Southside Virginia Community College

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Diesel Technician Training*  

The Diesel Technician Training program at Southside Virginia Community College is designed to provide individuals who are interested in career training in the diesel technician job field, but lack the time and resources required by commercial schools. Students enrolled in the program will obtain the fundamental knowledge and specialized skills necessary for entry-level employment in the diesel equipment repair field, inspecting, maintaining, and repairing diesel powered vehicles and heavy equipment.

Students receive classroom instruction, including lectures, discussions, and assignments about diesel theory and its applications as it pertains to real-world job experience in the diesel technology career field. Students will develop critical thinking and reasoning skills as well as a basic understanding of microcomputers for diesel technicians.

In the laboratory, students receive carefully guided instruction as they learn, hands-on, how to troubleshoot, service, and repair diesel engines, diesel power trains, chassis, suspension systems, diesel fuel systems, diesel truck electrical systems, diesel engine systems, electrical circuits and instruments, air brake systems, and mobile air conditioning systems. Shop procedures and preventive maintenance techniques will also be taught.

By disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel engines and their complex component sub-systems using computerized diagnostic equipment, circuit diagrams, shop manuals, hand tools, and power tools, students learn the detailed process of diesel engine overhaul and tune-up. 

Students also learn how to manage their time wisely and work together as a team, as they work independently and in groups to complete every task assigned to them by their instructors in a proficient and timely manner. Shop safety, ethics, and professionalism are also stressed throughout the program. 

The Diesel Technician Training Curriculum

The Diesel Technician Training program consists of the following core classes:

  • Diesel Power Trains, Chassis & Suspension
  • Diesel Fuel Systems & Tune-Up
  • Microcomputers for Diesel Technicians
  • Intro to Diesel Engine
  • Diesel Truck Electrical Systems
  • Diesel Mechanic I & II
  • Diesel Engine System I
  • Electrical Circuits & Instrumentation
  • Shop Procedures & Internal Combustion Engine
  • Air Brake Systems

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

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

Students who successfully complete the Diesel Technician Training program at Southside Virginia Community College will be equipped with the skills, education, and training needed to gain entry-level employment as a qualified diesel technician in the diesel powered vehicle and heavy equipment repair industry. Graduates can expect to secure an entry-level position at diesel truck dealerships, heavy equipment dealerships, fleet shops, and independent service garages. 

The Undergraduate Certificate

Southside Virginia Community College offers two separate Diesel Technician Undergraduate Certificates. The first Diesel Technician Undergraduate Certificate is a one-year program. The second Diesel Technician Undergraduate Certificate is a 6-month program. The one-year program is Pell Grant eligible. 

*Program is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

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