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College Q&A: Number of opportunities available for those wishing to work in regional industries

By Katy Long
March 24, 2012 at midnight
Updated March 23, 2012 at 10:24 p.m.

Katy Long

I've heard that many of the local plants are expanding and hiring. What kind of job could I get, and what kind training do I need to qualify for those kinds of jobs?

Victoria College offers a number of opportunities for those wishing to work in any of our regional industries.

You may be interested in pursuing a career as an instrumentation technician. According to Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent, local demand for skilled workers with a specialization in instrumentation has increased in the petrochemical and oil and gas industries.

Victoria College offers an Associate of Science degree with a specialization in instrumentation. To meet this growing demand for these technical skills, VC offers introductory instrumentation classes. Some local employers have even been recruiting directly in classes at VC.

Instrumentation technicians are highly skilled workers who typically start at more than $16 an hour. They install, test, repair and operate instrumentation and control equipment such as pressure gauges, speedometers and calibration sensors. They also may record and interpret test data.

A degree in process technology also will train you for a career as a technician working in any of the area's local industries. Most of the largest industries in the Coastal Bend region include chemical, petrochemical and plastics processing. Consequently, more than 80 percent of all VC's process technology program graduates gain employment in this area.

VC's process technology program leads to a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree that provides the necessary preparation for a career as a process technician. The associate degree program includes general academic courses in addition to specialized technical courses, which also transfer easily for those who wish to pursue a bachelor's degree.

Process technicians gather information using instruments that monitor process conditions, such as pressure, temperature, level and flow rates and lab equipment to keep plants running safely and efficiently to produce products that meet customer specifications.

If you're looking to get started quickly, you might consider truck driving. VC's Workforce and Continuing Education Department enrolled its largest truck driving class this past fall. The demand for drivers is so high, employers have been recruiting students during the first week of class.

The Eagle Ford Shale activity has increased the need for drivers in the oilfield industry throughout the region, which has created a shortage of drivers across all industries.

The truck driving class lasts either six or 10 weeks, depending on whether you choose day or evening classes. The curriculum includes classroom and hands-on driving experience.

For more information on any of these programs, please visit the VC website at VictoriaCollege.edu and click on Areas of Study and then Industrial Trades. You will also find information about admissions and financial aid on the VC website.

Do you have a question about Victoria College? Contact Katy Long, Marketing and Communications Department, at 361-485-6835, or katy.long@victoriacollege.edu.

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