Albany, Georgia - The need for qualified industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance technicians is on the rise in the country and right here in Southwest Georgia. Starting in the summer at Albany Technical College, opportunities will open up to get started on a new career for many adults in the community. In as little as one to two years, a diploma or degree in Precision Manufacturing and Maintenance can be obtained with decent salaries being reported in the related industry.
"Precision Manufacturing and Maintenance is much needed in industry as it's counterparts Mechatronics and Industrial Systems; however, successful precision manufacturing requires the ability to follow specific diagrams to produce a machine, object, or tool. The successful graduate will have an understanding of control design, CNC machining, and manufacturing processes and methods," stated S. Adrian Walters, Chair/Instructor Mechatronics Technology at Albany Technical College.
The Precision Manufacturing and Maintenance associate degree program is designed to develop versatile skills required for a variety of manufacturing positions, with emphasis on diagnosing and maintaining complex integrated systems. The planned sequence of courses prepares students to install, program, operate, maintain, service, and diagnose electromechanical equipment and produce precision parts used in manufacturing applications.
Working closely with local employers is an essential process in technical colleges. This relationship allows for the best training and employment opportunities for local and regional adults looking for a living wage.
Employers of industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers and millwrights increasingly prefer to hire workers with some education in industrial technology from a community or technical college. In addition to postsecondary courses in mechanical drawing, mathematics, and blueprint reading, many factories now require every mechanic to understand electricity, electronics, hydraulics, and computer programming, all skills that allow mechanics to troubleshoot a much larger range of machine problems. In combination with a postsecondary credential, 3- or 4-year apprenticeships are becoming more common. These customized programs require a specified number of hours in related technical instruction and in paid on-the-job training.
Advanced manufacturing offers a wide variety of career opportunities, including industrial/mechanical maintenance technicians, machinists, millwrights, robotics technicians, and production supervisors in a variety of industrial settings that require automated manufacturing skills. The modern industry relies on complex production systems to produce high-quality, economical products. Manufacturing industry workers need to be capable of running and servicing the sophisticated machinery that manufactures all of these products.
Workers must understand and practice principles aimed at maintaining safety, improving quality, eliminating waste, and reducing or eliminating the impact of operations on the environment. Industrial/mechanical maintenance technicians diagnose and correct problems using computerized diagnostic systems and vibration analysis techniques, among others. They maintain and repair sophisticated equipment and industrial pieces of machinery, such as an automobile assembly line conveyor belts, robotic welding arms, and hydraulic lifts; adjust and calibrate equipment and machinery to specifications, and test performance. Millwrights install and maintain industrial machines and replace worn or defective parts. When needed, they disassemble existing devices, carefully taking each part of the machine, categorizing it, and then labeling and packaging all for later reassembly. Industrial mechanics, maintenance technicians, and millwrights employ a variety of hand tools and measuring tools, as well as
equipment for welding, brazing, and cutting. On large projects, they often operate forklifts, hoists, winches, cranes, and other equipment.
Graduates of a precision manufacturing and maintenance program will be prepared for highly skilled positions employing machine operations, production line operations, engineering analysis, systems analysis, instrumentation, physical controls, automation, manufacturing planning, quality control, and informational infrastructure.
According to the BLS, the overall employment of industrial machinery mechanics, maintenance technicians, and millwrights is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Increased adoption of sophisticated manufacturing machinery will require more highly-skilled mechanics and technicians to keep machines in good working order.
Employment of machinery maintenance workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, increased automation, including the use of many new computer-controlled machines in factories and manufacturing plants, should spur demand for maintenance workers to keep machines operating well. Overall, applicants with a broad range of skills in machine repair should have excellent job prospects. Faster-than-average employment growth and the need to replace many older workers who are expected to retire over the coming decade should result in numerous job openings. Those that complete apprenticeships and educational programs designed for industrial machinery repair should have the best job prospects.
Precision Manufacturing and Maintenance Program
Diploma: 4 terms and 50 credit hours.
Associate of Applied Science Degree: 5 terms and 60 credit hours.
About Albany Technical College
A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to www.albanytech.edu or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlbanyTech or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbanyTech. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting www.youtube.com/albanytech1 .