Arkansas State University - Newport

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Take Flight with Diesel Technology

Diesel Truck in the air while students working on diesel engine parts in the foreground and background

Big rigs in the air, truck hoods flipped open, insanely large wrenches being used, air compressed tools making noises and students crawling underneath trucks. It’s just another day in the shop for ASUN’s Diesel Technology program.  Diesel technology instructors, Jerry Tracy and Johnny Powell, manage this “classroom” every day at ASU-Newport.

“We tend to start with basic service and maintenance, chassis and steering, suspension and brakes, we move into engines, fuel systems and heavy-duty transmissions,” said Tracy describing the educational process for the program.  Our students and graduates agree that the program is 90% hands-on, and that starts on the first day of class!  Diesel tech alumnus, Edgar Pineda said, “We were working since the first day of classes. I was even dressed up, and they put us to work.” 

Most diesel tech students have a job before they complete this 9-month program, if not, most of them are employed within a couple of weeks after graduation.

Why? This career field is in high-demand! In Arkansas, there have been 3,389 job postings in the diesel tech industry from 2017-2019.  That’s 48% above the national average for this career field. Income ranges from $16-$22 per hour, which translates to about $38,000 a year.  Of course, that salary doesn’t include the incentive and overtime pay that most technicians receive due to the high volume of work. 

Our Diesel Technology program is just another example of ASUN meeting industry needs in Jackson County, Northeast Arkansas and across the state. This program wouldn’t be possible without the help from our industry partner Doggett Freightliner, our advisory board members and the support of our community! 
If you would like to get involved with the ASUN Diesel Technology program, here is how you can make a difference:

  • Monetary donations – ASU-Newport accepts donations for the Diesel Technology program, student success, scholarships, faculty and staff development, equipment purchases and our annual fund. To make a donation through the Foundation, click here.
  • Provide equipment – we strive to use the latest technology that our students need to remain relevant in their industry. Contact   to donate equipment to ASUN.
  • Join the Advisory Board – help transform students into relevant members of the workforce. Contact to join the ASUN Diesel Technology Advisory Board.
  • Come train our students – our instructors welcome presenters to speak with our classes. This provides a new layer of exposure for our students and your business. Reach out to Jerry Tracy if you want to train and develop our students!