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Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology

How can I hire an SCC Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology graduate?

We graduate approximately 25 students every year. To arrange interviews with our graduates, please contact:

Student Success and Career Services
Spokane Community College
1810 North Greene St. MS 2063
Spokane, WA 99217-5399
Phone: (509) 533-7249
Fax: (509) 533-8681

John Norman,
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology
Spokane Community College
1810 North Greene St. MS 2190
Spokane, WA 99217-5399
Phone: (509) 533-7137
Fax: (509) 533-8805  

Matt Miller,
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology
Spokane Community College
1810 North Greene St. MS 2190
Spokane, WA 99217-5399
Phone: (509) 533-7115
 

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Our Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology program equips students with employable skills through direct, hands-on training in one of the fastest-growing fields in the nation.

Certificate

  • Average length of program: 4 quarters
  • Enrollment: fall and winter

A.A.S. Degree

  • Average length of program: 6 quarters
  • Enrollment: fall and winter

What is hydraulic and pneumatic automation technology? (Click to open)

Fluid power speeds up and automates repetitious tasks in virtually all industrial production, food processing and packaging. Two types of fluids are used to automate machinery: compressed air, called pneumatics, and pressurized oil, or hydraulics.

Hydraulic-powered machines make the plastic containers for liquids like milk, shampoo and motor oil, and a wide range of packaging for foods such as fresh fruits and pizza crust. Because fluid power is less expensive and faster than manual power, it contributes to cost-effective mass production of concrete blocks, plywood, plastic toys and electronic circuit boards. And, it keeps the price tags low for consumers.

What is this field like?

Hydraulic and pneumatic automation technology is a growing field with excellent pay and plenty of job opportunities all over the world.

Most of our graduates choose to stay in the Northwest, but others have taken their skills to positions in France, Russia, England, China, Norway, Sweden and Japan.

Graduates of SCC's Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology program have worked on the supercollider project in Texas, on the tunnel-boring project under the English Channel, in the diamond mines of South Africa, and for the fishing and seafood processing industries on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

What does SCC offer in hydraulic and pneumatic automation training?

We offer two program options: Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technician and Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology Specialist. Each program takes six quarters to complete, and graduates earn an Associate in Applied Science degree (A.A.S.).

Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technician students concentrate their studies in one of two areas:

  1. Mechanical installation and repair of hydraulic/pneumatic components prepares students for jobs in industrial plant maintenance and field service. This area is ideal if you enjoy working with your hands to repair equipment or to fabricate and assemble new machines.
  2. Technical sales and design prepares students for inside technical sales, outside technical sales and hydraulic/pneumatic circuit design. This area is for you if you like working with customers to decrease machine downtime or to increase a machine's speed and efficiency. The work involves creating new circuits to match customer needs and calculating or sizing circuit components to meet speed and force requirements.

Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology Specialist students develop a background in the electronic control of hydraulic and pneumatic valves so they can assist in the design and assembly of electronically-controlled fluid power systems. They become qualified to troubleshoot and maintain these automated systems.

Graduates from both program options can earn national certification from the Fluid Power Society by passing a three-hour test. Both the test and pretest seminar are offered at SCC. Certification offers employers evidence of a graduate's overall skill level and usually results in a higher starting wage for the graduate.  

What classes will I take?

All students take courses in job communication skills, leadership, basic computer skills, and industrial first aid.

In their first year, hydraulic technician and hydraulic specialist students study hydraulics and pneumatic theory, then work in labs where they explore fluid power circuits through hands-on experience.

Courses include basic sketching and drawing techniques, blueprint reading, acetylene welding, and electrical control of hydraulic and pneumatic valves.

Second-year students select either technology or specialist options. Students who wish to take both fluid power options may do so by completing three additional quarters, thereby earning two A.A.S. degrees.

Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technician students learn advanced fluid power circuits and circuit design, machine shop skills (including machine shop theory and machine speeds/feeds calculations), component repair, programmable controllers, arc welding, hydraulic component testing, and fluid line fabrication.

Students in the Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology Specialist option study basic DC and AC electronics, digital electronics, solid state electronics, and micro-processors. They also learn about electronically-controlled valves used in fluid power and the electronic circuit boards used for control.

Where can I get a job?

Hydraulic and pneumatic automation technology positions exist with companies all over the world, and there are more jobs than graduates to fill them. Women and nontraditional students have excellent placement in the fluid power industry.

Although the job market in Spokane is highly competitive, most of our graduates remain in the Northwest and work in manufacturing, mining, fishing, wood products and food processing industries.

Graduates may specialize in distributor sales, system design, plant maintenance and troubleshooting, and the manufacture and installation of automated machinery.

Please visit the SCC Student Success and Career Services site for more information on finding employment.

How can I hire an SCC Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation Technology graduate?

We graduate approximately 25 students every year. To arrange interviews with our graduates, please contact Student Success and Career Services.

Browse additional programs in the CCS Online Catalog.
All course offerings are subject to change. The college cannot guarantee class offerings, designated times or specific instructors - as funding levels and student interest may affect whether or not an offering is available.

Click on the course title to view course description.

Course Title Credits

Useful Links

Here are a few organizations to contact for more information about hydraulic and pneumatic automation technology:

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Fluid Power Educational Foundation
The National Fluid Power Association
3333 North Mayfair Road
Milwaukee, WI 53222-3219
phone: (414)778-3364
fax: (414)778-3361
email: nfpa@nfpa.com



The Fluid Power Society
2433 North Mayfair Road
Milwaukee, WI 53222
phone: (414)257-0910
fax: (414)257-4090

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The Fluid Power Distributors Association
201 Barclay Pavilion West
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-2129
phone: (609)795-6113
fax: (609)795-6362


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