Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start?
Our program has 2 entry opportunities per year.
1) Fall semester, begins late August
2) Spring semester, begins mid January

How long is the program? 
Depending on the degree or certificate you desire, it can take from 1 to 2 years to obtain. If you are planning on an Associate of Applied Science degree AND you need to take remedial classes due to TSI requirements, you may need to add a 5th semester.

How are the classes structured? 
Our training is designed around a skill set that entails much hands-on contact. Naturally, you will spend some time in the classroom (about 1 hour per day) but the rest of your time will be used in the lab area doing hands-on work on live projects and components. Ocassionally an instructor will do demonstrations of various pieces of equipment meant to familiarize you with that piece of equipment (in particular, with some of our tooling). 

The Diesel Service Technology program is structured around a student that is attending on a full time basis. You will be in class or lab Monday through Thursday from 8:00am to 2:40pm (there is a lunch break in there). Fridays run from 8:00am to 11:40am.

Do you offer night or evening classes?
Not at this time.

Do you offer summer classes?
Again, not at this time.

What tools or other equipment is required?
We have 2 tool lists available on our downloads page. One is a minimal set, while the other is a more advanced and equipped set. As a technician, you will need the tools eventually anyway. If you're able, it is recommended that you get the more advanced set. The source of the tools is at your discretion. Our current textbook requirements are available on the departmental website under ‘downloads’. Steel toe boots are not required, but recommended. Safety glasses (conforming to ANSI Z-87) are a strict requirement and are to be worn at all times in the lab area. Clear or light yellow lenses only are allowed for safety glasses. No dark or mirrored styles.

What are the job opportunities?
Many! and in high demand! Currently there is a shortage of diesel techs and employers are hunting! As a matter of history in our program, a student with solid grades and attendance will usually have several job opportunities before they graduate. Geographical willingness (you don't mind moving) helps a LOT. There are plenty of jobs available, they're just not all in the same spot. There are many different fields of service that one get into. Agriculture, construction and transportation are but a few.

What income can I expect?
Thats a toughie! We wouldn't want to 'box in' a potential employer to a defined pay range, so we won't get specific. However, as an average across geographical boundaries and fields of service, starting rates can run from $12.00 to $20.00 or more per hour. Several graudates have reported after 2-3 years an income of $50,000+. A few have done more than that. Short answer - it varies widely.

What will I work with?
We have a large variety of equipment represented by Caterpillar, Cummins, John Deere, Mack, Detroit, Timken, Fuller, Spicer, Roadranger and others. The level of technology varies from older to newer and latest. Our program is designed as a more generic type training program designed to maximize your exposure and skills. To name a few of the areas you will train in, you will work with engines, electronics, hydraulics and powertrains (transmissions and rear axle drives).

So how do I get started?

  1. Fill out an application for admission to South Plains College. The form is Application for Admission
  2. Determine whether you want an Associate of Applied Science degree or a Certificate of Proficiency. Information regarding the options are available in our general catalog at Online Publications
  3. If you are planning on the Associate degree or the two-year Certificate of Proficiency, you must comply with TSI requirements. This may require that you take an assessment test. The results of that assessment test will determine if remedial classes will be required.
  4. If you are planning on obtaining financial aid (grants and loans, etc.) you will need to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to initiate the paperwork and obtain more details. DO NOT wait until a few weeks before a semester starts, as the governmental paperwork can and usually does take longer than that. 
  5. You are strongly encouraged to contact an instructor within the Diesel Program to discuss your plans. 
  6. Obtain your tools, etc. 
Enroll and show up to class! We can't stress how important it is that you attend EVERY class session. There is a lot to learn and a limited amount of time to learn it.

What costs are involved?
This can vary depending on wether you are considered in or out of district and if you live on campus or not. For tuition and fee estimates please see the current college catalog. Other expenses will include books and tools. Currently (11-4-08) books will run about $200.00 - $300.00 total for the 4 semesters. Tools can vary greatly depending on brand purchased and which suggested kit you decide to acquire. Shop around a bit.

Okay. I've enrolled. Now how do I succeed?
  1. Regular attendance
  2. Determine that you are here to learn and set your mind to that.
  3. Study, read, ask questions, do your assigned lab work. 
  4. Hang in there. The time goes by faster than you realize.
  5. Do more than the minimums. Look and ask for more to do.
  6. Don't be afraid to ask a question. The only dumb question is the one that doesn't get asked. Odds are someone else wants to know too, but is afraid to ask.
  7. Take notes. Why? - Glad you asked. We GUARANTEE you will not be able to remember everything that's said. Write it down. You can go back and read it again to help you to eventually remember.
  8. Make use of any study and learning aids made available to you.


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