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Earning a technical certificate in industrial technology can prepare you for a range of industrial careers, such as in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) repair and installation; plumbing; machinery; welding; and general maintenance. A certificate, however, may not be enough to qualify you for many jobs. Many employers require you to have additional training and certification or even a more advanced degree.
Most technical certificate programs require you to take industry-specific technical and professional courses that prepare you for the workforce. You’ll receive targeted training that prepares you to sit for certification exams. You may also be able to apply the courses you take while earning your technical certificate toward an associate's or bachelor’s degree.
With a general technical certificate, you may qualify for a number of non-specialized maintenance positions, such as helping to maintain and clean welding and hydraulics equipment. The industrial maintenance certificate program at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, MI, for example, provides a range of introductory classes, such as in electronics, welding and electronics. A certificate may also prepare you to repair electrical and industrial machines.
Some certificate programs allow you to specialize. For example, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana offers certificate programs in heating and air conditioning and machining while Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Mo., offers a technical certificate program in pipefitting and plumbing. Pulaski Technical College in Arkansas offers 17 technical certificate programs to help students find jobs with contractors, service companies or even in sales, depending on the area of study. Earn a certificate in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, for example, and you will learn how to install, troubleshoot and repair HVAC systems.
Welder and Electrician
You can also get the training you need to work as a welder or as an electrician. If you’re interested in working as a welder, make sure the American Welding Society, which offers certificates for a range of welding careers, accredits the program. A certificate program should prepare you to sit for this certification exam. You can also learn the basics of working as an electrician by taking a certificate program. For example, at Grand Rapids Community College you’ll take classes in basic electricity and electronics and industrial electricity. These classes teach you about electronic components, circuits and devices.
- Ivy Tech Community College: Industrial Technology
- Ranken Technical College: Industrial Technology
- Northcentral Technical College: Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering Certificate
- Grand Rapids Community College: Industrial Technology Certificate
- Grand Rapids Community College: Industrial Technology Certificate -- Curriculum
William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the "New England Blade" and is a former contributor to "The Advocate." His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.