Bellingham Technical College

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology program at Bellingham Technical College prepares students to service, maintain, and repair the heavy trucks, buses, and road equipment in use today. The program also prepares students to qualify for entry-level positions such as diesel engine specialist, truck mechanic, marine technician, and construction and industrial machinery repair technician

In the classroom, students receive in-depth lectures on diesel theory and learn the basics of the diesel engine system, including its design, function, and principles of operation. Through lively class discussions, study materials, and written assignments, students develop strong 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 training shop, students gain practical hands-on experience, carefully guided by their instructors, as they learn how to use cutting-edge diesel technology to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair diesel engines, hydraulic brakes, air brakes, electrical systems, diesel electronic systems, suspension and steering systems, drive trains, track frames, and hydraulic systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on training in proper preventive maintenance and inspection techniques and forklift operation. 

Students learn, hands-on, how to inspect, diagnose, and repair the integrated equipment systems found on today’s diesel engines, using electronic diagnostic equipment, service manuals, precision measuring instruments, power tools, and hand tools, as they disassemble, inspect, test, repair, and reassemble all kinds of diesel engines and heavy equipment systems. Students are evaluated in their hands-on performance by the instructor.

Ethics, shop safety, and professionalism are all stressed throughout the Diesel Technology program at Bellingham Technical College.

The Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree

The curriculum of the Diesel Technology program is centered around the following career-specific classes:

  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 101
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 102
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 103
  • Applied Diesel Concepts I
  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Electrical/Electronics II
  • Hydraulics
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Applied Diesel Concepts II
  • Hydraulic Brakes
  • Electrical/Electronics I
  • Diesel Engines
  • Applied Diesel Concepts III
  • Electrical/Electronics III
  • Drive Train
  • Air Brakes
  • Suspension/Steering
  • Basic Electricity
  • Cooling Towers/Water Treatment
  • Commercial/Industrial Boilers
  • Forklift Driver Certification
  • Basic CSTOP Course

Students are also required to take Applied English, Applied Occupational Math, Precalculus I, Anaerobic Digestion Essentials, General Chemistry w/ Lab I, First Aid Fundamentals, and Engineering Physics I w/Lab, and one Diesel Technology Course Elective in order to fulfill the 138 credit hour requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. In order to graduate, students are required to complete each class and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel Drive Train Undergraduate Certificate

The Diesel Drive Train Undergraduate Certificate program consists of the following career-relevant classes:

  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 101
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 102
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 103
  • Electrical/Electronics III
  • Drive Train
  • Air Brakes
  • Suspension/Steering

Students are also required to take Applied English and Applied Occupational Math in order to fulfill the 48 credit hour requirements of the Diesel Drive Train Undergraduate Certificate program. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to complete each class and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Engine & Electronic Systems Undergraduate Certificate

The Engine & Electronic Systems Undergraduate Certificate program contains the following classes:

  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 101
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 102
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 103
  • Hydraulic Brakes
  • Electrical/Electronics I
  • Diesel Engines

Students are also required to take Applied English and Applied Occupational Math in order to fulfill the 46 credit hour requirements of the Engine & Electronic Systems Undergraduate Certificate program. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to complete each class and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel Hydraulics Undergraduate Certificate

The Diesel Hydraulics Undergraduate Certificate program is made up of the following classes:

  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 101
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 102
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 103
  • Electrical/Electronics II
  • Hydraulics
  • Preventive Maintenance

Students are also required to take Applied English and Applied Occupational Math in order to fulfill the 46 credit hour requirements of the Diesel Hydraulics Undergraduate Certificate program. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to complete each class and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Vehicle Service Technician Undergraduate Certificate

The Vehicle Service Technician Undergraduate Certificate program consists of the following three classes:

  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 101
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 102
  • Basic Transportation Service & Systems 103

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

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 Washington was $53,570 yearly and $25.75 hourly, 19% higher than the national average.

Graduates of the Diesel Technology program at Bellingham Technical College can expect to secure an entry-level position as a qualified diesel mechanic working for local industry employers such as diesel automotive and trucking companies, rental companies, marine dealers, highway construction contractors, and agriculture and heavy equipment companies. 

The Associate of Applied Science Degree and Undergraduate Certificate

Bellingham Technical College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Diesel Technology. Bellingham Technical College also offers four separate Undergraduate Certificates in diesel Technology with four different specializations.

The first certificate is a one-year Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel technology with a Diesel Drive Train specialization. The second certificate is a one-year Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel technology with a Engine and Electronic Systems specialization. The third certificate is a one-year Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel technology with a Electrical/Electronic Systems specialization. The fourth and final certificate is a 3-month Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel technology with a Vehicle Service Technician specialization.

The two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree program and the three one-year Undergraduate Certificate programs are all Pell Grant eligible. 

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