Frequently Asked Questions

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The admission requirements for the program are set to increase the applicant’s success rates during the first year of the program. Academic requirements listed above reflect minimum scores for being accepted into the program. Passing all of your classes and maintaining a minimum 2.5 GPA is an expectation to stay in the program. Failing to earn a satisfactory grade, losing dealer sponsorship or failing to maintain the minimum GPA for graduation may lead to removal from the program. In addition to the schools requirements, one should work with your sponsoring dealer as if applying for a fulltime job. You can expect a mechanical aptitude test, multiple interviews, a background check, drug screening and a physical during the application phase. Once accepted, you become an employee of that dealership. You should treat that relationship as a job and keep in contact with your supervisor thorough your time in the program. Please contact your dealer sponsor for more details and specific expectations at the sponsoring dealership.

Classes are typically schedule between 7:30am – 5:30pm Monday- Friday. You may also experience some down time on a Monday or Friday depending on your schedule. The campus as a whole shuts down on Friday afternoon. Some of the general education class may be offered at night to accommodate loading and schedules across campus.

The fall and spring semesters contains an eight week internship for which students are paid to work at their sponsoring dealership. The internship schedule may vary to meet the needs of the local dealership and workload. A minimum of 300 hours of work experience is expected during each internship. During the first year, the internship occurs in the second eight weeks of the semester. As a student transitions into the second year, the eight week rotations continue with the internship leading in the first eight weeks. The time spent at FDTC will then occur in the second eight week term until completion of the program in semester five.

Yes, a sponsoring Caterpillar dealership is an essential part of this sponsored program and is a requirement for students participating in the program. Dealer sponsorship must be maintained for the duration of enrollment in this program.

During the internship experience, students are paid on an hourly basis by their sponsoring dealership. This does not extend to hours attending classes at FDTC.

Currently FDTC does not offer housing. Please contact your sponsoring dealer for details and living arrangements during school as there are dealer arranged apartments that can be leased to a sponsored student by the dealership.

Tools are a requirement to enter the technical trades. Your sponsoring dealer will help you get started with your first set of hand tools. Remember to ask about the tool program when you talk with your dealer. Keep in mind that this is a basic set of tools and you will need to budget according to the area you intend to eventually work to round out your tools. Tools are provided at the college for labs and class work by your dealer.

Admissions Checklist

  • Complete the on-line application by visiting the Florence-Darlington Technical College website at:
  • Contact the dealership and inform them of your interest in the Caterpillar Dealership Service Technician Program.
    David Lawrence,, 919-836-4435
  • Return the Information Release Form to Florence-Darlington Technical College.
  • Schedule the DAT tests with the appropriate dealership.
  • Submit an official high school transcript or GED.
  • Submit any college transcripts from all colleges you have attended. (An official transcript is submitted by mail from the school or college attended or hand-delivered in a sealed envelope and includes graduation date, school seal and signature of a school official.)
  • Complete the FAFSA online at It takes 4-6 weeks to complete this process. The financial aid process should begin at least two months prior to registration.
  • Look for available scholarships and grants.

Test Procedures:

Applicants will be required to take the Accuplacer test, if no other test scores meet the requirements for the program. Students must place into ENG 160 and MAT 170. The DAT Mechanical Reasoning test is also required. Please contact the appropriate dealership regarding the time and place to take your placement tests. Admissions information may be forwarded to your area Caterpillar dealer for further consideration.

Minimum ACT Scores:
Math 16
English W 19 and R 19

Minimum Compass Scores:
PA = 60 and W = 78, R = 81
Minimum Accuplacer (Classic) Scores:
AR 61-120 or EA 20-84
SS 71-81 and R >= 75
Minimum Accuplacer (Next Gen) Scores:
QAS >= 237
W >= 250 and R >= 250
Minimum SAT Scores:
Math 380
Verbal 480
Minimum SAT (New 2016) Scores:
Math 420
Verbal 470
Minimum DAT Mechanical Reason Scores:
DAT 70 or DAT >60 + Dealer Testing

Note: Test scores cannot be waived even if the student is Life Scholarship eligible. If the applicant is not successful in the first attempts of the Accuplacer test, the applicant must complete the self-study links provided from the testing center before the student can make an additional attempt. No third attempt will be allowed.

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