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New Salem - April 9, 2008

Counselor’s Corner

Dr. Gaylynn Becker
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School

Diesel Technology or What!

Would you like to go to college for 9 weeks, apply what you learned in college for the next 9 weeks while getting paid $ 11.00 per hour?

Then go back to college for another 9 weeks and then back on a job and apply what you learned in college classes again? Would you like to do that for 2 years (5 semesters) and then be guaranteed a minimum of $ 16.00 per hour as a diesel technician? Would you like to get paid double time on Sundays and triple time if you work on a holiday? If you do, then you may want to consider checking into the Think Big Program through North Dakota State College of Science and Butler Machinery Company.

We had a team come to New Salem High School last week to present on diesel technology. Students in Mr. Shawn Feiring’s Ag. Ed. III and IV classes got a better idea of what it would be like to be a diesel technician.

The piston and connecting rod in the photo are from a 550 horsepower caterpillar engine. An engine in a 240 ton off-road truck is powered by a 2,200 horsepower powerplant. Wow! That’s an engine!

(See photo in the New Salem Journal)
L-R Hannah Melchior and Wesley Doll

Mr. Wasserburger indicated that diesel technicians’ salaries could vary anywhere from about $ 35,000. without overtime hours for a new employee just out of college to just over $ 100,000. per year. The mid range is between $ 45,000 - $60,000 per year.

Mr. Wasserburger informed us of many things including their no tolerance policy on alcohol and other drugs and the importance of having a good driving record. In addition, showing up on time and being ready to work are very important today in the business world. Come to think of it, these are the same things that help a student to be successful in school. Students – and adults – need to all follow that and set a good example for others.

(See photo in the New Salem Journal)
R-L Lexon Bachaus, Jordan Bachler, & Ethan Karch

Although the piston and connecting rod was heavy, it was easy for these 3 to handle. I was surprised to hear that pistons can be so large that one of the presenters said he could crawl up inside it. Wow!

Where do diesel technicians work? Some places are implement dealerships, heavy equipment businesses (like Butler Machinery Co.), truck dealerships, coal mines, oil fields, private repair shops, colleges that train diesel technicians, etc. Oh, some places like the north slope of Alaska offer sign-up bonuses of $ 10,000. or more! But there is one catch. One needs to have the skills and training.

I hope every student at New Salem High School takes advantage of what New Salem High School has to offer. In addition to academic skills and extracurricular activities, students have many opportunities in discovering their interests, aptitudes and can receive assistance in planning for a great career!

(See photo in the New Salem Journal)
L-R Rachael Schwab, Brian Mertz, Ben Wasserburger, & Shawn Feiring

Thanks to Ben Wasserburger and Brian Mertz of Butler Machinery Co. for coming out to New Salem High School to share their insights and some possibilities in becoming a diesel technician. Each student who attended received a tape measure compliments from Butler Machinery Co. Also, thanks to Rachael Schwab, account manager, for joining them on their trip to New Salem High School. Rachael works in marketing and is an accounts manager from Cumulous Broadcasting. And of course, thanks to Mr. Feiring for allowing us to come into his classroom.

If you or someone you know are interested in finding out more about the Think Big Program, please contact me or call Ben Wasserburger at (701) 250-1611.

If you have any questions on career, counseling, or assessment topics, please contact me at either New Salem High School at 843-7610, or at my residence at 222-3222.

Have an excellent academic day!