Technician using a laptop
Technician using a laptop

ThinkBIG Puts You On The Fast Track For A Degree And A Career

ThinkBIG is a Caterpillar®-specific instructional program that pays you while you train to become a technician. Once accepted into this two-year program, you alternate between labs and classroom work, and a paid internship at a sponsoring Cat dealership. When you graduate, you will have earned an accredited degree backed up with over 2,000 hours of work experience.


Less Time In The Classroom, More Time On The Job

Compared to the traditional approach of college education before employment, ThinkBIG gives you the opportunity to gain valuable on-the-job experience from the beginning of the program. This interactive approach to development will help build Your future career, whether you enjoy working in the shop or prefer the independence of traveling to work sites and interacting with customers. 

Two techs working on machine part
Two techs working on machine part

Thinkbig Can Be The Start Of A Big Future.

Graduates of the program continue on as highly skilled members of the Caterpillar Dealer Service family, enjoying a great salary, exceptional benefits, flexible work schedules and long-term job security. As a Cat dealer technician, you’ll find opportunities to expand your career in customer service management, sales, product support, digital solutions or many other opportunities you may set your sights on. 


What Do I Do To Get Started?

Because ThinkBIG is a cooperative program between Cat dealers and educational partners around the globe, the requirements will change from program to program. Entry into the program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. All programs require you to complete an application process with the education partner and your sponsoring Cat dealer. Find the nearest ThinkBIG location below to learn more about their entrance requirements.


Find A Dealer Program That Works For You!

ThinkBIG programs are available in many locations so you have the choice to stay close to home or explore new territory. Many dealers offer assistance to students dealing with program coordination and planning. Take a look at all the ThinkBIG locations.

See ThinkBIG locations
Tech working on machine part
Tech working on machine part


Since program details can vary between dealers, you should be sure to review the information provided by the Cat dealer and the cooperating college.  Here are some common FAQs that may help guide your search for information.

The application process may vary from dealer to dealer but in general your
application may include:

  • Educational transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A written essay
  • An aptitude or skills assessment
  • An interview

The program is designed to be completed in approximately two years over a series of 16-week semesters. ThinkBIG leverages an 8+8 schedule, meaning you will spend 8 weeks on campus learning new skills followed by 8 weeks at your sponsoring Cat dealer on paid internships. Some programs will vary by dates and designs, so please check with your local dealer and education partner.

Because completion of ThinkBIG results in an accredited degree, many of the credit hours can be transferred to other educational partners so you can pursue a higher degree such as a bachelor’s degree. Transfer of credit hours is determined by the educational partners, please contact your local ThinkBIG program to determine eligibility.

All ThinkBIG students must be sponsored by a partnering Cat dealer. Acceptance into the program is determined by your academic eligibility and successfully passing an application process. Please check with your local dealer and ThinkBIG program for enrollment requirements.

Cat dealers provide some of the best working environments with competitive wages, healthcare benefits, and employee development programs in the industry. For specific wages and benefit in your area, please contact your local dealer’s recruiting team.

The cost of attending the ThinkBIG program will vary around the globe. Typical costs would include tuition and fees, book and supplies, housing, meals, and hand tools. Financial support may be available to you either through your sponsoring Cat dealer or education partner. Please check with your local dealer and ThinkBIG program for potential assistance options.

*Compensation packages may vary by dealer by region.

Caterpillar Supports Science, Technology Engineering And Math (STEM)

STEM activities are an amazing way to build your experience and explore what you like to learn, not what you have to learn. Because much of what Caterpillar does requires the application of STEM subjects, Caterpillar takes an active role in supporting camps and competitions.

Caterpillar Supports Organizations That Build Leadership Skills

Caterpillar and Cat dealers have a strong need for employees with hands-on experience. Agriculture associations are among those that teach project skills, business and leadership.

Girl in front of cows
Girl in front of cows

Parents, Guardians and Advisors

Caterpillar technician careers are great opportunities for anyone with an aptitude for technology, problem solving and hands-on tasks.

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Why set your sights on working for a Cat Dealer?

Caterpillar and Cat dealers have been serving customers for almost 100 years, so technicians can count on the stability and solid business practices of Cat dealerships. With multiple career paths and competitive salary and benefits, Cat dealer technician positions are in high demand.

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Choose The Training That Works For You

There are multiple ways to get trained for a job as a technician.

Group of Apprentices

Work As An Apprentice

Cat dealers offer a wide range of ways to learn—ThinkBIG, local college partners, online learning, and in-house programs. Apprenticeships are one way you can earn a salary while participating in hands-on learning.

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Instructor Talking to a Technician

Ongoing Skill Development & Training

To keep technicians on the leading edge, Caterpillar and our dealers offer thousands of hours of training for advanced and expert level technicians. Many of these programs can qualify for top industry certifications. 

Man working on machine parts

Free Online Learning

Technicians for the World is a FREE online training program sponsored by Caterpillar that will introduce you to the skills and knowledge you will need to successfully start your career as a Cat dealer technician.

See Courses
two techs working on machine part

Dealer Excellence Fund

Dealer Excellence Education Partnerships help assure that people with a desire to become a Cat dealer Technician have the educational and training resources they need. At some partnerships, scholarships and grants may be available to students.

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Get Ready to Reach your Goals

Jumpstart your job hunt with these Application and Resume Tips

Sharpen the skills on your resume by Finding Your Strengths

Present your best self with these Interview Tips for Students

Follow this interview advice for a productive Dealer Dialogue

Prepare for your first meeting with these Common Interview Questions


Caterpillar offers tools, training and resources to prepare new and experienced technicians for valued roles in the Cat dealer network. Whether they be students, graduates, skilled workers or veterans, we’re open to all who seek involving and satisfying opportunities. Help someone close to you get their start as a Cat dealer technician. 

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Man on work site
Man on work site