Clark College

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Diesel Technology  

Today’s diesel mechanics inspect, maintain, and repair the mechanical, electrical, electronic, and hydraulic components of heavy duty trucks and diesel powered equipment. The Diesel Technology program at Clark College is designed to equip students with the technical knowledge and specialized skills necessary to properly diagnose, adjust, repair, and maintain today’s diesel trucks and heavy equipment. 

In the classroom, students acquire academic proficiency in diesel theory and the fundamentals of the diesel engine system, while developing strong thinking, reasoning, and communication skills through in-depth lectures, class discussions, study materials, and written assignments.

In the shop, students obtain valuable hands-on experience through the inspection, testing, and repairing of diesel engines, brake systems, drive trains, fuel systems, suspension systems, steering systems, diesel electrical systems, electronic vehicle control systems, hydraulic systems, and mobile air conditioning systems found on today’s diesel trucks and heavy machinery. Students will also gain hands-on experience performing proper diesel procedures.

Through the disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling of various diesel engines and their integrated auxiliary systems, using computerized diagnostic machinery, gauges, volt meters, hand tools, power tools, and machine tools, as well as service manuals and wiring schematics, students will learn hands-on how to perform diesel engine rebuilds and tune-ups.

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 Technology program at Clark College. 

The Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree

The Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree program consists of the following career-relevant classes:

  • Diesel Fundamentals
  • Diesel Procedures I
  • Diesel Engines/Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Procedures II
  • Drive Trains
  • Diesel Procedures III
  • Basic Electrical
  • Electronic Engine Management Systems
  • Electronic Vehicle Control Systems
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems
  • Diesel Procedures IV
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Diesel Procedures V
  • Brakes, Steering, and Suspension
  • Diesel Procedures VI

Students are also required to take Communication Skills, Health & Physical Education, Computational Skills, Industrial Mathematics or Pre-Algebra, Human Relations, Small Group Communication or Interpersonal Communication, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences in order to meet the minimum 120 credit hour requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate. Students may also wish to take Customer Service, Cummins Engines, Industrial Hydraulics, and/or Industrial First Aid to better prepare them for the Diesel technology trade.

The Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree Transfer Program

The Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree Transfer program is made up of the following career-specific courses:

  • Diesel Fundamentals
  • Diesel Procedures I
  • Diesel Engines/Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Procedures II
  • Drive Trains
  • Diesel Procedures III
  • Basic Electrical
  • Electronic Engine Management Systems
  • Electronic Vehicle Control Systems
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems
  • Diesel Procedures IV
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Diesel Procedures V
  • Brakes, Steering, and Suspension
  • Diesel Procedures VI

Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade, to be eligible to graduate. Students may also wish to take Customer Service, Cummins Engines, Industrial Hydraulics, and/or Industrial First Aid to better prepare them for the Diesel technology trade.

The Diesel Technology Certificate of Proficiency

The curriculum of the Diesel Technology Certificate of Proficiency program contains the following core classes:

  • Diesel Fundamentals
  • Diesel Procedures I
  • Diesel Engines/Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Procedures II
  • Drive Trains
  • Diesel Procedures III
  • Basic Electrical
  • Electronic Engine Management Systems
  • Electronic Vehicle Control Systems
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems
  • Diesel Procedures IV
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Diesel Procedures V
  • Brakes, Steering, and Suspension
  • Diesel Procedures VI

Students are also required to take Communication Skills, Writing Fundamentals, Computational Skills, Industrial Mathematics or Pre-Algebra, Human Relations, and either Small Group Communication or Interpersonal Communication in order to meet the minimum 110 credit hour requirements of the Certificate of Proficiency program. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate. Students may also wish to take Customer Service, Cummins Engines, Industrial Hydraulics, and/or Industrial First Aid to better prepare them for the Diesel technology trade.

From Education to Occupation

Students who successfully complete the Diesel Technology program at Clark College will possess the skills necessary to gain entry-level employment in the diesel equipment technology field, including equipment diagnosis, troubleshooting, repairing, servicing, maintenance, and management. Graduates will be qualified to inspect, service, and repair railroad locomotives, heavy duty trucks, buses, agriculture equipment, and construction equipment, in various segments of the diesel industry, including, heavy-duty construction companies, oil exploration companies, farms, ranches, mining companies, logging companies, train yards, truck repair shops, bus lines, and commercial trucking companies. 

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.

The Associate of Applied Science Degree, Associate of Applied Science Degree Transfer, and Certificate of Proficiency

Clark College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Diesel Technology as well as a two-year Associate of Applied Science Transfer Degree in Diesel Technology. Clark College also offers a 21-month Certificate of Proficiency in Diesel Technology. All three programs are Pell Grant eligible. 

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