Internships and Classroom Instruction
While enrolled in a program, a student will also be participating in an internship program, after they have completed the first half of their education. The internships will typically last six to twelve months in length, depending on the type of program. As an intern the students will work with professional diesel mechanics as they diagnose common engine issues and perform routine repair and maintenance duties. There are no training requirements for this position, however, because the newer diesel engine models are composed of more complex electrical systems, many employers will only hire the mechanic that has a formal education or an extensive background as a mechanic.
The classroom instruction portion for this program will also include lectures and live demonstrations. Students will observe as class instructors perform diagnostic testing, electrical system repair and engine configuration. Core courses will also include sections on how to rebuild or repair exhaust systems, brake systems and hydraulics.
Other classes available will teach students about the major systems of a diesel engine and the different types of vehicle components that will require repair and maintenance such as air conditioning systems, transmissions, system computers and suspension. Students will also learn how to determine the cause of diesel engine issues by performing diagnostic testing procedures with the use of software programs. A class designed to cover diagnostic computer software programs will focus on how a mechanic can determine engine issues by using sensors or other types of tools, for trouble shooting purposes.
Safety Courses and Minor Repair
A class on diesel technology will provide students with a general overview on how this type of engine functions, how to use heavy equipment and other tools of the trade properly, universal safety precautions in a garage, basic first aid, CPR, and how to work with dangerous waste materials. Students will begin working in the school garages and will progress to working in a local garage where they will be in charge of handling minor repair and maintenance procedures under the supervision of professional mechanics. Many students will have the ability to apply for a paying position at the garage they are apprenticing at, once they have completed a program, although these positions are offered as entry level.