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Modern Day Rosie the Riveters: Women Prove to Be Valuable Assets for Essential Roles In the Skilled Trades

By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

March is Women’s History Month, which is a perfect time for kicking off a major initiative to encourage and support women in the pursuit of careers in the skilled trades.  MIAT College of Technology’s campuses in Houston and Canton near Detroit are committed to supporting women and men of all ages and stages of their life in acquiring essential knowledge and skills that will equip them for gainful employment in the skilled trades.  Given the well-deserved attention that essential workers have garnered since the World Health Organization declared  COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020,  this is a great opportunity to emphasize the value of being employed in the skilled trades.  Also, with the recent inauguration of Kamala Harris as the first woman to occupy the Office of Vice President of the United States of America, it is time for career schools, such as ours, to tackle the gender stereotyping that can often still occur in certain careers — especially in the skilled trades.

MIAT leaders, faculty and staff know that women are well-suited for jobs in historically male-dominated fields such as welding, aviation maintenance, HVAC, and energy – to name just a few.  We are on a mission to  recruit more women to our college and offer them the opportunities that a skilled trade can offer. We are seizing the opportunity to demonstrate that career paths should always be based on a person’s passion, ambitions, and abilities – and not a person’s gender, race or ethnicity. Now and for the foreseeable future, we are adopting and maintaining a leadership position in telling the stories of accomplished women in the skilled trades. Our ultimate goal is to encourage more women to pursue rewarding careers as essential skilled workers.

Adding considerable credibility and support to our 2021 mission to recruit women in the skilled trades are four extraordinary female instructors at our Houston campus. In fact, these four women have been interviewed by Houston area television stations and magazines recently to share their personal experiences and to inspire other women to consider a career in the skilled trades. You will learn more about each of these remarkable women who are excellent ambassadors for our school in this blog and over the coming weeks and months. (more…)

What Does an NDT Technician Do?

Do you spend time taking apart equipment to see how it is made? Are you curious about how well components are designed and structured? If this sounds interesting to you, then becoming a non-destructive testing technician may be the right career path.

NDT technicians can work in the manufacturing and technology industries. Some of those industries where non-destructive testing is used include aviation, defense, construction, automotive, aerospace, and energy to name a few. NDT technicians get to test everything from glass to airplane parts. So, what does an NDT technician do?

What Does an NDT Technician Do?

A non-destructive testing (NDT) technician uses a variety of techniques to inspect materials, components, structures, and systems to look for structural flaws. These flaws include corrosion, cracks, and other flaws that may compromise the NDT equipment. An NDT technician’s job will include:

  • Conducting Material Testing
  • Interpreting & Preparing Test Reports for Material Testing
  • Calibrating and Maintaining Equipment
  • Developing Processes for Safety

Conducting Material Testing

NDT technicians learn different non-destructive techniques to test materials including visual inspection, liquid dye penetration testing, eddy current testing, magnetic particle testing, ultrasonic testing, and radiographic testing. Each test is specific to the material, component, structure, or system being tested.

Visual Examination – NDT technicians can use many different tools to inspect technology including lenses and fiber optic devices.

Liquid Dye Penetration Testing – with the use of fluorescent liquids, NDT technicians will stain surfaces to show imperfections viewed under ultraviolet light.

Eddy Current Testing – an NDT technician will pass an electric current through conductive materials to monitor the flow of current for any differences.

Magnetic Particle Testing – to see cracks and defects, NDT technicians use magnetic particles applied to magnetized ferrous materials.

Ultrasonic Testing – the use of high frequency sound pulses helps NDT technicians by reflecting signals from materials to see imperfections and defects.

Radiographic Testing – the use of X-rays help NDT technicians see imperfections inside materials.

Interpreting & Preparing Test Reports for Material Testing

After conducting the tests, the NDT technician will interpret and analyze the test results. During the interpretation phase, the NDT technician will look for flaws like acoustic emissions, leaks, liquid penetration, unknown vibrations, and anything that looks out of place. This will ensure that the materials are safe and the machinery is ready for use. However, if additional testing is needed, you will identify the safety of the materials. The production of some components may even be halted if serious flaws are found.

Calibrating and Maintaining Equipment

To ensure the accuracy of the non-destructive testing, an NDT technician will calibrate and maintain testing equipment. They will need to calibrate the settings based on the material being tested. Also, after a test, it is important for the NDT technician to make sure the equipment is ready for further use.

