ThinkBIG

Our 2-year ThinkBIG program teaches you how to service Cat equipment using cutting-edge diagnostic and maintenance systems, advanced technologies and high-tech tools. ThinkBIG combines classroom work with hands-on learning in the field and in state-of-the-art labs, so students see technologies in real-world applications—solving problems and helping Caterpillar customers get their jobs done. Graduates of ThinkBIG receive an associate's degree in applied science.

California ThinkBIG FAQs

Applicants will be required to provide:
  • A 250 word essay describing why you are interested in the program and why you feel you are a good fit for the program
  • 3 letters of reference, one from a teacher or counselor, one from an employer and one from anyone of your choice
  • Copies of your High School and if applicable College transcripts
  • If you are a veteran, a copy of your DD214
Among the features Peterson would like to see in a ThinkBig applicant are:
  • A commitment to a career with Peterson in the Heavy Equipment industry
  • A strong mechanical aptitude
  • High School Diploma, GED or equivalent
  • Selection is a competitive process, each year Peterson receives more applications than the available seats
  • Candidates that apply for the program can also learn about Petersons’ other community college scholarships and trade school tuition reimbursement opportunities
No, Peterson also hires from other sources, such as:
  • Community college Diesel/Heavy Equipment programs, such as Alameda Community College, Santa Rosa Community College and Shasta College
  • Commercial trade schools such as UTI and Wyotech
  • Technicians with related experience such as military service and the automotive industry
Once a year, Peterson interviews in May and new students begin school in August
There are a number of options. Many of our students:
  • Commute from home
  • Share apartments with other students
  • Bring trailers to local RV parks
Interns are assigned to the Peterson store that will give them the best opportunities to develop their skills. If an intern is asked to work at a store that is not close to their home, Peterson can help with housing. After graduation Peterson will attempt to place employees at the store of their choice based on business conditions

Northwest ThinkBIG FAQs

Yes, details on page 2 of the application:
  • A 250-word essay explaining why you are interested in the program and why you would be a good fit for a position as a diesel technician.
  • Copies of your high school and, if applicable, college transcripts.
  • Three letters of reference: one from a teacher or counselor, one from an employer, and one from anyone of your choice.
  • (For veterans only), a copy of your DD214.
Candidates with a commitment to a career with Peterson Cat working as a technician in the heavy equipment industry.
  • Candidates with strong mechanical aptitude.
  • Candidates with at least a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.
No, selection is competitive, and each year Peterson receives more applications than there are available seats.

No, Peterson also hires from other sources, including community college diesel/heavy equipment programs, such as Lane Community College, Linn Benton Community College, Clark Community College, and Portland Community College. We also hire from commercial trade schools such as UTI and Wyotech.

Furthermore, technicians with related experience such as military service, the automotive industry, or the heavy equipment industry are also candidates.

Peterson interviews new candidates in the spring, and new students begin school in September or October.
ThinkBIG participants have taken advantage of a number of options, such as:
  • Commute from home
  • Share apartments with other students
  • Bring trailers to local RV parks

Interns are assigned to the Peterson store that will give them the best opportunities to develop their skills. If an apprentice is asked to work at a store that is not close to their home, Peterson can help with housing.

After graduation Peterson will attempt to place employees at the store of their choice based on business conditions.

Students are required to pay for:
  • Tuition
  • School Fees
  • Housing (If Needed)
  • Food
  • Books
  • Earnings from apprenticeship employment at Peterson.
  • ThinkBIG participants also qualify for funding through many financial aid programs and the GI Bill.