Students develop the skills necessary to:
- maintain and repair several types of heavy construction equipment
- service, repair, and test late-model Caterpillar equipment
- diagnose malfunctions and prescribe corrective action
Specific equipment systems instruction in:
- engine overhaul
- manual transmission repair
- chassis maintenance
- hydraulic component testing and overhaul
- hydrostatic and powershift transmission repair
- electrical troubleshooting,
- electronic controls diagnostics
- preventative maintenance
The student is exposed to all facets of the industry with emphasis on problem solving and transferability of skills. Each student must successfully complete an internship with a Caterpillar dealer.
Students can complete 2 associate's degree programs in 3 years by enrolling in the dual degree option.
Graduates have a diverse set of skills and abilities that could prepare them for employment in the natural gas industry. Read more...
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Accreditation & Industry Connections
The Caterpillar program at Penn College has strong industry support from both the CAT dealers and the Caterpillar Foundation. Since 1994, CAT dealers have contributed more than $1.63 million in cash, tuition, scholarships, and in kind contributions to the college. The Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $875,000. Penn College offers a unique Caterpillar-sponsored curriculum. With Caterpillar developing new products, resulting in global expansion and opportunity, it is an exciting time to begin this program of study at Penn College. The Heavy Construction Equipment Technology: Caterpillar Emphasis program is one of eight programs in the United States accredited by the Associated Equipment Distributors Foundation (AED).
AED Accredited by The AED Foundation.
Heavy construction equipment technician for a Caterpillar or other heavy construction equipment dealership, mine, quarry or natural gas industry; forestry equipment dealer; leasing company or contractor; field service/CAT sales representative for an equipment or engine distributor; service occupations such as service writer, warranty writer, parts manager, and assistant service manager.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines was $50,860 in May 2017. The top 10 percent earned more than $75,360.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers||34,130||$25.24||$52,490|
|Rental and Leasing Services (5322, 5323, and 5324 only)||12,090||$23.90||$49,710|
|Other Specialty Trade Contractors||10,260||$23.97||$49,850|
|Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)||7,680||$27.37||$56,930|
|Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction||6,940||$24.42||$50,800|
Statistics reported in May 2017
First you need to apply to Pennsylvania College of Technology and enroll in the Heavy Construction Equipment Technology program (CH) to reserve a seat in the major. Then you may contact a participating Caterpillar dealer to inquire about sponsorship opportunities.
Participating Caterpillar Dealers
|Alban Tractor Co., Inc||8531 Pulaski Highway
Baltimore, MD 21237
|Karl Quinn, Training Manager
|H.O. Penn||122 Noxon Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
|Melissa Charest, CorporateRecruitment
|Cleveland Brothers||4565 William Penn Highway
Murrysville, PA 15668
|Randy Fetterolf, Corporate Recruiter
|Ransome CAT||2975 Galloway Road
Bensalem, PA 19020-8522
|Ron Garber, Scholarship Awards
1-800-999-4CAT, ext 2744
Read more about the required internship.
Students enrolled in this program must:
- maintain a 2.5 grade-point average
- demonstrate positive leadership skills
- serve an industry internship
- attend professional training workshops provided by the college
This major is subject to the transfer standards established by the College. Exceptions must be approved by the school dean.
Tools, Uniforms & Supplies
You are expected to purchase your own tools which can be purchased at the College Store or through a dealer such as Sears or Snap-on. The advantage to purchasing your own tools is that the tools are yours to use during your time as a student and later as an employee. Larger specialty tools such as those used in diagnostics and testing are purchased by the College or donated by the Caterpillar dealer program for use by all students enrolled in the program.
Uniform (required for all labs)
- glasses, safety, clear lens/black frame
- leather work shoes or boots
Uniforms and tools are available for purchase through The College Store.
Clubs & Activities
Service and Operation of Heavy Equipment Association (S&O)
Heavy Construction Caterpillar Equipment Emphasis Advisory Committee
- Ms. Melissa M Charest, Corporate Recruiter, H.O. Penn Machinery
- Mr. Ron Garber, Regional/Branch Operations Manager, Const. Division, Ransome CAT
- Mr. Karl Quinn, Training Manager, Alban Tractor Company, Inc.
- Mr. Gary W Shields, Jr., Manager, On-Hwy Technical Support, Alban Tractor Company, Inc.
Advisory committees, which act as recommending bodies to the faculty and administration, consist of in-field professionals who act as partners in the development of curriculum. Their curricular and equipment advice as well as their industry connections and internship opportunities are invaluable to our students and to the growth of our institution.