Developing Process for Safety

An NDT technician will create procedure checklists, conduct training of other NDT technicians, and demonstrate proper techniques for testing machinery and materials. It is important to develop proper procedure to keep everyone safe that is involved with the non-destructive test.

What Skills Do You Learn in an NDT Technician Program?

There are many different skills that will help you be a good NDT technician. The most important skills you will learn during an NDT technician program at a trade school include attention to detail, taking responsibility, and having good communication.

Skill #1: Attention to Detail

It is important to be meticulous while inspecting and testing parts and components. You will learn to use checklists and other review techniques, so you don’t miss any flaws. Each non-destructive test has its own protocols and procedures, and performing them properly will ensure that the materials, parts, and components you test are structurally sound.

Skill #2: Responsibility

As an NDT technician, you will be responsible for testing the safety of different parts and components. It is important to properly test all components for flaws and structural damage. Even the smallest flaw can be catastrophic. For instance, you will inspect and test parts for planes, automobiles, and blast furnaces. Taking responsibility for what you do is the most important skill you can have as an NDT technician.

Skill #3: Communication

You will be responsible for reporting your findings after each test. Having good communication skills will help you clearly and concisely convey the results. It will also be important to keep communication professional, so there are no misunderstandings.

How Do I Become an NDT Technician?

The best way to get in the industry as an NDT technician is to attend a non-destructive testing technician program at a trade school. Non-Destructive Testing Technician Diploma classes are interactive and led by dedicated school instructors with years of experience working in a professional setting. You’ll get one-on-one attention and personal support to pick up new NDT skills quickly and first-hand technical knowledge to feel confident entering the workforce.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about what an NDT technician does, are you interested in learning more about becoming a non-destructive testing technician? You can start earning in as little as 7 months after attending a full-time program. There is also an advanced NDT technician program that can be finished in 9 months. Either way, you will have the knowledge and training to test different materials, components, structures, and systems. Learn a new trade and become an NDT technician today.

Non-Destructive Testing Technician Diploma Program

The Advanced Non-Destructive Testing Technician Program from MIAT College of Technology provides the hands-on training, practical experience, and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career. Non-Destructive Testing Technician (NDT) Diploma classes are interactive and led by dedicated school instructors with years of experience working in a professional setting. You’ll get one-on-one attention and personal support to pick up new skills quickly and first-hand technical knowledge to feel confident entering the workforce.

 

To learn more about the Advanced Non-Destructive Testing Technician Program and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming a non-destructive testing technician today.

How Long Does Welding Take to Learn at a Trade School?

Are you looking for a trade to start a new career? Welders are in demand. Welding opportunities are expected to grow 20 percent in Texas in the next decade, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. MIAT College of Technology offers a welding technology program at its Houston, TX campus that can prepare you for this rewarding career. Are you asking yourself, “How long does trade school take for welding?”

How Long Does Trade School Take for Welding?

Attending a welding trade school full-time allows you to complete a welding certification program in as little as 9 months. Classes are led by trained professionals that have worked in the industry and that better understand the skills needed to compete for these jobs. Career services in these trade schools also help you identify opportunities and prepare for job interviews for entry-level careers.

What Does a Welding Specialist Do?

Welding specialists use welding, cutting, soldering, and brazing equipment to join, cut, and solder metal parts. They also fill holes and seams in metal products, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Welding specialists typically do the following:

  • Cut, dismantle, straighten, and reshape metal
  • Study 2D blueprints, sketches, and specifications
  • Use mathematics to better cut metal and calculate metal melting points.
  • Maintain clean metal workshops and remove debris that can contaminate welds.
  • Use equipment to light torches.
  • Repair, monitor, and maintain welding equipment and machinery.

What Do You Learn During a Welding Trade School Program?

Welding technology classes teach you how to properly use welding tools. It also builds professional skills while teaching metal arc welding techniques such as proper pipe welding, soldering, fitting, and fabrication and how to read and interpret drawing, symbols, and metal characteristics. Mastering these welding techniques and procedures will start you off on the right foot after graduating from a welding trade school. Employers look for welders with the hands-on experience that you will gain during a welding program at a trade school.

Tools and Professional Skills

Before you can become a master welder, you must first learn how to use all of the tools that a welder uses every day. There are many different tools to learn about. There are safety tools like safety glasses, fiberglass welding hoods, cutting goggles, leather gloves, leather work boots, and leather jackets with bib. As a welder, you will also use vise grips, wire brushes, flint strikers, metal files, grinding wheels, needle nose pliers, ball peen hammers, compasses, and protractors. These and others are some of the main metal arc welding equipment that will be supplied for you during the trade school program.

