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What is Diesel Technology?

The goal of the Diesel Technology program at CPAVTS is to assist each student in developing safe work habits, positive work ethics, and basic technical skills that will enable them to enjoy lifelong success in the mechanical trades.Students in this course will receive training in all areas of diesel engine construction, operation, troubleshooting and repair, and in the maintenance, servicing, and repair of over-the-road trucks, trailers and transportation equipment. The first year of instruction will center on diesel powered engines (this is primarily related to transportation equipment, but can also be applied to diesel powered construction equipment, high lifts, farm machinery and other diesel-powered equipment). Electrical systems, turbo chargers, engine speed governors and lubrication systems are a few examples of the engine subsystems that are covered. Students will be assisted in developing a keen attention to detail, which is necessary for success in this trade. The second and third year students study the other components and systems of the truck: transmissions, rear axles, clutches, drive lines, batteries, starters, alternators, steering, suspension, alignment and air conditioning, just to name a few. Instruction will be provided in oxyacetylene, AC/DC and MIG welding operations. Students who qualify will also be eligible to take the Pennsylvania State Vehicle Safety Inspection Program for mechanics; EPA, type 609 air conditioning certification is also offered. If you have a sincere interest in pursuing a career as a Diesel Technician, this would be a great place to start your career! We are located in the center of one of the nation's busiest truck transportation hubs, and there is an abundance of jobs in this trade--and a severe shortage of qualified people to fill them. Full-time starting wages for graduates of the class of 2006 ranged from $10.50 to over $18.50 per hour.

For more information on the opportunities available through this program, please refer to the "College Credits" and "Industry Certifications" links to the left. Watch this video to find out what a CPAVTS education means for you! 


Program Objectives 

  1. Complete PA Dept. of Ed. POS (Program of Study)
  2. Complete NOCTI Competencies
  3. Obtain Industry Certifications (EPA 609 A/C Certification, PA Safety Inspection, PA Emissions Inspection, CPR/First Aid, OSHA 10)
  4. Earn College in the High School (CHS) Credits through Pennsylvania College of Technology
  5. Industry Visit (Level 1)
  6. Post-Secondary Visit (Level 2)
  7. Complete Internship, Participate in Cooperative Education Program

Level 1

Certification: OSHA 10

  • Shop Safety
  • Use of Basic Shop Tools and Equipment
  • Measuring, Precision, and Non-Precision
  • Available Careers in This Trade
  • Hardware Identification and Application
  • Pipe Fitting Identification and Application
  • Diesel Engine Construction
  • Diesel Engine Operation
  • Diesel Engine Fuel Systems
  • Diesel Engine Cooling Systems
  • Diesel Engine Teardown and Reassembly
  • Diesel Engine Air Intake and Exhaust Systems
  • Diesel Engine Control Systems
  • Diesel Engine Troubleshooting

Employability Skills Training


  • 100s: Orientation and Safety
  • 200s: Tools and Fasteners/Hardware
  • 300s: Suspension and Steering Systems
  • 400s: Preventative Maintenance
  • 500s: Brake System

Level 2

CHS: Penn College Now, DSM 119 (Basic Fuel Systems)

  • Review of Basic Shop Safety
  • Safety Around Large Vehicles
  • Vehicle Electrical Systems
  • Electrical Troubleshooting
  • Wheel End Servicing/Wheel Bearings and Seals
  • Foundation Brake Assemblies
  • Air Brake Service and Operation
  • Clutches
  • Drivelines and Universal Joints    

Employability Skills Training            


  • 500s: Brake System
  • 600s: Demonstrate Knowledge of the Engine
  • 700s: Air Intake and Exaust Systems
  • 800s: Demonstrate Knowledge of the Cooling System
  • 900s: Fuel System
  • 1000s: Electrical/Electronic System                                                                                                                

Level 3 

Certifications: PA Safety Inspection, PA Emissions Certification

CHS: Penn College Now, DSM 141 (Basic Air Brake Systems)

  • Shop Safety Review
  • Forklift Safety
  • Electrical System Diagnosis
  • Introduction to Welding
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Live Work Performed on School-Owned and Customer Vehicles
  • Air Brake Troubleshooting
  • Electronic Engine Controls
  • Participation in Cooperative Education Program (for Qualified Students)



Is it for You?

Successful students in this program typically enjoy performing mechanical work and working with tools. Diesel mechanics performing heavy jobs may work as a team or may be assisted by an apprentice or helper, while bus and truck mechanics often work alone on individual vehicles. Most work performed is done inside a shop, which are usually well-lit, heated, and ventilated, although the work area is greasy and sometimes noisy when heavy equipment is being used. Mechanics usually work between forty and forty-eight hours per week; those working for bus and truck firms providing around-the-clock service may work evenings, nights, and weekends. Additionally, the following skills are a must for professionals in the field:


  • Accurate math calculation skills with fractions, decimals, percents and metrics
  • Reading comprehension at 10th grade or higher
  • Good eye to hand coordination.
  • Good physical stamina and coordination.
  • Good manipulative skills
  • The ability to follow directions carefully and maintain precise accuracy standards.

For more information on this program's objectives, please visit the "Task List" link to the left.



What Can You Do as a Graduate of Diesel Technology?


Potential Career Pathways

* Salaries listed are PA state averages taken from and are accurate as of 2020.

Industrial Machinery Mechanics ($46,790)

Industrial Truck & Tractor Operators ($34,900)

Transportation Vehicle, Equipment, and System Inspectors ($75,820)

Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers ($41,360)

Bus/Truck Mechanic ($48,330)

Automotive Technician ($42,010)

...and many more

Post-Secondary Studies

*Some employment options may require additional study.

Penn College: Diesel Technology, Diesel Technician