Ben Franklin Career Center

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology training program at the Ben Franklin Career Center is designed to equip students with the specific knowledge and specialized training needed to become proficient, entry-level technicians, able to service, maintain, and repair diesel trucks and heavy machinery. Students will study a variety of diesel engines, including Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit, and Mark.

Students are taught such topics as diesel theory and the fundamentals of the diesel engine system in the classroom, receiving in-depth lectures about the design, function, and various types of diesel engines being utilized by diesel trucks and heavy equipment today.

Through class discussions, written assignments, and detailed learning materials, students will develop strong communication, comprehension, and computational skills in technical mathematics and writing, critical to the success of each and every diesel mechanic.

Through the observation of live demonstrations and task-specific hands-on training in the laboratory, students are taught the modern techniques used to properly troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair the diesel engines, hydraulic systems, air brakes, engine electrical systems, diesel electronic systems, drive trains, steering systems, engine fuel systems, and engine cooling systems utilized by heavy duty trucks and heavy machinery.

Each student will learn on the most current diagnostic equipment as they diagnose and repair the computerized auxiliary systems found on today’s diesel engines. Precision measuring instruments, technical manuals, electronic multi-meters, power tools, circuit diagrams, and hand tools, will all be used by students to perform diesel engine overhauls as they disassemble, inspect, test, fix, and reassemble various diesel engines with precision and accuracy.

Students will learn the value of effective time management, teamwork, and shop safety as they work alone and in groups to complete each career-specific task, administered to them by their instructors, in a precise and timely manner. Ethics, integrity, professionalism, and a positive attitude in the workplace will also be stressed.

The Diesel Technology Areas of Study

The Diesel Technology program focuses on the following topics:

  • Engine Operations
  • Engine Design & Construction
  • Precision Measurement
  • Engine Lubricating
  • Engine Cooling Systems
  • Engine Fuel Systems
  • Engine Air Systems
  • Engine Tune-Up
  • Engine Trouble-shooting
  • Engine Electrical Systems
  • Drive Trains
  • Steering
  • Hydraulics

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

From Graduation to Occupation 

Students who successfully complete the Diesel Technology program at the Ben Franklin Career Center will be well-prepared for employment as entry-level diesel mechanics in the diesel truck and heavy equipment service and repair industry. Graduates can expect to secure an entry-level position at factories, railroads, mining companies, construction companies, commercial trucking companies, and oil and natural gas exploration and extraction 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 West Virginia was $36,640 yearly and $17.61 hourly, 19% lower than the national average.

The Two-Year Undergraduate Certificate

The Ben Franklin Career Center offers a two-year Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Technology. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

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