Friday, July 27, 2018

Diesel Tech Education Touted on Fox 13's The Place

Things have changed in the diesel world. Diesel service shops are now clean, filled with technology and highly skilled people who have to know as much (if not more) about computers as they do traditional mechanical things. Diesel trucks today have an average of 17 computers in them. Along with learning the mechanics, students learn many computer-based systems and information technology.

Nate Ferrara, a diesel service technician with Salt Lake Community College's School of Applied Technology, appeared on Fox 13's The Place to talk about job growth in the diesel industry and what role SLCC plays in training diesel technicians.

By 2022, it is expected that 67,000 Baby Boomers will retire from the diesel tech profession. There are currently more than 2,800 job postings in Utah for technicians, which is above the national average. SLCC has several tracks to choose from for diesel technology:

  • Diesel Service Technician (8-9 months)
  • Diesel Service Technician and Driver (8-9 months)
  • Diesel Systems Technology (8-9 months)
  • Diesel Systems Technology, Associate of Applied Science (2-year degree)
The first three certificate programs start every Monday and the program is competency-based, so students can go through their program at an accelerated pace. As an example, the service technician certificate takes 750 hours, it can be done in 8 to 9 months. Tuition is $2.31 per clock hour. A student will pay about $2,300 for the whole program and start out earning a highly competitive income.

The current median wage for Diesel Technician is $22.15. That makes the average starting annual wage around $46,000/year. The high demand for these skilled technicians has forced employers to become more creative in their recruitment tactics. They are offering higher starting wages, tuition reimbursements, signing bonuses and asking new employees a “bounty” to recruit their classmates and colleagues.

The SLCC Westpointe Workforce Training & Education Center officially opens to students on August 22. This 122,000-square foot facility that will house professional truck driving, diesel, solar, welding, plastics, composites, machining, engineering drafting and design programs. Westpointe is designed to get people ready with the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience to give employers what they need right now.