Lake Washington Institute of Technology

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Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician  

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician program provides students with comprehensive knowledge and practical experience of the highest caliber in the service, repair, and maintenance of heavy-duty trucks and diesel powered equipment. Students are properly taught and carefully guided by instructors who not only have years of industry experience but who have also been ASE Master Certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

In the classroom, students receive lectures on diesel theory and learn the fundamentals of the diesel engine, including the design, function, and principles of operation of the entire diesel engine system. Through lively class discussions, in-depth learning materials, and written assignments, students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, and strengthen their comprehension in both mathematics and technical writing. Areas of study include gear ratios, U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, effective shop and business practices, computer basics, transportation trades, and more.

In the state-of-the-art training facility, students watch live demonstrations and are carefully guided by their instructors as they learn, hands-on, how to safely and properly inspect, troubleshoot, and repair diesel engines, gas and liquid propane fuel systems, fuel injection systems, brakes, heavy duty electrical systems, diesel electronic systems, steering systems, suspension systems, frames, standard power trains, power shift power trains, hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, and air conditioning and heating systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in welding for diesel mechanics as well as diesel mechanical practices and first aid. 

Using technical manuals, hand tools, power tools, computerized diagnostic equipment, gauges, and wiring diagrams, students disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated system components, learning, hands-on, how to perform diesel engine overhauls and tune-ups.

Each student will develop important analytical, technical, and problem solving skills, while strengthening their mechanical aptitude. Students will also be expected to practice shop safety as they learn how to properly handle and dispose of hazardous materials according to OSHA safety standards. 

Students will also learn how to manage their time effectively and work as a team as they complete each task assigned to them by their instructors in a thorough and timely manner. Ethics and professionalism will also be stressed throughout the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician program at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician A.A.S. Degree

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician A.A.S. Degree program contains the following career-focused courses:

  • Computer Basics/Transportation Trades
  • Shop and Business Practices
  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Mechanical Principles
  • Welding Applications
  • Heavy Duty Electrical Systems
  • Electronic Applications
  • Basic Maintenance
  • Engine Principles/Components
  • Gasoline/Liquid Propane Gas Systems
  • Diesel Systems
  • Fuel Injection
  • Diagnostics/Adjustments/Emissions
  • Hydraulic Fluid Power I
  • Hydraulic Fluid Power II
  • Diesel Mechanical Practices
  • Power Trains/Standard
  • Power Trains/Power Shift
  • Traction and Components
  • Steering/Suspension/Frames
  • Pneumatics
  • Foundation Brakes
  • First Aid Elective
  • Cooperative Work Experience Seminar I
  • Cooperative Work Experience I

Students are required to take Written Communication, Humanities, Quantitative Reasoning, and Social Science in order to meet the minimum 117 credit hour requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to successfully complete each course and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician Certificate of Proficiency

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician Certificate of Proficiency program is comprised of the following career-relevant classes:

  • Computer Basics/Transportation Trades
  • Shop and Business Practices
  • Basic Electrical Systems
  • Mechanical Principles
  • Welding Applications
  • Heavy Duty Electrical Systems
  • Electronic Applications
  • Basic Maintenance
  • Engine Principles/Components
  • Gasoline/Liquid Propane Gas Systems
  • Fuel Injection
  • Hydraulic Fluid Power I
  • Diesel Mechanical Practices
  • Power Trains/Standard
  • Traction and Components
  • Steering/Suspension/Frames
  • Pneumatics
  • Foundation Brakes
  • Cooperative Work Experience I

Students are required to take Written Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, and Social Science in order to meet the minimum 89 credit hour requirements of the Certificate of Proficiency program. To be eligible to graduate, students must finish each class and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Employment Opportunities

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 and Heavy Equipment Technician program at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology 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. Occupational opportunities include, but are not limited to, the truck transportation industry, automotive repair and maintenance facilities, the construction industry, the manufacturing industry, mining industry, logging industry, oil extraction industry, and repair shop management.

The Associate of Applied Science Degree and Certificate of Proficiency

The Lake Washington Institute of Technology offers a two-year Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician Associate of Applied Science Degree. The Lake Washington Institute of Technology also offers a 21-month Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician Certificate of Proficiency. Both programs are Pell Grant eligible. 

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