Expand mobile version menu
  Skip to main content

Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technology/Technician

Program Description

Just the Facts

Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technology/Technician. A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills in the field maintenance and repair of heavy equipment, and in the general maintenance and overhaul of such equipment. Includes instruction in inspection, maintenance, and repair of tracks, wheels, brakes, operating controls, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, electrical circuitry, engines and in techniques of welding and brazing.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

Check out related careers

Related Programs

Often similar programs have different names. Be sure to explore all your options.

Additional Information

People training in heavy equipment mechanics programs are learning to fix all kinds of large vehicles, from diesel trucks to bulldozers. You can even find specialized training programs for things like farm machines or trains.

You'll undergo a demanding skills training program on your way to this career. It's not just wrenches and grease.

"There is a gigantic misconception with respect to this trade," says Ron Raymack, an instructor of heavy equipment mechanics at a community college. "Every day, you are dealing with electronic engines and using laptop computers or PCs to diagnose engines."

Most heavy equipment programs are anywhere from eight months to two years long. Programs are offered at technical schools, community and career colleges and some universities throughout North America.

The program at Albany Technical Institute takes six quarters or 18 months to complete. Typical courses include English, math, interpersonal relations and professional development, safety, tools, fuel systems, powertrain theory and hydraulics systems.

Graduates receive a diesel technology diploma, which can be applied toward an applied science associate's degree.

In the U.S., graduates are typically considered to be apprentices. They work under the supervision of an experienced diesel mechanics technician. After putting in about two years in the workplace, apprentices may sign up for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exams.

If they successfully pass these exams, they are awarded their ASE certification and become technicians. Technician positions typically offer higher pay, increased responsibility and more opportunities for advancement.

Being physically fit is important. There is quite a bit of heavy lifting involved. Often, diesel mechanics can be found squeezed under or leaned awkwardly over an engine.

Raymack says high school students should take math and science, for things like calculating how much power a cylinder should actually need. English courses are good for writing up work and shop orders and dealing with customers. Any type of shop program is also useful.

There are the usual costs of tuition and books. Plus, students may have to provide their own safety and work apparel, including gloves, workboots and coveralls.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians and Mechanics

For more information related to this field of study, see: Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics

How Diesel Engines Work
A great guide for the layperson

Equipment Trader Online
If you're in the market for a new tractor, see this site


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


Powered by XAP

OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.