Butler Machinery Co.

ThinkBIG SD - College Diesel Tech Program

US-SD-Aberdeen | US-SD-Huron | US-SD-Pierre | US-SD-Rapid City | US-SD-Sioux Falls


Butler Machinery is a third generation family-owned company, proudly serving our communities since 1955. Our mission is to build long term relationships with our customers, founded on trust, generating mutual growth and success.


  • The ThinkBig Program is designed to develop technically competent entry level service technicians for Caterpillar dealerships regionally and throughout the world.
  • Butler Machinery sponsors students enrolled at either North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS – Wahpeton, ND) or at Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI – Watertown, SD).
  • Students receive up-to-date technical training on Caterpillar equipment and systems through a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on laboratory instruction and an internship at Butler Machinery.
  • Work experience at the dealership is structured to relate to the most recent classroom/lab subjects covered at school.
  • The program is divided up into nine terms, each approximately eight weeks in length
  • Students complete the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th terms interning at a Butler Machinery location
  • During these paid internships, students will earn over $17/hour with a mandatory minimum of 1,280 internship hours
  • Average 2 Year AAS Degree tuition:  $25,000-$35,000; Average 2 Year Internship Wages:  $30,000; Average Full Time Starting Wage:  $57,000
  • Will be required to wear work uniforms, safety glasses and other required/recommended personal safety equipment during class, labs, and dealer OJT
  • You will be responsible for program costs - books, fees, housing, etc., including tools.
  • You will need to secure housing arrangements at the school as well as the location of your internship
  • Upon completion of the program, graduates earn an Associate in Applied Science degree (AAS).


  • Must be 18 years or older by the time of first internship
  • High School diploma or GED required
  • ACT required for acceptance into school - Score will be dependent upon school selection
  • Basic mechanical aptitude
  • Clear communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Willing to listen, learn, and participate
  • Exhibit a positive attitude
  • Maintain a clean and safe work environment
  • Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 while in the program
  • Work the minimum number of internship hours required by program (1,280)
  • Successfully register for school & financial aid (if applicable)
  • Job opportunities may be available upon successful completion of the program
  • Must be present and on time for work and school
  • Must pass a pre-employment drug screen



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