Automotive Technology Certificate: Diesel and Industrial Technician Program Overview
Students interested in studying automotive technology with a focus in diesel and industrial technology may consider completing a certificate program in diesel technology. This type of program focuses on the concepts and ideas that prepare students for work on heavy vehicles with diesel engines and other diesel vehicles used in industrial settings.
Diesel Technology Certificate
A diesel technology certificate program takes 1-2 years to complete. Programs offer students theoretical knowledge of diesel engines and hands-on experience using computerized tools to keep large vehicles and industrial equipment running properly. It is common for programs to follow guidelines from - or to be certified by - a nationally recognized professional organization, such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Programs usually have no education prerequisites, except requiring students to have a high school diploma or equivalent.
The goal of most diesel technology programs is to prepare students for entry-level positions as mechanics upon graduation. With this in mind, curriculum is focused on teaching students the skills needed to operate automotive repair equipment and tools in addition to providing them with the knowledge to identify vehicle parts, troubleshoot problems and perform corrective or preventative actions. Some topics covered in a program may include:
- Preventative maintenance for diesel engines
- Vehicle electrical systems
- Diesel brake systems
- Suspension and steering systems
- Vehicle troubleshooting methods
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), about 222,940 jobs were held by diesel service technicians and mechanics in 2011, with a projected job growth for the period of 2008-2018 of six percent (www.bls.gov). This slow job growth was expected to be due to the increased durability and reliability of new diesel vehicles. In May 2011, the BLS reported a mean annual wage for the category including diesel engine specialists as $41,640.
Continuing Education and Certification Info
According to the BLS, experience is valued more than advanced education for diesel technicians. With experience, technicians may advance their careers and qualify for voluntary certification from an organization, such as the ASE. The ASE offers the option of master technician certification and a master medium-heavy technician certification, among other specialized certifications (www.ase.com). Both master certification options require work experience and passing multiple tests. Recertification takes place every five years.
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