Alamance Community College this fall will offer Mechanical Engineering Technology, a new associate degree program that will provide more career opportunities to students, following recent approval by the N.C. Community College System.
Over the past few years, local industry partners expressed a need for employees whose skills span the gap between engineering, manufacturing and design. A combination of those disciplines would provide workers knowledge and skills to grasp engineering concepts, use solid modeling software, understand manufacturing practices, and function in hands-on working environments.
“The Mechanical Engineering program provides our students with more options for career advancement,” said Dr. Connie Wolfe, Vice President of Instruction. “Area employers have indicated that the program would position students for higher-earning jobs.”
Statewide growth for mechanical engineering technicians is projected at 3-12%, with median wages estimated to be $27.04 hourly or $56,250 annually. Data comes from the U.S. DOL Occupational Network.
As many as 165 mechanical engineering technician-related positions exist within a 50-mile radius of Alamance Community College, according to data provided by ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Monster employment websites.
The College received numerous letters of support from Alamance County industry in favor of initiating Mechanical Engineering Technology into the curriculum.
Mechanical Engineering Technology will serve as a sister program to Computer-Aided Drafting Technology, according to James Adkins, Department Head for Computer-Aided Drafting and who will serve as department head for this new program. Students can expect to take classes in other industrial curriculum in order to integrate overlapping curriculum, share assets, and optimize resources
Graduates will gain a working knowledge of 3D printing and prototyping equipment, have the ability to perform computer based analysis using solid modeling software, be proficient in technical drawing skills using CAD software, and have a working knowledge of manufacturing processes and operations.
Students can earn an Associate in Applied Science degree with 72-74 credit hours, as well as a Mechanical Engineering Technology diploma with 46 credit hours. Three certificates are also available for 12-16 credit hours.
Mechanical Engineering students may also be eligible to obtain as many as 16 professional certifications through SolidWorks certification exams. ACC’s Computer-Aided Drafting program features more SolidWorks classes than any other program in the state.
Graduates will qualify to obtain occupations such as technical service providers, materials and technologies testing services, process improvement technicians, engineering technicians, industrial and technology managers, or research technicians.
2+2 candidate universities currently include UNC-Charlotte and East Carolina University. Students are encouraged to consult with advisors if they plan to transfer to pursue a bachelor’s degree in this program.
For more information about enrolling in this program, contact James Adkins, Department Head/Mechanical Engineering Technology at James.Adkins@alamancecc.edu or Justin Snyder, Dean of Industrial Technologies at Justin.Snyder@alamancecc.edu