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Industrial Mechanics


Industrial mechanics programs prepare people to repair and maintain heavy equipment.

Industrial mechanics programs prepare people to take care of industrial equipment. Students learn to inspect and maintain engines and motors, systems and circuits, and tools. They study pneumatics and hydraulics, and learn to weld and braze parts.

Industrial mechanics programs include topics such as:


Many industrial mechanics programs include paid apprenticeships. As an apprentice, students learn skills of the trade while working with experienced workers.


In industrial mechanics programs, students may be able to specialize in heavy equipment maintenance technology.


Many community colleges and technical schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in industrial mechanics. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Very few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in industrial mechanics. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. If you want to study at a proprietary school, you can prepare for this program of study by completing your high school diploma or getting a GED. If you want to study at a college or university, you can prepare for this program by taking the following courses: four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Apprenticeship requirements vary by area and local committee. Most committees require you to be at least 18. Some will take younger apprentices who have permission from their parents or high school principal.

Some apprenticeship programs require you to pass tests of aptitude and physical strength. They often require you to have directly related work experience.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

A program in heavy equipment technology typically includes courses such as the following:

A program or apprenticeship in industrial maintenance technology typically includes subjects such as the following:

As an apprentice, you do about 2,000 hours of work per year as part of your supervised, on-the-job training.

Things to Know

Training may also be available in the armed forces.

Most programs require that students purchase their own tools, safety equipment, and work clothes.

Upon completion of an apprenticeship program, students can get trade certification or licensing.

For information about apprenticeships and other training opportunities in your area, call or visit local contractors, union offices, apprenticeship agencies, or your nearest employment service office.

As diesel technology continues to advance, you will need to keep your skills up to date. Expect to take classes throughout your career. Your employer may pay for this training.


East Side Area

Big Bend Community College

Walla Walla Community College

Walla Walla Community College (Clarkston)

King-Snohomish Area

Everett Community College

Green River College

North Seattle College

Renton Technical College

Shoreline Community College

Kitsap Area

Olympic College

Spokane Area

Spokane Community College

Statewide and Distance Learning

Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee

Tacoma Area

Clover Park Technical College

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

Vancouver Area

Clark College

Northwest Railroad Institute

Northwest Renewable Energy Institute

West Side Area

Bellingham Technical College

Centralia College

Lower Columbia College