Metal Arc Welding

Every welder must learn the proper technique for welding. Different welding equipment will allow the welder to do shield metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, and gas tungsten arc welding.

SMAW (Shield Metal Arc Welding) – an arc welding process that uses an electrode and electric current to join metals. Commonly used to weld iron and steel.

MIG-GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) – an arc welding process where a continuous solid wire electrode is fed through a welding gun into the weld pool, joining the two base materials together.

TIG-GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) – an arc welding process that uses long welding rods and slowly feeds them into the weld pool, commonly used for thin gauge materials.

Drawings, Symbols, and Metal Characteristics

During the welding technology program, you will learn how to read and interpret blueprints and the many symbols that adorn these blueprints. You will also learn about proper welding of different metals and the many characteristics of these metals such as melting points and which metals should be joined and with which tool.

Pipe Welding

Pipe welding is another important welding technique to master. This involves connecting two pipes together to make a single, longer pipe that is void of leaks and other artifacts. Pipe welding is used in the construction of buildings, structures, and vessels.

Soldering

Soldering involves connecting small pieces of metal to other surfaces such as connecting wires to a circuit board. Different metals melt at different temperatures, and it is important to know the melting point of the metals and metal fillers that you are using. This will be taught in a welding trade school program.

Fitting & Fabrication

Fitting and fabrication techniques will help you to learn how brand-new products or components of a larger product can be made from scratch. Almost any metallic product can be either repaired or created. During the welding trade school program, you will get hands-on fitting and fabrication experience in real world welding projects.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are interested in becoming a welder, it is time to learn more about the welding technology program at MIAT College of Technology. We prepare you to start welding on your first day with hands-on training in real world environments and with a variety of metals. You will learn how to weld, cut, solder, and braze using industry standard welding equipment. With the knowledge you gain from MIAT’s welding technology program, you can start a new career as a welder today.

 Do you have 9 months to start a new career? The Welding Specialist Program at MIAT College of Technology provides the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career. Classes are interactive and led by dedicated instructors with years of experience working with welding equipment in a professional setting. You’ll get the one-on-one attention and personal support to pick up new skills quickly and the first-hand technical knowledge to feel confident entering the workforce.

 

 

 

 Getting welding training is a great investment in your future and opens doors to a career in a variety of industries! Inquire today to learn more about MIAT’s Welding Specialist Program.

What is an Industrial Maintenance Technician?

Did you know that in 9 months, you could become an industrial maintenance technician? Industrial maintenance technicians work in many different energy industries, from gas and nuclear to renewable energy. There are many different opportunities to become a power plant operator, industrial mechanic, or one of the many other careers in industrial maintenance. However, if you are wondering what an industrial maintenance technician is, you are not alone.

What is an Industrial Maintenance Technician?

Industrial maintenance technicians work in the energy industry and work for power plants, boiler operations, solar installations, and other energy facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an industrial maintenance technician maintains and repairs energy power plants, factory equipment, and other industrial machinery. These machinery components include conveying systems, production machinery, and packaging equipment. Industrial maintenance technicians typically do the following:

  • Install, inspect, maintain, and disassemble industrial machinery.
  • Read technical manuals to understand energy industry equipment and controls.
  • Disassemble machinery and equipment to solve a problem.
  • Perform basic maintenance and make repairs for broken or malfunctioning components.
  • Perform tests and run initial batches to make sure that machinery is running up to code.
  • Detect minor problems by performing basic diagnostic tests.
  • Test malfunctioning machinery to determine the repairs needed.
  • Adjust and calibrate equipment and machinery to optimal specifications.
  • Clean and lubricate equipment or machinery.

What Skills Do You Need to be a Successful Industrial Maintenance Technician?

There are many skills that will come in handy as an industrial maintenance technician. Some of the most important skills for success include physical ability/stamina, problem solving, attention to detail, adaptability, decision making, self-motivation, and work ethic.

Skill #1: Physical Ability/Stamina

Much of what an industrial maintenance technician does takes stamina. As an industrial maintenance technician, you will carry large objects, stand, crouch and kneel to fix and repair broken components. You will be on your feet for long periods of time walking around a facility and making sure machinery is running properly.

