on, how to properly inspect, diagnose, and repair, diesel engines, diesel engine systems, transportation electrical systems, diesel truck electrical systems, mobile hydraulic systems, mobile pneumatic systems, diesel power trains, chassis, suspension systems, heavy duty suspension systems, air brake systems, and mobile climate control systems. 

By disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel engines and their integrated auxiliary systems, using sophisticated diagnostic machinery, shop manuals, wiring schematics, precision measuring instruments, hand tools, machine tools, and power tools, students learn the entire process of diesel engine rebuild and tune-up. 

Students will also gain an understanding of the importance of teamwork and effective time management as they work both individually and together to complete every assignment given to them by their instructors in a timely and efficient manner. Shop safety procedures, ethics, and maintaining a positive attitude in the workplace will also be discussed and practiced.

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the cooperative education option which provide students with on-the-job training, thanks to a partnership with local industry employers.

The Diesel Mechanics Technology Curriculum

The Diesel Mechanics Technology program contains the following industry-relevant courses:

  • Introduction to Diesel Engine
  • Diesel Engine Systems I
  • Transportation Electrical Systems I
  • Diesel Truck Electrical Systems
  • Mobile Hydraulics & Pneumatics
  • Diesel Power Trains, Chassis & Suspension
  • Power Trains I
  • Heavy Duty Suspension & Service
  • Air Brake Systems

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

From Graduation to Occupation 

Students who successfully complete the Diesel Mechanics Technology program at the Northern Virginia Community College will be equipped with the skills, education, and training needed to gain employment in diesel engine repair, diesel equipment repair, heavy duty repair,power train repair, fuel injection repair, automotive diesel repair, marine diesel repair, or diesel truck repair. Other employment opportunities include working as a shop supervisor, shop foreman, purchasing agent, parts specialist, or salesperson.

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 One-Year Career Studies Certificate

Northern Virginia Community College offers a one-year Career Studies Certificate in Diesel Mechanics Technology. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

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