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Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Program

Think BIG about your future. Jump start a career working with Cat equipment. The Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician program as a terrific opportunity for personal growth and a rewarding, lifelong career. This program is based exclusively on Caterpillar equipment training through the heavy equipment and Diesel technology department at San Joaquin Delta College and Portland Community College. You'll learn about engine fundamentals, machine hydraulics, fuel systems, electrical systems, power trains and more.

The Cat Dealer Service Technician curriculum is designed to develop the skills a technician needs to progress through the ranks of a Cat dealer's service network. Students learn to diagnose problems, disassemble and assemble components, examine them for wearing defects, and recondition or replace Parts as needed on a variety of Cat machines. Students also learn to test and adjust machine systems and components to ensure proper operation and to prevent failures. Sophisticated diagnostic equipment and computers are used for troubleshooting, record-keeping, and communicating both at school and at the dealership.

Students who complete the program earn excellent pay, have stable employment and receive a comprehensive benefit package that rivals any in the industry. Peterson benefit plans include medical and dental insurance, retirement and pension plans and a strong commitment to lifelong learning. Promote from within philosophies provide excellent opportunities for career advancement. If you're interested in a career with the biggest name and heavy equipment, the Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician program maybe for you.

The Program


During the first two years of the program, students spend about half their time (five 8-week periods) at college and Technical and academic coursework. The remaining time (four 8-12 week internships) is spent at Peterson dealer work sites in paid on-the-job training. Specific objectives have been developed so that each internship is closely aligned with educational courses to reinforce learning in real-world situations.


Caterpillar authored technical training on Cat equipment include some of the latest developments in engine and powertrain repair as well as hydraulic and electronic system diagnostics. Required general education courses provide students with the background necessary for effective communication and interpersonal skills development. Courses include mathematics, composition and technical writing, business ethics, and others.

On-the-job training:

The paid OJT phase of the program allows students to apply what they've learned in the classroom and lab sessions in a real-world setting. Students also become familiar with the dealership environment, its organizational structure and the skills expected of a professional service technician. The paid OJT phase can also help students pay for their education while receiving valuable work experience.

Requirements applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age by the first internship period
  • Have a high school diploma, general education development (GED) certificate, a California High School Proficiency (CHSP) certificate or an associate or higher degree
  • Submit an official transcript from the qualifying agency listed above
  • Meet Caterpillar Dealer admission and academic requirements
  • Be sponsored by a participating Caterpillar Dealer
  • Have a valid driver's license and maintain a clean driving record
  • Submit to a pre-employment drug screen and physical examination if required by the dealer sponsor
  • Submit to a background check
  • Demonstrate commitment to the industry and profession

Application Procedure

Submit appropriate dealer application for employment for sponsorship to a participating Caterpillar Dealer. The applicant must include all the required supporting documents:

  • Three letters of reference, one from a teacher, one from a current or previous employer, counselor or School administrator and one from a person of your choice
  • An essay of at least 250 words and length describing why you want a career in the diesel heavy equipment industry
  • A resume describing related activities, leadership roles and work experience
  • Official transcript from high school, college or university. GED or a CHSP certificates are also acceptable
  • Assessment and placement tests from an accredited school