Skill #2: Problem Solving

There will be the inevitable problem that needs solving. Whether it is a broken component, malfunctioning machine, or problem that needs troubleshooting, it is important to have a methodical process to identify the problem, understand the many fixes, and take decisive action to fix the machinery in a timely manner.

Skill #3: Attention to Detail

Even the smallest error can shut down an entire industrial machine such as a malfunctioning part, pressure off by a degree, or a nut not tightened properly. These errors can be costly and cause downtime for many electricity customers. Using a checklist or creating a step-by-step process to double check your work and troubleshooting any problems will help you master an attention to detail.

Skill #4: Adaptability

Not every space in the factory or machine shop will be easy to access. You must adapt to your environment both physical and mentally. Something unexpected may occur, and it is up to you to adapt to this situation and do some troubleshooting and problem solving. Not every situation will be textbook, but every situation has a solution. It is up to you to identify that solution and adapt to your situation.

Skill #5: Decision Making

There are usually multiple solutions to any one problem. It is up to you to balance the cost, time, and customers in your decision-making calculations. Although you may save time picking a specific decision, it may cost too much money. Picking the right decision is about assessing the situation and identifying the next steps to take, rather than asking for guidance from superiors. This delegation of decision making is made when the supervisor trusts you to make good decisions that are in the best interest of the power plant.

Skill #6: Self-Motivation

As an industrial maintenance technician, much of what you do will be delegated to you, so it is important to be self-motivated. You will be responsible for completing your work and making sure the machinery is in good working order. Although you will have colleagues and superiors to ask for help when in a serious situation, it is up to you to prepare for your day and get the job down without oversight from a superior.

Skill #7: Work Ethic

As an industrial maintenance technician, you are in charge of the electrical grid and whether your neighbors will have electricity or not. It is important to show up on time, take responsibility for your job, and be reliable. Many people are counting on you to do your job, and it is important to have a good work ethic as an industrial maintenance technician.

Final Thoughts

The energy industry is growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the projected growth of industrial maintenance technicians will be 13 percent in the coming decade, more than twice all other jobs. With the increase in energy production and need for renewable energy, there will be a growing need for more industrial maintenance technicians. Now is the time to start a career in energy and help power the world.

Ready to learn more about becoming an industrial maintenance technician? The Industrial Maintenance Technician Certificate/Diploma Program at MIAT College of Technology was created in response to the energy industry asking for more qualified industrial technicians. This program is a combination of classroom, hands-on assignments and outside work/homework. Our school’s curriculum covers power generation, power plant operations, compression technology and process systems.

To learn more about the Industrial Maintenance Technician Program and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming an aircraft mechanic today.

What is a Trade School?

Are you interested in a new career and want to learn a trade? Attending a trade school is the fastest way to start earning in a new trade specific to your skill set. Most trade school programs are completed in less than 9 months. They offer you a focused curriculum and prepare you with just the right knowledge and skills you need to apply for an entry-level position. Now, are you asking yourself, “What is a trade school?”

What is a Trade School?

A trade school, often called a vocational or technical school, offers training in a specific trade or job specialty. Many 4-year colleges focus on electives the first two years and then students finally start to specialize in a specific degree. Trade schools focus only on what the student needs to learn to get an entry-level position in a given trade. Like an apprenticeship, trade schools offer real world training in actual workshops allowing students to learn as they perform trade practices and techniques directly from an instructor with experience in the industry.

After completing trade school, students may need to pass certification or licensing exams to show proficiency in their given trade to prospective employers. Once exams are completed, graduates apply to work in local workshops, organizations, and trade-specific companies. Trade schools are one of the shortest paths to earning out of the many college options available.

What Careers Do Trade Schools Offer?

Trade schools offer many different careers, from construction, welding, and HVAC to allied health care and even computer technology. Most trade schools specialize in a specific trade like cosmetology, healthcare, computers, or construction to name a few. MIAT College of Technology specializes in aircraft maintenance, HVACR technician training, welding technology, energy technology, wind power technician training, and robotics and automation technology

Career #1: Aircraft Maintenance Technician

Trade schools that specialize in aircraft maintenance teach students to inspect, maintain, and repair aircraft and helicopters. Aircraft maintenance technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on aircraft. In trade schools, aircraft maintenance technicians learn how to diagnose and repair mechanical or electrical problems, repair aircraft components and systems, replace defective parts, examine aircraft parts for defects, follow instructions in maintenance manuals, inspect completed work to make sure aircraft are flight ready, and keep maintenance records for future use.

