Diesel Equipment Technician Diploma

Career Description

The Diesel Equipment Technician program allows students to prepare for careers in maintenance, repair, and diagnostics of diesel equipment. Graduates students find employment at original equipment manufacturing dealerships, construction contractors, independent repair facilities, federal, state and local government agencies, and the related forestry, mining, and petroleum industries. Career titles may include: Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician, Diesel Maintenance Technician, Heavy Equipment Technician, Heavy Truck Technician, Diesel Technician, Diesel Mechanic.

Program Information

The Diesel Equipment Technician Diploma is an eleven-month program that includes an accelerated six-week summer session. This program concentrates on the hydraulic/hydrostatic, power train, electrical/electronics, and engine systems of off-road construction equipment such as crawlers, excavators, backhoes, front end loaders, motor graders, and skid steer loaders as well as on-highway vehicles. Two program options allow students to prepare for careers in maintenance, repair, and diagnostics of diesel equipment.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • Apply safe shop and equipment practices;
  • Demonstrate proper use and care of shop and personal tools;
  • Inspect, diagnose, and conduct failure analysis and perform preventative maintenance inspections in electrical, hydraulic, engines and power train systems;
  • Use service resources and software technologies;
  • Apply fundamental skills and concepts to problem solving situations;
  • Communicate effectively in written and speaking in diesel mechanics industry situations;
  • Demonstrate a high level of craftsmanship and professionalism.

Special Program Requirements

In addition to the program requirements, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  2. College Technical Core GPA Requirement: cumulative GPA of credits attempted and completed towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
  3. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.


This program is accredited by Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) Foundation.


Students enrolled in these programs must supply their own basic tool sets. A guideline of what tools are needed is available from admissions.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:


Program Course Requirements

Fall Semester (20 credits)
DHET 1101 Diesel Equipment Fundamentals, 2 cr
MATH 1500 Applied Math, 3 cr

The following classes are offered in the fall and the spring:
DHET 1125  Hydraulic Theory, 3 cr
DHET 1126  Hydraulic Lab, 5 cr
DHET 1128  Power Trains Theory, 2 cr
DHET 1129  Power Trains Lab, 5 cr

Spring Semester (20 credits)
DHET 1123  Customer Service/Service Management 1, 1 cr
ENGL 1520  Language Fundamentals, 1 cr
ENGL 1521  Technical Writing Fundamentals, 1 cr
ENGL 1522  Writing Fundamentals for Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technicians, 1 cr

The following classes are offered in the fall and the spring:
DHET 1107  Electrical Theory, 3 cr
DHET 1108  Electrical Lab, 5 cr
DHET 1117  Engine Theory, 3 cr
DHET 1118  Engine Lab, 5 cr

Summer Semester (7 credits)
DHET 1132*  On Highway Vehicle Systems Theory, 3 cr
DHET 1133*  On Highway Vehicle Systems Lab, 4 cr

*Denotes Prerequisites

Program News

_H0A8262a-001Two Central Lakes College students placed in the top spots at the 48th annual Minnesota Skills USA Championship, held this past weekend in Bloomington, Minn. Seven students from the Diesel Technician Program represented CLC in both the college and high school divisions. They competed in hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests. The competition focuses on technical skill demonstration. In the High School Diesel Division, CLC student Tommy Hoheisel, of Pierz, took first place and Rustle Warwas, of Eveleth, placed second. Both students are currently attending CLC in the PSEO program. Hoheisel will go on to represent CLC and Minnesota at the national competition, which takes place in Kentucky June 22-26. He will compete against other finalists in his division from across the nation.

Tommy-001Two Central Lakes College students enrolled in the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician program were recently awarded a $1,000 tool scholarship from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. Tommy Hoheisel, of Pierz, and Rustle Warwas, of Eveleth, are both PSEO students currently enrolled in the CLC program. In order to receive the $1,000 tool scholarship from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, the student must be in an AED accredited Diesel/Equipment Technology program and have the highest cumulative GPA. The candidate is chosen by the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician program instructor. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is a foundation that Mike Rowe (host of the “Dirty Jobs” TV show) started to get people interested and to help them succeed in the Diesel/Equipment technology field. For the scholarship, two students are chosen from each college or high school that is AED accredited. It’s a great honor to be chosen, CLC program staff say. The scholarship money must be used to buy tools, which quite easy to do in the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician industry.

Tommy Hoheisel competingCentral Lakes College student Tommy Hoheisel, of Pierz, earned a bronze medal in the SkillsUSA Championships held in Kentucky June 22-26.The SkillsUSA Championships is the showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels.More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students –– all state contest winners –– competed in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields during the championships. Hoheisel, who is attending CLC in the PSEO program, competed in the high school division. In the Diesel Equipment Technology category, Hoheisel cycled through 14 stations, testing and troubleshooting engines, electrical and electronics systems, power train systems including chassis, transmissions and carriers. He also had to demonstrate skills in hydraulic systems, vehicle inspections, fundamental failure analysis, brake systems, air-conditioning systems and general shop skills. Finally, he performed job interview skills and completed a written test. “This was a good experience for Tommy. Tommy competed against many other contestants in the high school division and did very well by bringing home a bronze medal,” said CLC Diesel Technician Program instructor Jeff Klehr. “This competition was against the best of the best in the country and Tommy did very well. All the hard work Tommy did payed off. I am very proud of him and his determination to be the best.”

Program Instructors

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