Milwaukee Area Technical College

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Diesel and Powertrain Servicing*  

The one-year Diesel and Powertrain Servicing program at Milwaukee Area Technical College prepares individuals for servicing trucks and heavy equipment powered by either gas or diesel engines, such as stationary engines, construction equipment, and marine applications, with an emphasis in the heavy truck field. Certain parts of the program may be taken off-campus for co-op credit with the instructor’s permission.

Through in-depth lectures, class discussions, and textbooks, students gain a broad understanding of diesel theory and the fundamentals of automotive and diesel technology, learning about the design, function, and operating principles of both the four stroke diesel engine and gasoline engine and their sub-systems. Each student will strengthen their mathematical computation and English comprehension, while developing critical thinking, reasoning, and technical writing skills though class assignments, class discussions, and class projects.

In the on-campus shop, students observe live demonstrations and acquire hands-on training, carefully guided by their instructors as they learn how to inspect, service, and repair diesel engines, gasoline engines, diesel fuel systems, electrical systems, electronic systems, steering systems, suspension systems, alignment systems, brakes, transmissions, driveline components, hydraulic systems, emission control systems, and heavy truck HVAC systems using modern test equipment and specialized tools. Students will also learn about automotive diagnostics, fuels, and emissions.

By disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling diesel engines and their integrated sub-systems, using sophisticated diagnostic equipment, service manuals, wiring diagrams, multi-meters, gauges, power tools, and hand tools, students gain valuable hands-on experience in diesel engine construction and installation. Students are given the opportunity to overhaul engines found in heavy duty trucks, marine vessels, stationary equipment, and off-road construction equipment, ranging from 400 to 12,000 lbs. in the full-service repair shop.

Students will also be expected to utilize teamwork, shop safety, and effective time management, as they complete each task assigned to them by their instructors with thoroughness, accuracy and precision. Each student will develop 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 and Powertrain Servicing program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. 

The Diesel and Powertrain Servicing Curriculum

The Diesel and Powertrain Servicing program contains the following career-relevant classes:

  • Diesel Fuel Systems
  • Electrical/Electronics Shop
  • Driveline Components
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Engine Construction & Installation
  • Emission Control Systems
  • Fundamentals of Oxyfuel Welding
  • Heavy Truck HVAC Systems
  • Front-End, Brake & Suspension Systems

Students are also required to take Applied Economics and Human Relations and Communications 1 in order to fulfill the minimum 31 credit requirements of the Automotive Light-Duty Diesel Technology Diploma program. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to complete each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

Employment Opportunities 

Thanks to a high demand for qualified diesel mechanics, students who successfully graduate from the Diesel and Powertrain Servicing program at Milwaukee Area Technical College can be confident they will secure an entry-level position at a dealership, distributor, trucking fleet, construction company, railroad, shipyard, or independent repair shop. 

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 Wisconsin was $42,710 yearly and $20.54 hourly, just 5% lower than the national average.

The One-Year Technical Diploma

Milwaukee Area Technical College offers a one-year Technical Diploma in Diesel and Powertrain Servicing. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

*Program is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

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