If your mechanical interest lies in diesel-powered or gasoline engines, the GACTC’s Automotive/Diesel Technology program offers and provides a choice from a range of job opportunities. Using critical thinking skills, the student will not only explore basic automotive and diesel technology, but also understand its application in the operation and maintenance of most vehicles. Students will study electricity, electronics, power trains, suspension and steering, brakes, diesel engines, preventive maintenance and heavy equipment systems, all within the framework of Automotive Service Excellence certification standards.

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Heavy duty truck technicians, along with automotive technicians, diagnose, troubleshoot and repair small car to large truck malfunctions to minimize time removed from service. Preventive maintenance is a major responsibility of the entry-level mechanic. The mechanic inspects the vehicle visually to determine the need of repairs and provides routine tests and maintenance. The Automotive/Heavy Duty Truck Technician must have a thorough knowledge of car and truck components and be competent in safety, inspections, tune-ups and troubleshooting.

In the program students move throughout the Automotive/Diesel Technology areas repairing all types of vehicles including passenger cars, light and heavy duty trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles, and two and four wheel drive vehicles. The length of this program is three years for secondary students from 9th to 12th grade totaling at least 1,350 hours and post secondary program of one year, 180 full days totaling 900 hours.


  • Possess basic mechanical interest and aptitude
  • Be able to work cooperatively in teams
  • Be self-motivated to work independently
  • Read and write at or near grade level
  • Be able to learn required math specific to the program
  • Be physically able to lift heavy vehicle parts

For information on this occupation’s description, required knowledge, job tasks and related job titles, state/national wages and employment trends, visit the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s site for this career field.


GACTC graduates can get a jump start on post-secondary education by taking advantage of the various articulation and/or dual enrollment opportunities. Review the college credit opportunities for the Automotive Diesel Technology program.


  • OSHA 10
  • PA Safety Inspection
  • Emissions

Scott Dalby

Automotive / Diesel Technology Instructor