Blake Lillard, Applied Process Technology Program Coordinator
This program is designed to meet the needs of local and regional power producers, natural gas midstream and downstream operations, chemical operators, and manufacturing facilities. The program covers a broad spectrum technology including electrical circuits and machinery, mechanical fundamentals, hydraulics, pneumatics, process systems and components fundamentals, plant operations and instrumentation and controls. Students’ progress through a set of core general education and technical courses and will select one of three career paths that cover skills unique to each path which include Energy Systems Operations, Instrumentation and Controls, or Advanced Manufacturing. Students may elect to complete multiple career paths within the two-year time frame or in one additional semester. The program offers paid internships on a competitive basis.
Students are accepted into this program on a competitive basis based on instructor approval and within class size limitations.
Student Learning Outcomes
Pierpont Community & Technical College’s motto of “Education that Works” focuses on creating practical learning experiences, while increasing employment opportunities for our graduates. By incorporating mathematics, physics, communication skills, computer technology, professional and industry safety standards to real-life learning experiences, graduates of this program will become successful entry level power plant or petroleum plant operators, instrument technicians or technicians at manufacturing facilities.
Upon successful completion of the Applied Process Technology A.A.S. degree program, graduates will be able to:
- Use written and spoken English effectively and professionally
- Use a computer to perform work-specific duties.
- Apply mathematics and physics as a means of solving problems in the work environment.
- Apply appropriate safety precautions when working with various tools, machinery, or processes
- Interpret schematic drawings of, use appropriate measuring devices for, and demonstrate the ability to perform basic troubleshooting of fluid and electrical systems
- Perform mid-level and routine duties as a plant operator, instrument and controls technician or a manufacturing technician, depending on the career path chosen
- Operate hand and power tools to repair electrical and mechanical systems.
- Demonstrate behaviors that reflect and support diversity in the workplace and skills that enable lifelong learning
- Demonstrate basic workplace skills and responsibilities, including punctuality, etiquette and courtesy, and teamwork
Graduates of the Applied Technology Program may accept operations, maintenance, instrumentation and controls or other technically oriented positions in the electrical power generating industry, petroleum, or chemical processing industries or accept positions within the manufacturing industry. Graduates may also find placement in water treatment facilities, or other industrial facilities that use components and systems taught in this curriculum.
According to the results of a 2020 study released by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI), there are over 2.4 million workers in the electricity transmission, distribution and storage (TDS) part of the industry alone - and this section is growing at an annual rate of 3.5%.
Professions within this sector are among the highest paying, and most stable professions in the country. The average starting wage within this sector ranges from approximately $40,000-$60,000 per year. It is not uncommon for individuals to progress through the ranks and make $80,000 - $100,000 per year within their first 3-5 years of employment.