Some of the training for aircraft maintenance is applicable to airframe and powerplant technicians. Trade schools prepare students in airframe and powerplant technology programs to become FAA certified airframe and powerplant technicians. Trade school graduates are then able to choose from a wide range of entry-level employment opportunities in both aviation and other technical career fields.

Career #2: HVACR Technician

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers (HVACR Technicians) install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control temperature and air quality. At a trade school, HVAC technicians learn how to work on residential, industrial, and commercial job sites. They manage electrical components and the wiring of HVACR systems. Students learn how to inspect, troubleshoot, and test systems and components. Trade school students learn proper mathematics and how to read schematics and blueprints. Students also learn how to record maintenance and repair jobs for future use and warranty claims.

Many HVAC technicians attend trade schools so they can get a certification to prove standard knowledge, productivity, and safety protocols. One of the certification exams is awarded by an association called the North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Prove your proficiency in HVACR systems by graduating from a trade school training program and becoming certified as an HVACR technician.

Career #3: Welding Technology

Trade school trains students to become welders, cutters, solders, and brazers. Welding specialists learn how to join or cut metal parts and fill holes, indentations, and seams in metal products. At a trade school, welders learn how to study drawings, symbols, blueprints, sketches, and specifications. They learn proper mathematics to successfully calculate welding and cutting of materials. They learn how to inspect materials, monitor welding temperatures to avoid overheating, and to determine the proper technique to maintain welding equipment and machinery.

Trade school teaches welders the art of metal arc welding, pipe welding, soldering, fitting, and fabrication. They teach students about MIG welding and TIG welding. Trade schools also teach students the latest trends and practices for a successful career in welding technology.

Career #4: Wind Power Technician

With the growth in the renewable energy sector, trade schools are training students in many different energy technology fields including wind power. During a wind energy program Students learn how to inspect, maintain, and repair wind turbines and their components. Training involves in-person repair of wind turbine parts and systems as well as off-site monitoring of wind turbines to measure performance, energy generation and up-time. Training offers entry-level positions as wind service technicians, control room operators, as well as wind turbine sales representatives. Renewable, environmentally sustainable wind energy is a vital resource and an important industry for everyone’s future.

How Long is a Trade School Program?

Unlike many 4-year colleges that mandate elective courses, many trade school programs can be completed in less than 7 to 9 months. Students attending trade schools can start earning in months rather than years. For those that have other responsibilities, just want to prepare for a trade, or are looking for a dedicated trade program, then attending a trade school may be the right option for you.

Are you interested in learning more about the programs offered at a trade school?  If you’re mechanically inclined, enjoy working with your hands, and are looking for technical career training with a future, MIAT College of Technology can help. Engaging, hands- on vocational training at MIAT College of Technology can open the doors to a wide variety of exciting careers. 

Our aircraft mechanic and maintenance training can lead to employment opportunities in many industries, including aviation maintenance, HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning & refrigeration), wind energy, power plant operations, and industrial machinery. With MIAT College of Technology, you get real-world, career-focused education. MIAT students learn directly in shop facilities that include aircraft, engines, wind turbines, and lots of other equipment to ensure you’ll be ready to hit the ground running in your future job.

MIAT’s goal is to produce graduates who are in the top echelon of their initial on-the-job training due to the foundational knowledge they receive at MIAT.  To learn more about Energy Technology career training and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page.

Contact us if you are interested in becoming a wind turbine technician today. 

 

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of the students who attended this program visit the following disclosure links.

What Skills Do You Need to be an Aircraft Mechanic?

 

Are you considering with you want to take an aircraft mechanic program? Want to know if you have the skill set to become an aircraft mechanic? The good news is that you can learn a lot of skills you need during an aircraft mechanic program at a trade school. Skills like communication, attention to detail, stamina, dexterity, teamwork, and problem solving can be learned during an aircraft mechanic program. The qualities that you can’t learn are a good work ethic, an interest in fixing things, and a passion for aircraft. If you have the passion, then becoming an aircraft mechanic may be the right career path for you. So, what skills will you need to be an aircraft mechanic?

What Skills Do You Need to be an Aircraft Mechanic?

There are many different skills that come in handy as an aircraft mechanic. Some of the more valuable skills that you will learn during an aircraft mechanic program include communication, teamwork, attention to detail, and problem solving. You will also build up your stamina and dexterity while you work on real world aircraft.

