Did you know that Front Range Community College can help students start rewarding manufacturing careers with partner employers across the state? We even built a state-of-the-art facility in Longmont – the Center for Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) – to house all of FRCC’s advanced manufacturing programs. The center is located at our Boulder County Campus.
With 5,000 new jobs expected in manufacturing by 2026, there’s plenty of demand—and even better, Front Range has an impressive 80 percent job placement rate for its graduates. Discover more about this high-demand field and the FRCC programs that prepare you for excellent careers.
Here’s a look at the four programs that FRCC offers at this center:
Automation & Engineering Technology
Does designing, installing, programming and maintaining industrial machinery and automated industrial control systems sound interesting? Or, do you want to gain additional skills in industrial maintenance or industrial automation and robotics? Automation and engineering technology might be the field for you. FRCC offers two hands-on programs for those interested in this field of study:
- A two-year A.A.S degree in Automation & Engineering Technology
- Three progressive shorter-term certificates: Manufacturing Fundamentals, Industrial Maintenance Technology, and Industrial Automation & Robotics
These areas prepare you to design, install, program, and maintain industrial machinery and automated industrial control systems in the degree program. Or if you want to prepare for entry-level production and maintenance positions, the Manufacturing Fundamentals certificate is a good introduction to the field. You also can complete the certificate sequence by studying industrial wiring and control as well as hydraulic and pneumatic fluid power systems and safe rigging practices in the Industrial Maintenance certificate and the automated systems common in manufacturing industries in the Industrial Automation and Robotics certificate.
Electronics Engineering Technology
Maybe you love the idea of doing a deep dive into electronic devices and equipment and how to troubleshoot and interact with such systems in high-tech industries, or want an overview of basics like industrial wiring, motors and control, and digital systems. FRCC offers two programs for those interested in the area of electronics engineering:
- A two-year A.A.S degree in Electronics Engineering Technology
- Three progressive shorter-term certificates: Basic Electronics, Electronics Assembly, and Electronic Systems & Automation
If you love working with electronics, programmable logic controllers, robotics and more, you will enjoy the A.A.S. program, which prepares you to analyze and implement basic analog and digital electronic circuits used in a wide range of applications, interface computers to sensors, actuators, displays, and more, and maintain and troubleshoot industrial control circuits.
For a faster path to entry-level careers in electronics manufacturing, you can learn about DC/AC electrical, electrical assembly wiring, and more with the Basic Electronics certificate and continue on for even further education about soldering, electronic assembly, reading industrial prints, industrial automation, and more with the Electronics Assembly and Electronic Systems & Automation certificates
Front Range established a Precision Machining Technology program in 2013 but added enhancements with a more sophisticated space in the CIM. If you love working with your hands, are a three-dimensional thinker, and enjoy solving problems using critical, outside-the-box thinking, you could enjoy working as a machinist. There are two certificate programs available:
- Manual Machining – This certificate delves into industrial print reading, lathe machinery (which is used to create objects used for precise machining by cutting, sanding, drilling, etc.) and its applications, and milling machinery, which is very common in manufacturing and used in all kinds of machinery shops and manufacturing environments.
- Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining – Explore the skills and techniques in CNC lathe and mill programs that are used commonly by manufacturers to create instructions for computers to control machinery. Learn about Computer-Aided Design (CAD)/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and principles of metrology, the science and study of measurement. You will receive training in CNC lathe and milling operations and will gain exposure CAD/CAM for 2-axis machining, 3-axis wireframe and surface modeling, lathe programming, and direct numerical control (DNC) systems. (You must complete Manual Machining before this two-semester certificate.)
Completing these two certificates together earns you the Precision Machining Technology certificate. This certificate also covers the principles of dimensional metrology, allowing you to use measuring instruments relating to state-of-the-art manufacturing environments.
Have you always wondered how telescopes and microscopes work? Does it sound interesting to assemble a laser or fabricate optics that are used in a variety of industries—including military, space, manufacturing and more? Do you like working with your hands? If so, the Optics Technology certificate might be worth exploring further.
This certificate teaches you about optical engineering drawings/prints, lean manufacturing, statistical process control, and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing for optics. You can complete the program in just two semesters and gain the skills to prepare for entry-level positions in optics manufacturing.
Colorado is one of the few optics/photonics clusters in the country, defined by the International Society for Optics and Photonics as a concentration of optics-related firms and universities that maintain strong research and workforce ties, create quality jobs, and work with stakeholders to strengthen the industry.
As you can tell, there are many options for people interested in automated manufacturing-related fields—especially in Colorado, where demand is high. Learn more about your options and start planning your future!