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Program: Diesel and Truck Mechanics Program

Instructor: Mike Robertson
For more info:

Program Quick Look
Approx. Starting Salary: $19.5K-$28K
Average Salary: $30.5K-$38K
Average Wage at Placement: $10-$15/hour
Placement Rate: 100%
Labor Market: very strong

Quotes: "Why make a woman's wage when you can make a man's? In a predominantly male environment and especially in a union environment, it's already set up for employees to make a good salary with great benefits. It's getting harder to find well-paying jobs with comprehensive medical benefits and retirement packages. But the union and transportation companies offer livable benefits. You are guaranteed a defined benefit retirement package. You can't find that anywhere!"

"This is a great career for women to get into because it builds self-confidence and most importantly self-reliance. If I need something fixed, I can do it myself. I don't need to rely on outside resources to get things done. With so many single mothers today, self-reliance is a necessity."

"Nobody thinks of becoming a diesel mechanic. There are no natural pathways to this job, but as a diesel mechanic you can make more money than auto mechanics and you have the freedom to pick the employer you want to work for because there is a great demand for qualified technicians."

Course Information:
Course Description: The COA Diesel Mechanics Program provides students of all experience levels with comprehensive knowledge and skills covering Diesel Engines and Truck Mechanics and Chassis Systems. Through lecture and hands-on lab courses, students learn the skills required to troubleshoot and repair defective parts in mechanical, electrical and electronic systems. They also use computers to diagnose equipment and research information, perform preventative maintenance, operate shop machinery and equipment as well as select and use precision tools involved in the repair and maintenance of mechanical and electronic systems.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites are required, but students are required to bring a basic set of hand tools to lab courses.

Hours Offered: Day and evening classes are available.

Length of Program: Two years full-time.

Career Information:
Career Path: You can usually get an entry-level job as a lube person, tire person, fuel person or utility person (mechanic's trainee) with little or no experience. These positions perform support services such as changing oil filters or greasing chassis and are a good starting point to begin learning hands-on skills and tool usage. From there, individuals can sign up for an apprentice program, which is usually a four-year commitment. Many students in the Diesel Mechanics program also work as apprentices. With enough experience an apprentice can become a journeyman, a fully qualified diesel mechanics professional who can work independently. Many opportunities beyond the journey-level exist as well, such as management or inspection.

Nature of the Work: Diesel Mechanics at the journey-level work independently diagnosing, troubleshooting and solving mechanical and electrical problems. The job requires professional judgment and communication skills. Diesel and Truck Mechanics is a hands-on career, so physical fitness is a crucial job qualification. Odd hours such as graveyard shifts are often required of those getting started in the field.

Work Environment: Diesel and Truck Mechanics work in a shop environment surrounded by equipment used on the job. The work can sometimes be dirty and physically demanding while other aspects of the job require patience and precise hand-eye coordination. Diesel and Truck Mechanics must sometimes work outside in all kinds of weather. Because of the physical nature of this work, dress is always casual. Steel toed boots and/or hard hats may be required.

Specific Jobs Available to Graduates: Journeyman, Power Mechanic, Chassis mechanic, Field Service Technician, Power-Train Mechanic, Equipment Inspector, Service Writer, Foreman, Supervisor, Manager, Trainer, Welder/Fabricator, Body and Paint Repairman, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Technician

Industries Employing Graduates of this Program: Cummins West, Inc., Peterson Tractor & Power Systems, Stewart and Stevenson, Golden Gate Truck Center, Eaton Corporation, Bendix Air Brake Corporation, AC Transit, Meritor Corporation, Coast Counties Truck and Equipment, Chevron, Wager Meter Manufacturer, Caltrans, Right Away Ready Mix, Port of Oakland, Yellow Freight, City of Oakland


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