Archives for May 2014

Wanted: Community College Instructors in Houston

TGCCCC Petrochemical DegreesThe expanding petrochemical industry in the Houston/Gulf Coast region is providing opportunities for tens of thousands of students to get a two-year degree at our community colleges and go straight to work for high wages in the next decade. ExxonMobil and other petrochemical and oil & gas corporations are expected to have thousands more jobs opening in the next decade than they will have qualified applicants. So, they’ve given us the task of educating and training the workforce they need in the coming years. We’re more than happy to do that – it fits our member colleges’ mission to a T.

However, our Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) described on this site has left us with a little workforce issue of our own. Our member colleges don’t have enough instructors to teach all of those CCPI students! While we’re recruiting new students for these courses, we also have to recruit new teachers. Don’t get us wrong – it’s a great problem to have.

And, our need can be a big benefit to you, because you might be qualified to teach our courses even though you’ve never taken a teaching course and might not have a four-year degree yourself. For instance, if you’re an expert pipefitter and you have the experience and background to prove it, you might qualify to teach a piping course with only a high school diploma. If you have an associate or bachelor degree with more experience, that’s even better – but your skills and experience are what we really need to pass along to our students.

One great thing about our petrochemical industry in the Houston/Gulf Coast area is that the companies tend to get employees young and keep them. People often start with ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical or other petrochemical company in their early 20s, and because of good pay and benefits, they may be able to retire at 55 or 60. That leaves relatively young retirees with a lot of time and energy that they can put to good – and profitable – use by teaching the next generation of petrochemical workers. The hours are flexible, we have campuses all over the region, which ensures you a pretty easy commute, and the wages we pay vary by college, but they will be competitive on an hourly basis.

So, if you have an associate degree in computer technology and worked in computer maintenance for three or more years, you can have a second career teaching at one of our community colleges. Or, if you have an A.S. in welding and you’ve been a professional welder for three or more years, we need you to apply and come teach our students.

Every surging industry in the United States creates career opportunities at many levels. It’s up to you – and us – to identify the opportunities that fit you. These teaching opportunities in the vocational fields are historically rare, but the petrochemical boom is far from over – and it’s not the only growing industry in Texas. We need instructors and students in the healthcare field, as well.

Take a look at the petrochemical instructor page we have, and then go visit the individual community college job pages listed at the bottom to see openings at a college near you. You can apply for those openings online, or if you have questions, just contact the career departments for the individual schools. You may have a second career just waiting for you. And, you know it won’t be that annoying when your friends start calling you “Professor”!

Process Technicians: A Bright Future

One of the most crucial jobs at a chemical plant or oil refinery is a process technician, who monitors and maintains the manufacturing process that makes chemicals, fuels and plastics.

People in the Baby Boomer generation have long occupied process technician positions. With many Baby Boomers retiring from the workforce, though, there is a shortage of process technicians – particularly in the flourishing petrochemical sector. The demand for process technicians and operators who can help ensure that products and processes are safe has become even more critical. The job outlook is bright for process technicians and operators. In Texas, the overall salary potential for process technicians and operators ranges from $42,000 to $75,000.

The process technology field may appeal to you if you possess or want to develop both strong problem-solving and communication skills. You must also have a good foundation in both math and science. A process technology program will prepare you for a successful career as a process technician or operator in several industries, including petrochemical and oil and gas.

Industrial Machinery Mechanics in DemandProcess Technician Degree - TGCCCC

An industrial machinery mechanic repairs, installs, adjusts, or maintains industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In May 2012, the national median salary was $45,840 for industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers.Within the process technology field, an especially high demand exists for industrial machinery mechanics.  Employment of industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers is forecasted to grow by 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Generally speaking, a process technician monitors and controls various changes such as chemical fluctuations throughout different processes to manufacture a product derived from raw materials.  A process technician or operator performs the following:

  • compiles information using technology or instruments that check conditions such as pressure and temperature
  • oversees and troubleshoots equipment used in various processes
  • operates equipment to help keep plants or facilities running both safely and efficiently
  • assigns repair jobs to the appropriate departments
  • maintains a safe workplace
  • trains staff members
  • develops procedures

A process technician or operator has the opportunity to work in both indoor and outdoor settings. They work with various professionals such as engineers and maintenance staff.

Opportunities in the Process Technology FieldProcess Technician - TGCCCC

Local and international employment opportunities are also currently available for process technicians in other industries such as food and beverage, power generation, and pharmaceuticals.

In the future, it is anticipated that process technicians will take on duties that are normally handled by other professionals such as engineers. Therefore, students will need to acquire specialized degrees such as an associate’s degree in process technology that will provide instruction in areas such as physics and engineering principles. Strong technical and problem solving skills will be even more essential for process technicians.

If you value a mentally challenging job with much responsibility and where you can have a daily impact on the company’s performance, then the process technology field may be suited for you. The member colleges of TGCCCC have rigorous process technology programs that will provide you with the proper training and skills to achieve your career goals.

Main Menu