Electronic, mechanical, computer, and control skills coalesce into the budding career path within mechatronics. No, mechatronic isn’t the name of a new Transformers villain, but an industry that specializes in the repair and maintenance of manufacturing equipment, operation systems, and the related computer programming components that keep businesses operating efficiently.
Kirtland Community College offers two associate degrees that will prepare you for an entrance into this exciting career path – the Mechatronics Facilities Technician and Mechatronics Industrial Technician programs.
Both programs educate and prepare students for what MIT Technology Review calls a top-10 technology that will change the world. The Facilities program delves into equipment that keeps major buildings – like schools or hospitals – running. Training in this program comprises of HVAC, mechanical, electrical, and computer-driven systems. Not only are you trained in how to read these operating systems, but how to analyze, program, and upgrade them as necessary.
The Industrial program provides students with the skills for entry-level positions in the automation, manufacturing, and production industries – like robot installation maintenance, automation equipment installation, troubleshooting, maintenance, and PLC programming. You’ll learn installation, maintenance, and mending techniques for various systems and settings.
What also makes this unique path exciting is its designation from the U.S. Department of Labor as an emerging “green jobs” growth area within an in-demand industry. Projected job outlook is also tremendous, as the National Council on Competiveness estimates that 100 million new jobs will be produced this century for workers skilled in multiple disciplines – something mechatronics definitely requires. Its median salary is also promising, clocking in at $51,820.
Adding to the growing buzz of mechatronics recently is Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe, who testified in front of the U.S. Senate regarding mechatronics and the critical importance of skilled trades.
From its surface, mechatronics can appear as an overwhelming challenge. It involves numerous disciplines for students to learn and master. In mechatronics, you’re not only a fixer, but also an analyzer and improver. You may find yourself within a variety of settings overseeing an assortment of processes, machines and systems. One day you’re reading blueprints, and the next you’re repairing hydraulic assemblies. You test, you operate, you fix.
No other northern Michigan school offers programs like these. Kirtland College’s Gaylord M-TEC is the only place to receive hands-on experience with the most current equipment in the Mechatronics industry. Upon program completion, you’ll be equipped with career-ready skills in this exciting, promising field.