At first glance, a help wanted ad saying, “Industrial Maintenance Technician Needed,” may sound like an employer seeks job applicants to perform heavy duty custodial work in a factory setting.
The official Occupation Outlook Handbook, unfortunately, has yet to describe the complexity of this profession with a more accurate title. In truth, industrial maintenance technicians are responsible for the maintenance and troubleshooting of automation and control systems in advanced manufacturing environments, production facilities, hospitals and large office buildings everywhere. These professionals are desperately needed for companies large and small in northeast Iowa.
“Graduates of our Industrial Maintenance Technician program at Northeast Iowa Community College are employed by major companies including Hormel and John Deere, as well as a number of smaller companies,” Michael Wilfer, program instructor, said. Graduates are earning a median salary of $50,213 after earning their degree.
The blazing summer heat becomes more uncomfortably obvious when our air conditioning systems aren’t working. Who do you call when you have endured enough hot days and nights in July and August?
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) professionals answer the call, and Northeast Iowa Community College’s (NICC) nine-month diploma program trains skilled service technicians who are in demand. HVAC faculty member, Matt Urbain, is excited about the industry and the opportunity to prepare students to meet in-demand needs for customers in any weather temperature, throughout the year.
“HVAC employers have a real need for hard-working, trained people to work as service technicians. A wave of retirements are coming soon, and these companies want to provide reliable heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair services for their customers,” Urbain said, who is a graduate of the College’s Industrial Maintenance and Commercial/Residential Electrician programs.
Heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems of all types require trained technicians to install, maintain and repair them. Entry-level positions in northeast Iowa offer strong wages and opportunities for advancement to meet rising demand in the HVAC industry.
Everyone seems to be talking about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields now and the in-demand careers available for students skilled in these subjects.
Yet, if you don’t envision a future career developing mathematical algorithms for Google, Microsoft or Facebook, and you want to do hands-on work in engineering, enroll in the Engineering Technology program at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC).
This program provides students with classroom and lab training using solid modeling computer design software, robotics, electronics and 3-D printers. Students have utilized their 3-D printer technology skills to assist in creating prototypes for local manufacturers.
“Because engineering technology is such a broad field, we provide our students an opportunity to explore and experience the many facets of manufacturing and technology,” Lisa Digman, NICC Engineering Technology instructor, said.
Engineering technicians earn an annual income ranging from $33,917 – $54,387, and employment need continues to grow for qualified professionals.