Certificate — Automation Technologies

This 30-credit certificate, taught primarily online, offers courses designed to put students on the path to a career in automation technologies. Building off the seven courses in the Production Technologies Certificate that focus on core skills, students build an advanced automation skill set with hands-on experience in:

  • AC power
  • Digital electronics
  • Analog circuits
  • Motor controls

If you have completed the Production Technologies Certificate, you only have five additional courses to complete. Along with the core knowledge provided by the production technology courses, you’ll gain skills that provide you with the abilities and knowledge to work in automation.

There are four classes where you the opportunity to put the information you’ve learned into practice. You gain employable automation skills through hands-on experience through lab work. You can plan to spend two to three weekends learning these skills for each course. Specific locations and times are set well in advance so you can plan accordingly.


Manufacturing is projected to have 338 automation jobs each year for the next 10 years, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. After completing this certificate, graduates may find work in manufacturing, building electrical control cabinets (ECC) or equipment servicing or repair. The employment outlook for graduates of the Automation Technologies certificate is greater for those who seek a diploma, AAS or other higher degree in robotics or electronics technology. Depending on the level of education, those working in automations fields could earn between $15 and $32 per hour.

Find Career Information
Learn what occupations may be of interest to someone who has completed this program. Find information about wages and employment outlook.

Next Steps

MSSC Certification

Students completing the Automation Technologies certificate will have gained the knowledge required to pass the MSSC full-certified Production Technician Certification.

Northwest Technical College (360 eTECH) does not award the MSSC Certification. Students earning an NTC (360° eTECH) certificate will need to locate the nearest MSSC Certified Assessment Center to arrange testing for the MSSC Certification.

The nationwide Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC), based upon industry-defined and federally endorsed national standards, offers both entry-level and incumbent workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills increasingly needed in the high-growth, technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century. The MSSC System awards certificates to individuals who pass any of its four production modules:

  • Safety
  • Quality Practices and Measurement
  • Manufacturing Processes and Production
  • Maintenance Awareness

MSSC offers a full Certified Production Technician (CPT) Certification to those who pass all four.

A sample of businesses that recognize the MSSC Certification include:

  • Harley-Davidson
  • Cummins
  • Dow Chemical
  • Arctic Cat
  • ITW/Heartland
  • Toro
  • Steelcase

College Readiness

A student may be required to enroll in college readiness courses in reading, writing and math. A student’s scores on the Accuplacer assessment will determine enrollment in college readiness courses. The purpose of college readiness courses is to prepare students for the demands of a college-level curriculum. Credits may vary.

Degree Requirements

Course #Course NameCredit
CMAE 1502Technical Math3.00
CMAE 1506Introduction to Computers2.00
CMAE 1510Print Reading2.00
CMAE 1514Safety Awareness2.00
CMAE 1518Manufacturing Processes and Production2.00
CMAE 1522Quality Practices2.00
CMAE 1526Maintenance Awareness2.00
CMAE 1550DC Power3.00
CMAE 1552AC Power3.00
CMAE 1558Motor Controls3.00
Total Credits: 30