Skill #1: Communication

One of the most important skills that you can learn is communication. As an aircraft mechanic, you will spend a lot of your time talking with supervisors, teammates, and clients when you are and are not actually fixing an aircraft. It is important to be clear and concise with your communication because someone’s life may depend on it. As you fix aircraft, there will be passengers, and it is important to not only communicate but work as a team and have a strong attention to detail to keep those passengers safe.

Written communication is also important for an aircraft mechanic. After completing a fix or going through a checklist, you will need to make notes of anything that needs fixing or may need maintenance. The ability to communicate both verbally and in writing is an important skill for any aircraft mechanic.

Skill #2: Teamwork

Part of good teamwork is communication, but it is also about moving toward a shared goal and building trust with co-workers. More than one person will fix an aircraft at any one time. There are many different jobs to perform and checklists to complete. If everyone is working together, the aircraft will come together faster, be safer, and get completed on time.

Skill #3: Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is an important skill for anyone but very important for an aircraft mechanic. Each aircraft is made up of little pieces and precise mechanics. Even the smallest malfunction can be catastrophic. During an aircraft mechanic program, you will learn to be meticulous and identify even the smallest of issues so the aircraft is safe.

Skill #4: Stamina & Dexterity

A lot of what you will do as an aircraft mechanic is stand, reach into tight spaces, and crouch to reach a part of the aircraft. Not only will you need to withstand a lot of physical effort to stand and crouch, but you will need mental stamina as well. It can be a long day of fixing aircraft for an aircraft mechanic, and it is important that you build up your stamina so you can finish any project that you start.

Finger dexterity is also important as an aircraft mechanic. You will be working with little parts, nuts, and bolts in tight spaces and with different types of tools. The ability to hold, squeeze, and turn these tools throughout the day takes dexterity in the fingers and hands.

If you don’t have the stamina and dexterity yet to be an aircraft mechanic, don’t worry. You will get a lot of practice during an aircraft mechanic program. You will work on a variety of aircraft types and build up your stamina and dexterity while you put your practical knowledge and theory to work in the hangar fixing an aircraft.

Skill #5: Problem Solving

There are always problems to solve, so it is just important to think logically, have a step-by-step process, and come up with the best solution to the problem. There may be multiple ways to fix an aircraft that is malfunctioning, but it is important to work through a checklist, make sure everything is reviewed, and find a proper solution to the problem.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about the skills that it takes to be a successful aircraft mechanic, do you think you are ready to join the industry? Even if you don’t have all the knowledge and skills yet to be an aircraft mechanic, a lot of what you need to know will be taught during an aircraft mechanic program. Everything else will be learned on the job as long as you are committed to continuously learn. Your passion for the aircraft industry, and your strong work ethic is all you need to become a successful aircraft mechanic. The rest will be learned throughout the journey.

Ready to learn more about becoming an aircraft mechanic? The Airframe and Powerplant Technician Program from MIAT College of Technology provides the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career. At MIAT College of Technology, our aviation maintenance training focuses on teaching you the advanced precision skills necessary to become FAA Certificated Airframe and Powerplant Technicians. With the strong foundations that we provide, you will be prepared to start your exciting career immediately after graduation.

To learn more about the Airframe and Powerplant Technician Program and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming an aircraft mechanic today.

Is Wind Turbine Technician a Good Career?


Want to work in an emerging field that is one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.? Don’t mind heights and want a good challenge? If this sounds like you, then consider a career as a wind turbine technician. Before we look into what a wind turbine technician does, where they work, and whether they are in demand, let’s first understand how wind energy works.

How Does Wind Energy Work?

Wind energy is the process of creating electricity using the wind, a natural occurrence in the earth’s atmosphere. When the wind blows past a wind turbine, the blades capture the wind’s kinetic energy through rotation of the blades and turns it into mechanical energy. The rotation turns an internal shaft connected to a gearbox housed in the nacelle. The gearbox spins a generator which produces electricity, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

A larger number of wind turbines that are built close together may have the moniker of “wind farm.” A wind farm sends its electricity to the grid like a traditional power plant would. Once the wind energy reaches the grid, utilities will send the electricity through the power lines to consumers that need to power their homes.

 What Does a Wind Turbine Technician Do?

