ThinkBIG is a Caterpillar-specific instructional program that pays you while you train to become a technician. Once accepted into this two-year program, you alternate between the classroom and a paid employment at Peterson. When you graduate, you will have an Associate Degree in Applied Science, over 2000 hours of on the job experience at Peterson, and continue with a full-time job. Wow!

Download Application:


About the Program:

Who should consider ThinkBIG?

Mace Gjerman, our Technical Training Manager, looks for four characteristics of an ideal student: people who know they’re dedicated to this trade; they know they want to work for the leader in the industry Peterson Cat; they have a background showing mechanical aptitude (e.g., working with their hands); and they have an acceptable academic record that will allow them to complete the schooling.

Work can be fun. If you enjoy working on engines, cars, motorcycles, pick-up trucks, and are good at problem solving will love the ThinkBIG program.

We’re looking for students who love working in the trades and are technicians at heart. If you are looking for a career, rather than simply a job, then let’s talk. We value the relationship we build with you and that’s why we invest substantial time and resources into our students.


What are the advantages of ThinkBIG with Peterson Cat?

The program is hands on. Half of your time you’ll be working in the shop and the other half you’ll be in school. In the shop, you’ll get real-world experience working on real machines. In school, you’ll work on state-of-the-art equipment with expert instructors. We provide the tooling you’ll need on the job and at school. Even better, the tools are yours six months after you graduate when you continue employment with us. And to top it off, you get paid for the time you spend in the shop!

Peterson educates students not only technically, but also in communication skills. That way they can write service orders, speak with customers, and more rapidly advance in their careers. At Peterson, students work on more than just commercial vehicles. They get to experience working on any type of Cat: earth moving equipment, paving equipment, and even electric power generators.



How does it work?

You are hired as an employee of Peterson when you receive a seat in the program, with leave-of-absence breaks in between so you can attend school. The program takes under two years to complete.

What’s really great is that most of our ThinkBIG graduates are still employed with Peterson! Our graduates have incredibly successful careers including working as: Field Technicians, Master Technicians, Shop Foremen, Technical Communicators, Trainers, Product Support Sales Reps, and Operation Managers!

What about tuition and financial aid?

We want to make it affordable for you and costs vary by location. While in California, Peterson takes care of the tuition for you upfront, in Oregon/Washington, the student initially pays the tuition and then tuition is reimbursed to the student over a period of time. Ask Randy Shelton for more details on this. To help out, financial assistance is available to all students.



Download Application:

Call or text Randy Shelton at 503-314-2278 for more details on the ThinkBIG program.