Mechatronics program partners with Siemens for unique career opportunities

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If you are looking for a technology education that prepares you for a wide range of careers in the field, explore the possibilities of Mechatronics at WCCC.

Mechatronics is a new, interdisciplinary field that involves the study of mechanics, instrumentation, electronics, robotics/automation, computer components and control systems. The field is growing and dynamic, changing daily with the rapid improvements to technology and computer systems.

“The mechatronics program teaches students a broad array of job-ready skills that involves integrating technologies and systems; this thinking is required to effectively problem solve, program, operate and maintain electromechanical and automated equipment,” said Byron Kohut, director of the Western Hub ShaleNET US Grant.

“WCCC will soon be one of the only colleges in the area to become part of the Seimens Certified providers.”

Graduates are trained to work as members of teams consisting of engineers and production workers in a variety of industrial and manufacturing settings.

“The mechatronics program at WCCC is hands-on. Students use the same equipment as professionals in the field. Our state-of-the-art lab lets students learn on equipment that teaches everything from A to Z, in this case the Analytical Process Control to the Z-Axis Alignment of Motors,” Kohut said.

WCCC has unique equipment that gives students an edge in a competitive job market including mechatronics training systems, robotics, industrial electrical motors and wiring, hydraulics/pneumatics, and process control trainers.

There are a variety of career opportunities open to graduates of the mechatronics program: gas plant operators, petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators and chemical plant operators, including industrial machinery mechanics, maintenance and repair workers, general and maintenance workers and machinists.

Miscellaneous plant and system operators earn an average hourly wage of $22.82 while industrial machinery installation, maintenance and repair technicians report an average hourly wage of $18.34.

Western Pennsylvania shows many encouraging signs that the mechatronics job field is growing quickly. Royal Dutch Shell petroleum is proposing the development of a $5 billion dollar fractionation plant in nearby Beaver County with the proposal to hire 10,000 people before, during and after construction. Additionally, Marcellus GTL, LLC, in Altoona has been given the green light to design and construct a natural gas processing plant.

In addition to the academic program, WCCC has partnered with engineering and electronics conglomerate Siemens to provide even more career potential. Students graduating from the upcoming Mechatronics Systems AAS degree program have the option to test for the globally recognized Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certifications Level I and Level II.

“WCCC’s mechatronics professors are certified by Siemens to teach up to a level two mechatronics technician,” said Dale Swick, director of Education Services for ShaleNET US.

“WCCC will soon be one of the only colleges in the area to become part of the Siemens Certified providers.”

In the future, WCCC looks to expand its relationship with Siemens further and become a complete testing and training center for the company.

Jared Bundy

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