 Wind turbine technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind turbine service technicians typically do the following:

  • Inspect the exterior of the wind turbine towers
  • Inspect or repair wind turbine equipment, blades, gearbox, and generator
  • Perform routine maintenance one to three times a year
  • Use computers to diagnose electrical malfunctions
  • Troubleshoot and test electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components and systems
  • Repair and replace worn or malfunctioning components
  • Collect data for testing or research and analysis

 Is Wind Turbine Technician a Good Career?

 Wind turbine technician is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. Alongside many allied health professional careers, wind turbine technicians growth is to be 61 percent in the coming decade. The median wage salary for a Wind Turbine Technician is $52,910 (based on BLS data from May 2019), and those with extensive experience can make up to $80,150, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind turbine technicians are also in demand. Clean energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Although wind energy can’t supply all the energy the world needs, it is definitely an integral part of the overall electrical grid.

There are over 57,000 wind turbines in the United States alone, and each year an additional 3,000 wind turbines are built, according to the USGS. Technical innovations and the need for cleaner energy has accelerated the demand for wind turbine technicians to service the many wind turbines that are being installed all across the country. Not only are they built on land but like oil rigs, they are also built offshore. All wind turbines need maintenance, monitoring and repair. That is where you come in.

Where Do Wind Turbine Technicians Work?

Wind turbines have been growing in number all across the United States. They are found wherever the conditioners are right and wind is abundant. There are many rural wind farms that offer clean energy to the bigger cities. The states with the most wind turbines are Texas, Iowa, California, Oklahoma and Illinois, in descending order. With a campus in Houston, Texas, MIAT is a great place to learn the ropes as a wind turbine technician.

Wind turbine technicians primarily work outside and can scale ladders as high as 260 feet tall. They wear protective gear as they rappel from the nacelle to the section of the blade that needs servicing. However, with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), wind turbine technicians can now monitor the performance of wind turbines from a far using a laptop and Internet connection.

 How Long Does It Take to Become a Wind Turbine Technician?

 Most wind turbine technician programs can be completed in under one year. At MIAT, a full-time student can become an entry-level wind turbine technician in 7 months. As a graduate of this program, you would be knowledgeable about wind turbine tools, rigging, welding, AC & DC electrical theory, renewable energy sources, and hydraulics and gears. You could expect smaller class sizes and one-on-one attention from industry experienced instructors. There is a need for wind turbine technicians, and you want a great career. It’s a win-win.

Final Thoughts

If you can climb high and think quick on your feet, then becoming a wind turbine technician may be the right career for you. You will spend most of your time outside the office and learning about new technological advances. What is better than that? Start earning in as little as 7 months after graduating from a wind turbine technician program at MIAT. Start a career in a field that is growing and will be in demand for many decades to come.

 Does a career as a wind turbine technician interest you? Want to have the power of an entire nation at your fingertips? The Wind Turbine Technician Program from MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career in just 7 months. Wind turbine technicians must inspect and service a turbine’s blades on a regular basis. This is done by entering the turbine through the base of the tower and climbing a ladder or riding an elevator up through the tower shaft. Depending on the task at hand, technicians may be suspended hundreds of feet in the air! When needed, it’s not uncommon for helicopters to raise wind turbine technicians up to the desired working height.

 MIAT’s goal is to produce graduates who are in the top echelon of their initial on-the-job training due to the foundational knowledge they receive at MIAT.  To learn more about Energy Technology career training and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page.

 Contact us if you are interested in becoming a wind turbine technician today.

 For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of the students who attended this program visit the following disclosure links.

Wrapping Up 2020 with Gratitude for Gifts Received, Ramping Up for a Sparkling New 2021

By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

Most years when I turn the page in the calendar to December, I wonder “where did this year go.”  But like many, I have more than once thought “when will this year end?”  It is easy for each of us to be burdened with the stress and uncertainty of 2020.  But as the year closes, I choose to look forward to a more hopeful 2021 and reflect on many positives that 2020 has created. Personally, I am extremely grateful for the unexpected gifts that arrived this year in the form of growth opportunities, successful graduates accomplishing their goals in extraordinary circumstances, and the contributions of our MIAT community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and employer partners.  

