Think BIG Student Internship Program


Calling all students and career changers interested in learning an exciting new trade while putting themselves on the path to an advanced career. If you’re a student looking for a career as a heavy equipment technician but not sure where to start, Altorfer can help!

If you’re intrigued by the prospect of repairing, buying and selling state-of-the-art equipment, this is your chance to earn money while learning to be a service technician. In just two short years, you can find yourself earning excellent pay with job security as an entry-level technician. Students undergo a diverse slate of training courses while actually experiencing what it’s like to work on powerfully built, technologically advanced machinery. Paid students/interns participate in four consecutive alternating rotations of eight weeks of training at Illinois Central College in East Peoria followed by an eight-week internship at local Altorfer branches.

The Caterpillar Dealer Service Technology Program prepares you to become an entry-level service technician at a Caterpillar dealership. You’ll earn an Associate Degree in Applied Science, which is transferable to a four-year college/university. At the same time, you’ll learn the hands-on skills you’ll need to be successful as soon as you graduate. Because a Caterpillar dealership sponsors you in our program, as a direct result you’ll already be linked to a potential employer.

Exciting Opportunities Await the Right Candidates 

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 certified professional in the industry, you’ll find opportunities for shop technicians, field technicians, special project technicians and more. From sales and customer service to supervisor or manager positions, the sky is the limit when it comes to your career.

In order to qualify for the program & get in, applications must be submitted by February 1st. Simply follow these easy steps:


  • Fill out and return the interest form or contact the Caterpillar Dealer Service Technology Program at Illinois Central College by phone at (309) 694-5716.
  • Receive information packet & successfully complete and return all application materials.
  • Attend a “Big Look” informational tour and take the Compass Placement Test and Mechanical Reasoning Test.
  • Attend an informational tour and take the Illinois Central College placement test and Mechanical Reasoning Test. (We’ll schedule the tests for you during your visit.)
  • Gain sponsorship by a participating Cat® dealership.

Tuition Reimbursement: Altorfer offers Think Big students tuition reimbursement provided they are offered a full-time position following the program. Upon the completion of two years of full-time employment they will receive 50% of the cost of tuition. The remaining 50% of tuition costs will be provided upon the completion of the third year of full-time employment

What’s the Think Big Program like?

The Think Big Program combines classroom work in state-of-the-art labs with real-world experience through internships. In class, you’ll learn about engine fundamentals, machine hydraulics, Caterpillar fuel systems, machine electrical systems, transmissions and torque converters, undercarriage/final drives, and more. You’ll also serve four paid eight-week internships at Altorfer to experience your future career firsthand. When you complete the program, you earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree from Illinois Central College that is transferable to a four-year college or university.

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What’s the future in Caterpillar Dealer Service Technology? 

Caterpillar Dealer Service Technicians are in demand and the need is growing greater every year. Caterpillar is the worldwide leader in heavy equipment manufacturing and development. There are big opportunities for job advancement within the dealerships! You can advance into such fields as:

  • Shop Technician
  • Specialized Technician
  • Special Projects Technician
  • Lead Shop Technician
  • Field Technician
  • Supervisor or Manager with the Caterpillar Dealership


A bigger, brighter future waits when you enroll in the Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Training program. Submit your application or spread the word to anyone you think is right for this unique chance to put your career on the fast track to success. Fill out the form below or call (309) 694-5716 to request an informational packet today!

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