South Seattle College

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Diesel and Heavy Equipment  

The South Seattle College Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program is designed to educate and train students in all aspects of diesel and heavy equipment repair. Students learn how to service, maintain, and repair the diesel engines used to power buses, trucks, construction equipment, ships, locomotives, tractors, farm machinery, and power generators.

Students learn diesel theory in the classroom while they gain valuable hands-on technical experience inspecting, testing, and servicing gasoline engines, diesel engines, brake systems, hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, electrical systems, drive trains, cranking systems, lighting systems, suspension and steering systems, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Students also learn basic welding and cutting for diesel mechanics as well as proper preventive maintenance and inspections for diesel-powered vehicles and heavy equipment.

Each student will obtain practical hands-on experience in diesel engine overhaul and tune-up using service manuals, hand tools, scan tools, laptops, wiring diagrams, pressure gauges, flow meters, and electrical multi-meters to disassemble, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated auxiliary systems. 

Students also develop important interpersonal communication and teamwork skills, as well as analytical, technical, and mechanical skills with every task they are assigned to complete, both independently, and in groups. Proper safety training and practices are also stressed throughout the program.

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

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment A.A.S. Degree program consists of the following classes:

  • Introduction to Computing for Technical Programs
  • Preventive Maintenance and Inspection
  • Heavy Duty Diesel Welding
  • Introduction to Electrical
  • Advanced Electrical
  • Tires, Alignment, Steering, and Suspension
  • Hydraulic and Air Brakes
  • Hydraulics & Pneumatics
  • Drive Train
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Gasoline Engines
  • Diesel Engine Diagnosis/Remove and Replace
  • Diesel Engine Rebuild
  • Lift Truck Operator
  • Internship – Heavy Duty Diesel
  • Introduction to Motor Vehicle Maintenance Technology I

Students are also required to take Applied Composition, Applied Math for Technicians, and Psychology of Human Relations in order to meet the 126 credit requirements of the Associate of Applied Science Degree program. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Certificate

The Diesel and Heavy Equipment Certificate program is comprised of the following courses:

  • Introduction to Computing for Technical Programs
  • Preventive Maintenance and Inspection
  • Heavy Duty Diesel Welding
  • Introduction to Electrical
  • Advanced Electrical
  • Tires, Alignment, Steering, and Suspension
  • Hydraulic and Air Brakes
  • Lift Truck Operator
  • Introduction to Motor Vehicle Maintenance Technology I

Students must also take Applied Composition, Applied Math for Technicians, and Psychology of Human Relations in order to meet the 72 credit requirements of the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Certificate program. In order to graduate, students are required to complete every course and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

From Graduation to Occupation

Graduates of the Diesel and Heavy Equipment program at South Seattle 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 and extraction 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 Transfer Degree, and Undergraduate Certificate

South Seattle College offers a two-year Diesel and Heavy Equipment Associate of Applied Science Degree as well as a two-year Diesel and Heavy Equipment Associate of Applied Science Transfer Degree. South Seattle College also offers a 9-month Diesel and Heavy Equipment Undergraduate Certificate. All three programs are Pell Grant eligible. 

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