Here is a quick review of some of the initiatives and developments that made a positive impact on our Houston campus in 2020:

  • Over 200 students successfully graduated this year through on-campus and online modes of instruction.
  • Despite the pandemic , our new student enrollment continued to climb, with our current Houston campus student population exceeding 600 compared with a population of close to 450 in 2019 . (In 2015, only 45 students were attending MIAT Houston, which means we have grown by well over 100 percent in just five years!)
  • Every one of our programs grew, which means that our school is addressing the critical need for essential training for essential workers in categories deemed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as “critical infrastructure” and transportation. Skilled workers can turn to MIAT for career and technical education  in the areas of aviation maintenance; welding; wind power; energy;  non-destructive testing;  and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVACR). 
  • Cleaning and sanitizing our Houston physical space has become one of our highest priorities.  We have added staff and equipment to help with this initiative including new disinfecting sprayers, a new air filtration system on the campus, and plexiglass barriers for students and staff as well as making many areas contactless.   
  • Technology became our instructional “life preserver,” enabling our instructors and students to continually engage in online learning even while fully remote; as well as streamlining our admissions, financial aid, and payment processes.
  • Our Welding Technology program has added new equipment to accommodate up to 49 students in both morning and evening classes.
  • We successfully launched our Non-Destructive Testing program, with over 40 students enrolled in 2020.
  • We identified and hired new instructors for our NDT, Welding, and Aviation Maintenance Programs.
  • We have continued to receive donations of new and used equipment from our employer partners.
  • Twice this year we have conducted highly productive virtual Program Advisory Committee meetings for all  our programs
  • We have continued to focus on supporting our community by working on causes such as Women in Aviation International’s Aviation for Girls App and  the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink Campaign, through which we raised more than $5,000 for breast cancer research and treatment.

In 2021, we are excited to be launching our Robotics and Automation Technician program. We are also in the process of finalizing details to support a scholarship program with a widely popular foundation focused on skilled trades education and training. So, stay tuned for more information to come early next year.

Our students will be on break for the holidays starting Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Instruction will resume on Monday, January 4, 2021.  Administrative offices will be open normal times except for December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1.   Individuals wanting to start school can do so on January 12.  We are enrolling now, and I encourage you to reach out to our admission office to learn more. Please visit www.miat.edu for more information.

As this memorable year draws to a close, my sincere wish for everyone is that you take a moment and take stock of what you have learned this year and the accomplishments you have achieved.   Everyone has his or her own story to tell of 2020.  

I hope your holidays will be filled with a hopeful spirit, the wonder of a child, and the attitude that anything is possible for those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.   I wish you, your family, friends, and neighbors a blessed holiday season and the peace and hopefulness that a New Year brings.  

I welcome your comments, questions, and feedback. Please contact me any time via email at JWillis@miat.edu.

U.S Military Veterans are Always Welcome at MIAT College of Technology and Can Become  “Workplace Ready” in Less than a Year

 

By Jennifer Paugh, Canton campus president, and John Willis, Houston campus president

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp)

With its origin dating back to the end of World War I, Veterans Day is officially celebrated each year on November 11. MIAT College of Technology campuses in Canton near Detroit and in Houston will be closed this Wednesday in honor of all U.S. military veterans.  (more…)

Committing to community engagement in October. Supporting Girls in Aviation and The Real Men Wear Pink Campaign

 

By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

Being a good community partner should be the goal of every organization.  With the onset of Covid-19, it is even more critical that we support our local and national non-profit organizations as many companies have been unable to keep up that support.  MIAT continues to make community engagement a focus.  As a part of the aviation community, we know that supporting females in their pursuit of a skilled trade and also focusing on their health and wellbeing is critical for us.  That’s why MIAT has committed to being a Contributing Partner with Women In Aviation International for the  recent launch of the Aviation for Girls App and why I have agreed for the second year in a row, to serve as a fundraiser for the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign to support the American Cancer Society during the month of October.

The reality of this pandemic is impacting everyone, and the “new normal” is continually evolving.  Normally, Women in Aviation International hosts an Girls in Aviation Day across the United States and in many other countries.  But with restraints due to COVID-19, Women in Aviation International has tapped into innovation, technology, and key relationships with strategic sponsors and partners to introduce the Aviation for Girls app so that the organization can host this event virtually.  In past years, MIAT has sponsored  Girls in Aviation Day in-person events designed to encourage girls to pursue a career in aviation. Our faculty, staff and students have demonstrated tools and techniques used for aircraft to groups of girls at Lone Star Flight Museum in 2018 and at Hooks Airport in north Houston in 2019.  This year, MIAT team members will contribute our experience and perspectives with written tips and short videos that will be incorporated into the free Aviation for Girls App. This app launched on Saturday, Sept. 26 – the original date that was set aside for Girls in Aviation Day events all over the world. (more…)