Careers in Diesel Service Technology

Steven Wilgus

Today’s diesel technicians are highly skilled, analytical thinkers who diagnose and repair the most advanced trucks and heavy equipment that have ever been built. On-board computers operate engines, transmissions, brakes, hydraulic systems, and even air conditioning systems. Technicians now communicate with the on-board computers using PCs loaded with special interactive software. Technicians can view the history, read electronic faults, perform diagnostic tests and even program the parameters affecting the machine’s operation.

What will I do on the job?

The Diesel Service Technician must be able to work on a great variety of models and sizes of diesel engines and machine related systems: air and hydraulic brakes, mobile hydraulics and hydrostatic systems, electronic and electrical systems, air conditioning systems and power trains. Diesel engines are used in trucks, tractors, construction machines, power generation, boats and trains. The transportation industry depends on diesel power to move the nation’s and the world’s goods.

What skills will I use on the job?

PCC’s Diesel Service Technology program is designed to help you develop skills in repair procedures and trouble-shooting diesel systems. You will also develop the skills required to obtain employment and to excel in the field. Other skill areas introduced or developed include: organization, understanding service manuals, following directions, communication, computers, diesel service technician vocabulary, use of hand, power and precision tools.

Who will hire me?

PCC Diesel Service Technology program graduates are presently employed as entry-level technicians, journeyman technicians, factory representatives, shop foremen, superintendents, trainers and warranty representatives. Graduates have found work locally and throughout the United States. Most students start working after class soon after starting the program and earn a great wage while going to school.

How much can I earn?

Starting annual salaries in the Portland area begin at approximately $34,000; a more experienced technician may earn from $40,000 to $80,000. Many employers offer outstanding benefits, including health, dental, life insurance and retirement. PCC also has a lifetime job assistance program to help you find jobs in the future.