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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete the Certificate in Process Technology Program? The program can be completed in three semesters if you enroll full-time and take about 14 credit hours per semester.

Does the Process Technology Program have evening or weekend classes? The Process Technology Program at Los Medanos College (LMC) offers both day and night classes. Occasionally a student may be enrolled in an evening, weekend or Internet course. Will credits I earned for courses completed at another college or university transfer for credit towards my degree at LMC? Credits for courses completed at another institution are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Credit may be awarded for comparable courses completed elsewhere.

Will I be able to continue to work full-time while enrolled in the Process Technology Program? We have many students who work full-time; however, the work schedule may limit the number of classes a person can take in a semester. This will extend the graduation date.

Does the College offer an intern program? LMC does not offer internships.

Can I attend classes on a part-time basis? Many of our students take classes part-time.

What is the cost of the Process Technology Program? In State tuition for the entire Certificate Of Achievement course of study is about $4,000 including the cost of books and supplies. The LMC Catalog gives more detailed information on this subject.

I already have a degree in another field of study. Does this other degree count towards my process technology degree? Courses completed in attaining another degree may fulfill some of the general education requirements in the Process Technology Program. Visit with an advisor to determine specific course transfers.

Do local companies require an associate degree? Most of the local industry do not yet require an associate degree but are moving in that direction. An associate degree is required in states like Texas, Louisiana, Alaska, etc.

What are the job opportunities? A degree or certificate in process technology can be used in a variety of fields, including petrochemical refining, chemical plant operations, food processing, pulp and paper, power generation, pharmaceuticals, bio-manufacturing, water and waste water treatment, brewing and distilling processes, offshore work and many more.

Can I use my experience working as a contractor in the plants to skip courses? No. Currently there are no test-for-credit options available for the LMC PTEC core curriculum.

Can I work in the plants while I go to school? Some (a few) companies allow you to work in an entry-level job while attending school.

How often do the plants hire students early? The plants seldom hire early; most prefer previous experience or the process technology certificate or associate degree.

I am worried about taking physics, chemistry and algebra. What can I do? While physics, chemistry and algebra are some of our most difficult courses, tutors are available to provide help.

I graduated from another PTEC program. Can I put a resume on file with you? Our priority is to the students who have completed the LMC Process Technology Program. We cannot accept resumes from students at other colleges.

Whom do I talk to about signing up for classes? In order to enroll in classes, you must apply to LMC at www.losmedanos.edu. Next, take the entrance exam in the Testing Center so that we can see where you place in math and English. Visit with an advisor to set a schedule of classes, and then register for the semester.

What is the job placement rate? According to college surveys, LMC PTEC has a placement rate between 50 and 70 percent.

Will you help me to get a job? The Process Technology Program is in close contact with many industries. While we do not guarantee a job, we will assist with placement through job postings and emails. We have also recently included a new course in our curriculum (PTEC-060) that focuses on resume building, interview skills and job application.

What is the starting pay? What do operators make? Local industries start new operators out at about $60,000 per year, which is about $30 per hour, plus overtime. A typical operator working a moderate amount of overtime can easily make $75,000 per year.

What does an operator do? Job responsibilities include: starting, operating, and stopping complex equipment systems; collecting, organizing and analyzing data; troubleshooting; maintaining safety and quality systems; working in self-directed teams with engineers, chemists, and maintenance technicians.

Will this program help me to work at the plants? Yes, our local plants prefer to hire operators with three to five years experience or with the process technology associate degree or certificate of completion.

Do I have to have a GED or diploma to take this program? In order to enroll in the program, you must have a high school diploma or a GED.

Is financial aid available? Yes! Scholarships, grants and loans are available. Visit the LMC Financial Aid Office to discuss financial aid options and application procedures.

Is there a waiting list to get into the program? There is no waiting list for the program.

Can you work shift work and still take classes? Many of our students work shift work. We typically have introductory classes both during the day and the night but advanced classes are only offered at night. If you cannot make a day (or night) class, it is possible to attend the night (or day) section to make up the class that you missed; however, you must discuss this possibility with your class instructor prior to the occurrence.

Do I have to take remedial classes? Approximately 70 percent of our students have to take some type of remedial class. The majority of our students need extra classes in math.

Are women allowed to do this kind of work? Yes, women make very good process technicians and are considered to be in very high demand.

What kind of conditions should I expect to work in? Chemical plants and refineries operate around the clock. Much of an operators work is outdoors, so the weather can be cold and wet in the winter to very hot in the summer. Do I have to climb up on those towers? The work that is going on in the chemical plant or refinery dictates what must be done. Climbing large towers can be a requirement of employment. Does the program give hands-on experience or is it all lectures? Many of our classes have hands-on labs associated with the classes. Our Unit Operations class has many hands-on experiences where the student learns to operate a distillation column, boiler and a fairly large outdoor Hands-On-Trainer Unit. How many classes are there in the program? You must complete 13 core classes to earn the certificate of achievement. How do I sign-up for Information Sessions? Click here -> PTEC Information Sessions Summer 2013