Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology

Heavy equipment technician jobs are in demand, and the heavy equipment industry is expecting significant growth over the next few years. Diesel engines can be found across a variety of industries, ranging from trucking and farming, to construction and railroads. As a result, there is a need for qualified professionals who can diagnose and repair this type of equipment. Help keep these industries moving by enrolling in our Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology program. The diesel and heavy equipment technology program has also partnered with Carolina CAT, the Caterpillar dealer for Western North Carolina, to establish the Carolina CAT Service Technician Program in order to meet the expected demand for these high-tech and hands-on careers.

What You Will Learn

Our skilled instructors will teach you how to inspect, repair, service, and maintain heavy-duty truck and heavy equipment diesel engines, such as heavy-duty trucks over one-ton classification, buses, ships, railroad locomotives and equipment, stationary diesel engines in electrical generators, and related equipment, so you can make the adjustments needed to ensure their future safety and performance. Upon completing our diesel and heavy equipment technology degree program, you will:

  • use appropriate service information, tools, equipment, procedures, and technical terminology associated with the industry
  • apply the skills necessary to maintain, disassemble, and reassemble the basic systems related to diesel transport and heavy equipment
  • test, calibrate, diagnose, and repair complex electronic, pneumatic, and hydraulically-controlled diesel components and equipment
  • gain an introduction to industry careers
  • increase your awareness of the diverse technologies associated with this dynamic and challenging field
  • be prepared to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exam
  • be prepared for employment as an entry-level transportation service technician in dealerships, fleet shops, or independent repair shops

The Carolina CAT program blends Carolina CAT's industry techniques with Central Piedmont's state-of-the-art facilities to create a unique learning experience that will prepare you to enter the workforce as an entry-level service technician. As a CAT dealer technician, you enjoy hands-on work with large-scale, high-tech engines and machines. With proper training, you have the opportunity to work with advanced technology – including electronic engine control and electro-hydraulic system controls. You’ll be working with your hands and your head. The Carolina Cat program features:

  • courses focused on heavy equipment sold by Carolina CAT
  • hands-on activities, including training on Caterpillar equipment
  • an eight-week work-based learning experience with Carolina CAT
  • classes led by Central Piedmont’s quality faculty and Carolina CAT’s technical trainers
  • a convenient location at Central Piedmont's Merancas Campus

Attend an Information Session

Why Choose Central Piedmont

When you choose to attend Central Piedmont, you choose to earn a quality education. Our diesel and heavy equipment program:

  • is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF)
  • features state-of-the-art hydraulic, transmission, engine, and electrical labs that maintain the current diagnostic equipment
  • is supported by our transport systems business partners, located all over the country, who wish to sponsor our students
  • features a work-based learning component that will allow you to gain career experience while earning money (successful graduates of our program are often working before they graduate)

Students who enroll in the Carolina CAT program will also have the opportunity to apply for the Carolina CAT scholarship and will be connected with Carolina CAT industry professionals. You will also have the opportunity to participate in the Skills USA - Automotive student organization.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

Diesel and Heavy Equipment Careers and Average Salaries

Completing a diesel and heavy equipment technology degree will provide you with an introduction to industry careers and prepare you to become successful in the industry as an entry-level transportation service technician in dealerships, fleet shops, or independent repair shops. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed diesel and heavy equipment technology career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

Career Coach

The Details

  • Program Options

    Earn an Associate in Applied Science degree or a diploma in diesel and heavy equipment technology. The college catalog lists the diesel and heavy equipment technology program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements currently available at Central Piedmont. If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center. For more information about the Carolina CAT program, contact Chris Winchester at 704-330-4185 or via email.

    The Carolina CAT Program: Carolina CAT Profile

    More than 80 years ago, LM Weisiger made a commitment to support the growth of North Carolina by supplying and supporting Caterpillar equipment to the construction, road-building, utility and mining industries. Today, in addition to offering a full line of construction, forestry and paving products, we also offer a complete line of material handling equipment, engineered systems, truck engines, and power generation systems, as well as superior product support. Under our third generation leader, Edward Weisiger Jr., Carolina Tractor maintains partnerships with a variety of industries through our different divisions.

    • Carolina CAT partners with construction, power generation, and diesel engine customers, offering 12 Carolina CAT locations to meet customer needs.
    • Hydraulics Express partners with customers throughout the Carolinas in need of hydraulic solutions and hydraulic repair. Hydraulics Express services all makes and models of off-road construction equipment, industrial production equipment, and mobile equipment, such as dump trucks, garbage trucks, rollbacks, and wreckers.

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer diesel and heavy equipment technology course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's continuing education provides non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Program Requirements and Suggested Course Sequence

  • Locations and Course Delivery Methods

    Classes for the diesel and heavy equipment technology program are delivered in several ways:

    Courses available and their schedules can change each semester. Check the diesel and heavy equipment technology program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements each semester.

  • Career Coach

  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central PiedmontFinancial aid and scholarships are available.

    Carolina CAT Additional Program Costs

    In addition to Central Piedmont tuition and fees, you can expect to spend $746.00 on books.

    Carolina CAT Scholarship

    The Carolina Tractor Scholarship provides financial assistance to students enrolled in the Carolina CAT Service Technician Program in the Heavy Equipment and Transport Systems Technology Division of Central Piedmont Community College. Established by Carolina Tractor and Equipment Company of Charlotte, NC and the Caterpillar Foundation of Peoria, IL, the scholarship will support students pursuing a specialized diploma in preparation for careers as construction equipment service professionals. The scholarship will be applied to the cost of recipients’ tuition, fees, books, and materials. 

    The following requirements will govern the scholarship application and awarding process:

    • individuals will be enrolled in or have been accepted for enrollment in the Carolina CAT Service Technician Program
    • individuals will complete the scholarship application form and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Financial Aid) form
    • scholarship recipients will be selected by a Carolina Tractor Scholarship Committee in consultation with the college’s office of financial aid
    • retention of the scholarship is contingent upon maintaining a minimum 2.5 grade point average
    • the scholarship will be utilized for tuition, fees, books, and materials which are related to study in the Carolina CAT Service Technician program

    The Carolina CAT Scholarship is managed by Central Piedmont Community College Foundation. The Foundation will transmit Scholarship awards to recipients’ College accounts as instructed by the Scholarship Committee and will provide reports regarding the use of Scholarship funds to Carolina Tractor and Equipment Company representatives.

  • Related Programs

  • Admitted Students: Find Your Advisor

    If you are currently enrolled and taking classes, log in to Watermark or download the Watermark Student App to find your assigned academic advisor.

    If you do not have an advisor, you can: