Technician Apprentice Jobs


Empire is proud to partner with Mesa Community College to administer the ThinkBIG Apprentice Program, a two-year college-level curriculum which provides students with the education and skills necessary to become heavy-equipment diesel technicians.

While our program is competitive and rigorous, it offers immense rewards. Upon program completion, you will receive an Associate in Applied Science Degree from Mesa Community College and Cat Dealer Service Technician credentials - recognized by all Cat Dealers worldwide. Review all program details or contact us to learn about upcoming enrollment dates.


Becoming a technician is a great opportunity to get where you want to be. The heavy equipment industry pays great, and Cat dealerships lead the way in offering competitive salaries and opportunities for career advancement.

Applications for the ThinkBIG program, our service tech apprenticeship, are now closed for 2023. Check back later for 2024 application enrollment.

We're looking for these ideal candidates:


  • Love working with your hands

  • Enjoy complex problem solving

  • Aligned with Empire’s corporate values

  • High school and/or technical school graduate

  • Currently enrolled in a related college program

  • Experience in repair or other mechanical trade background


    Kick off your career with an apprentice tech job through Empire’s ThinkBIG program and you’ll come out with BIG skills, BIG potential, and one of the best career opportunities in the heavy equipment industry. Here's everything you need to know to get started.

      • 1. Apply

        Applications are closed for 2023. 

        2. Pre-requisites 

        After your initial online submission, we will select qualified applicants and invite you to submit a more complete application, including:

        • Letter of Recommendation (from vocational instructor, mentor, professor or professional contact)
        • Copy of high school transcripts
        • Community college assessment test results
        • Essay that explains why you want to be in the program and become a diesel mechanic


        3. Testing

        If you meet all the preliminary requirements, you then go into testing. Tests will cover mechanical aptitude, basic mechanical knowledge and areas related to spatial relations, mechanical reasoning, verbal reasoning, numerical ability, perceptual speed and accuracy, manual speed, language and dexterity. In addition, you must pass a drug screen, background check and social security number verification.


        4. Interviews

        All completed application packets and test results will be reviewed. We will invite the top candidates to interview during March, April and May. If you are not selected for an interview, you will receive a notification by the end of June.


        5. Selection

        Final selection of apprentices will be based on a combination of test results and interview scores. If you make the cut, you will receive confirmation in early July and take your place in the class beginning in August.




          To remain enrolled you must maintain the required GPA for retention in the program. Other factors are attendance, attitude, conduct, and demonstrating applied learning competence throughout the internship.



          Working and going to school is an option, however it is not advised that you carry on a full-time job while in classes. During your 8 weeks of internship, it is not guaranteed that you will be working 1st shift.

          You are allowed to miss up to three days per semester. If you miss more than three days, you will be required to go before the curriculum board, where they will determine if you will be allowed to stay in the program based on different factors.


          Dress Code

          You will be required to purchase steel-toed boots and wear long pants. Jeans are best due to durability. Pants must be in good repair, no tears, acid wash, etc. T-shirts are okay, as long as they are in good condition with no logos, offensive pictures or language. Uniforms will be ordered for you at the start of the program. They generally take about four weeks to arrive and are paid for by Empire. Empire will also provide your first pair of safety glasses.





            The program consists of 16-week semesters, which run continuously throughout the two years.

            • Session 1: 8 weeks of classroom instruction (Monday-Friday 8am-5pm).
            • Session 2: 8 weeks of PAID INTERNSHIP where you will be working in one of the shops at Empire.You will be paid (40 hours per week at $14.00 per hour) every week that you spend in the Internship.


              • Your status is a full-time Mesa Community College student. Student medical insurance is available for purchase through Mesa Community College.

                The following are estimated costs and are subject to change at any time

                • Approximately $1,000* tuition per semester (every 16 weeks) (MCC)
                • Approximately $100 lab fees per semester (every 16 weeks) (MCC)
                • Approximately $50 lab fees per semester (every 16 weeks) (Empire)
                • Required books for the semester (available at Mesa Community College bookstore)
                • Required steel-toe boots

                Your tuition must be paid through MCC. Your lab fees for Empire can be paid by check or money order at the start of each 16 week semester. Checks need to be made out to Empire Southwest and can be given to your instructor. You will be provided with a receipt.

                If you qualify, Mesa Community College offers student financial aid, loans and grants. After your acceptance into the program you may contact MCC for further details.

                *Based on Maricopa county resident tuition rate.


                • Each graduate will be evaluated for a full-time position with Empire. While there are no guarantees, graduates with demonstrated knowledge, skills, and the right attitude have a high probability of receiving an offer for full-time employment.


                GET STARTED TODAY

                Talk with a recruiter about any questions you have at 480-633-5441 or contact us to get started.

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