Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

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Agricultural Power and Equipment Technician  

Because of the advances in agricultural equipment technology, advances that have made the equipment more complex, precise, and costly, more and more skilled professionals are needed to repair and maintain this equipment. The Agricultural Power and Equipment Technician program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College was designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and training necessary to service, maintain, and repair today’s agricultural equipment. 

In the classroom, students acquire a basic understanding of diesel theory and the fundamentals of the diesel engine system, including the design, function, and principles of operation of the modern diesel engine as it pertains to today’s tillage, planting, and harvesting equipment. Students advance their mathematical computation, English comprehension, and industrial terminology through in-depth lectures, class discussions, written assignments, and academic research. Textbooks cover such topics as gear ratios, the U.S. Standard and Metric measuring systems, how to effectively manage a repair shop, communicating with the customer, and more.

In the laboratory, students observe live demonstrations and gain practical hands-on experience, given close guidance by their instructors, as they learn how to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair all parts of the diesel engine system, including diesel engines, brake systems, chassis and drive systems, Ag electrical systems, electronic systems, hydraulic systems, and air conditioning systems. Students also acquire valuable hands-on experience in related welding techniques. 

Using shop manuals, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, grinders, lathes, pneumatic wrenches, electronic diagnostic equipment, precision measuring instruments, electronic multi-meters, and circuit diagrams, students disassemble, inspect, diagnose, repair, and reassemble diesel engines and their integrated system components, acquiring valuable hands-on training in the science of diesel engine overhaul.

Each student will strengthen their mechanical aptitude and develop important analytical, technical, and problem solving skills throughout the two-year program. Students will also be expected to manage their time wisely and work both independently, and as a team, as they complete each and every task assigned to them by their instructors in an accurate, thorough, and timely manner.

Shop safety and the proper protocol for handling and disposing of hazardous materials according to OSHA regulations will also be discussed and practiced. Ethics, professionalism, and integrity in the workplace will also be stressed throughout the Diesel Equipment Mechanic program at the Fox Valley Technical College.

The Agricultural Power and Equipment Technician Curriculum

The curriculum of the Agricultural Power and Equipment Technician program contains the following courses:

  • Intro to Ag Electrical Systems
  • Farm Machinery Maintenance
  • Ag Shop Safety & Practices
  • Related Welding
  • Basic Hydraulics
  • Consumer Equipment Maintenance & Repair
  • Farm Equipment I
  • Farm Equipment II
  • Ag Power Occupation Internship
  • Farm Machinery (Harvesting)
  • Chassis and Drive Systems
  • Air Conditioning
  • Advanced Electrical Systems
  • Diesel Engines I
  • Diesel Engines II
  • Applied Hydraulics

Students are also required to take Applied Mathematics, Science of Mathematics, Workplace Communication, and Professional Development Seminar in order to fulfill the 63 credit requirements of the Undergraduate Certificate program. Students must finish each and every class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

Occupational Outlook

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.

Students who finish the Agricultural Power and Equipment Technician program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College will be equipped with the mechanical skills, comprehensive education, and occupational training needed to qualify as entry-level diesel mechanics, farm equipment technicians, mobile equipment technicians, service writers, or parts specialists employed by farm equipment dealerships, repair shops, and on farms and ranches. Some graduates may even choose to start their own business, farm, or ranch, and work on their own agricultural equipment.

The Two-Year Undergraduate Certificate

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College offers a two-year Agricultural Power and Equipment Technician Undergraduate Certificate. This program is Pell Grant eligible. 

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