The Electromechanical Technology program of study is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to effectively perform basic industrial maintenance procedures in an advanced manufacturing facility. This program of study is designed for students that are interested in becoming: a general maintenance and repair worker, industrial machinery mechanic, master mechanic, electromechanical technician, mechanical engineer, or an electromechanical engineer. Course content focuses on the electromechanical domains, including: fundamental safety practices in electromechanical technology, shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), basic metal inert gas (MIG) welding, electrical systems, AC and DC motors, calibrating instruments, drive systems, pipe fabrication, hydraulic systems, pumps, digital electronics, programmable logic controllers (PLC), and troubleshooting procedures. Upon completion of this POS, proficient students will be prepared to pursue postsecondary electromechanical technology programs and entry-level industrial maintenance technology careers in the advanced manufacturing industry.
Back in 2011, Governor Bill Haslam announced six target clusters for which Tennessee had a competitive advantage and would focus its recruitment efforts to bring more businesses to the state. One of those target clusters was Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Technologies, and after several consecutive years of strong job gains, the demand for skilled workers shows no sign of slowing. Among these careers was Industrial Machinery Mechanics. Industrial Mechanics fall under the manufacturing subcategory of Production.
Electromechanical Technology is the study of the combination of knowledge of mechanical technology systems with the knowledge of electronic circuits. Technologists will install, repair, and troubleshoot electronic and computer-controlled mechanical systems. Examples include working on robotic assembly machines, mobile robots and manipulator arms that operate on assembly lines. In order for them to function properly, however, successful professionals in this field must be able to problem solve and troubleshoot by applying mathematics, design, and systems thinking, while also documenting highly technical processes in a manner that can be replicated by others.
Compared to the national rate of 5.2 percent, job creation in Tennessee is soaring in manufacturing fields, accounting for $30.2 billion in manufactured goods exported every year and a 9% overall increase over the last four years.
In 2015, Tennessee ranked first in the nation in automotive manufacturing strength. With its attractive business climate and strategic location, Tennessee is home to a strong base of manufacturers representing many diverse industries, led by the state’s automotive sector, which in recent years has converted into a regional and national powerhouse. In industries such as these, employers like Alcoa, Eastman Chemical, and Bridgestone are in need of skilled technicians and engineers who can design, maintain, and operate complex production systems.
Moreover, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development listed four manufacturing jobs on the list of Hot Careers in 2022. Among these careers were Machinists and Industrial Machinery Mechanics in the advanced manufacturing industry. Maintenance and Repair Workers (general) and Industrial Machinery Mechanics fall under the manufacturing subcategory of Installation, Maintenance, and Repair. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, Installation, Maintenance, and Repair occupations are expected to increase at a rate of 6.4 percent through the year 2024.
What kinds of careers can students expect to pursue upon completion of the Electromechanical Technology POS in Tennessee? In many ways, Electromechanical represents a great example of the department’s emphasis on creating pathways linked to local labor market needs, composed of stackable credentials at discrete levels of postsecondary.
Electromechanical technology pathways offer opportunities to funnel into careers at a variety of education levels. Pursuing just an additional year or two of study can yield great returns for students. Among Tennessee graduates from public two-year colleges who completed programs in Engineering Technology, median wages for their first year out of school was $50,640 which is higher than the state average for all Associate’s holders. This, coupled with advanced training at the Bachelor’s level, will open even more doors for students moving their employment prospects to the higher-wage engineering and production management occupations.