ThinkBIG SD – College Diesel Tech Program

Job Posted: October 27th, 2021

Location: Huron, South Dakota, US


Jump-start your career with ThinkBIG - 

Receive a scholarship and paid internship package starting at $30,000!


Butler Machinery Company is looking for individuals with a great attitude, strong work ethic and basic mechanical skills to begin education and training to become a Caterpillar Technician through ThinkBIG. ThinkBIG, Caterpillar’s Dealer Technician Education Program, is designed to develop entry-level diesel service technicians for Caterpillar dealerships like Butler Machinery Company in North Dakota and South Dakota. Caterpillar Inc. and Butler Machinery have partnered with North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) in Wahpeton, ND, and Lake Area Technical College (LATC) in Watertown, SD to offer ThinkBIG students the best-combined classroom education and hands-on learning to prepare them for a lucrative and life-long career in the skilled trades.

ThinkBIG students receive up-to-date technical training on Cat equipment and systems through a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on laboratory learning, and a paid internship at a Butler Machinery dealership location to further the learning from the classroom and lab. Upon completion of the ThinkBIG program, graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Diesel Technology and an official Caterpillar endorsement. Graduates will then transition to full-time employment at a Butler Machinery dealership location with technician positions starting at $26/hour. Complementing the salary and benefits of a full-time position, Butler provides the potential for career advancement within the company.

The program is divided into nine total terms. Each term is approximately eight weeks in length. Students will complete the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th terms doing a paid internship at a Butler Machinery store location.

Learn more about Butler’s ThinkBIG Program by visiting 


Job Responsibilities for a ThinkBIG Student: 

The position will involve but not be limited to the following duties:

  • Maintains a minimum grade point average of 3.0 while in the program
  • Work the minimum number of internship hours required by the program. (1,280)
  • Present and on time for work and school
  • Proactively maintains a safe and clean work environment.
  • Work independently as well as part of a team
  • Responsible for program costs – books, fees, housing, tools, etc. 
  • Secure housing arrangements at the school as well as the internship location.
  • Committed to lifelong learning and training to stay ahead of industry standards
  • Must be able to lift up to 70 lbs 
  • Other duties as assigned


Qualifications for a ThinkBIG Student:

  • A High School diploma or GED required
  • Must be 18 years old or older by the time of the first internship
  • Must apply at and be accepted by Lake Area Technical College 
  • Applied knowledge of basic mechanical theory
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Proficient computer technology skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to meet and maintain insurability standards to drive a company vehicle
  • Must have valid work authorization and be able to work in the U.S. without company sponsorship.
  • Strong problem-solving skills with the ability to learn new skills quickly



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