The ThinkBIG diesel technician training program is a two year, specialized program for technically minded, hands on individuals who have a desire to work on some of the largest, most advanced construction and power generation equipment in use today. Developed entirely by Caterpillar, ThinkBIG helps these individuals build a solid foundation for a career as a service technician—whether they choose to work in a shop environment alongside their peers or in the field on job sites, interacting with customers.
To qualify for the program, candidates must apply and be accepted to work at a Cat dealership and also to study at the dealership's ThinkBIG partner college. Students accepted into the program through Ring Power alternate every eight weeks between classroom instruction at South Georgia Technical College and a paid internship at a Ring Power branch, putting their schooling into practice with on-the-job training.
Upon successful completion of the program, ThinkBIG graduates receive an associate degree in applied technology. Career paths can lead to top level positions as shop or field service technicians, supervisors, managers, or other related positions that become available at Ring Power.
ThinkBIG offers two distinct program tracks: Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology (HEDST) for the mechanically inclined individual who wishes to pursue a career as a Heavy or Construction Equipment Technician; and Power Generation Dealer Service Technology (PGDST) for the electronically inclined individual who is interested in pursuing a Generator Service Technician career.
Program coursework in both tracks is comprehensive, specialized and well-rounded, combining classroom work with hands-on learning in the field and in state-of-the-art labs, so students see technologies in real-world applications—solving problems and helping Cat equipment owners get their jobs done. Course areas may include: English, composition, speech, psychology, lab science, social science, and math as well as specialty related courses in electronics, powertrain and transmissions, air conditioning, welding, construction, engines, power systems, voltage and current, undercarriage, hydraulics and so on.
Click here for more information about the full course curriculum.
A career as a Dealer Service Technician means no two days will ever be the same. You'll get to solve big problems, using advanced technologies to service and repair machines and engines, and interface with customers in many different industries. You'll also enjoy a well-paying career that offers great benefits and personal satisfaction—applying your know-how to service and repair the Cat machines and engines that build, carry, dig, support, power, lift, move and transform our world.
In time, you'll become a highly specialized expert, skilled at working with electronically controlled engines, satellite-based navigation systems, sophisticated computer-based diagnostics, state-of-the-art hydraulics, transmissions and more.
You'll have the chance to work on more than 300 different Cat machines and engines built to serve a vast range of industries—from agriculture to logging and forestry; construction and road building to electric power generation; material handling to trucking and transport; marine commerce to mining, manufacturing—every type of equipment that helps make progress possible.
Becoming a Cat Dealer Service Technician is a great way to get ahead. If you've got what it takes, you'll have plenty of opportunities to advance at your dealership, including into higher level technician, management, or sales positions. Your skills will always be in demand thanks to the continuous, on-the-job training Ring Power provides; Caterpillar's technology advantage; and the Cat dealer reputation for service excellence.
Heavy equipment industry pay is great, and Cat dealerships lead the way in competitive salaries. As an entry-level Cat Dealer Service Technician, you can expect to earn at least $39,000 a year—as much as a four-year college graduate. Then, as your skills and experience increase over time, your salary could grow to well over $60 or $70 thousand!
In addition to the great pay, your benefits package can also include overtime pay and flexible hours; paid vacation, sick time and holidays; health insurance, life insurance, retirement savings plans—and more!
To find out more about Ring Power's ThinkBIG internship program, contact our recruiter ThinkBig@ringpower.com.
Joining the ThinkBIG program was one of the best the decisions I have made. I am not the kind of person to have an inside job. This career, with the education the ThinkBig program gives, allows me to be able to work my way through the company and have an almost unlimited amount of career growth. In this day in age the smartest decision any young person can make is to get an education. For someone who wishes to be educated and have a fulfilling career working with their hands, the Think Big program, in my eyes is, the only option."
– Patrick Fortunato, Class of 2016
This career path is not for everyone but if someone has a desire to get down and dirty and bring broken monsters back to life, they should have no problem in this program. More than anything you need to have drive as well as knowledge to make it in ThinkBIG, more than size and strength. I would know, being a smaller guy there are some things I can get to that bigger techs cannot reach. I would encourage anyone with the drive to fix heavy equipment to consider ThinkBIG."
– Mark Espinoza, Class of 2016
The [ThinkBig] program gives you a great starting line to grow from. As with any other technician, you will continue to learn something new everyday. The program is not for everybody. To become a ThinkBIG student it takes a lot of dedication, and sacrifices. The outcome is very rewarding if you're willing to work hard and not afraid to get dirty."
– Niels Akkerman, Class of 2014
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