Image of Electrical and Instrumentation Technology students.

Angel Cortes, 19, heard about Los Medanos College from a high school counselor, when he expressed an interest in working as an electrician. He discovered the Electrical and Instrumentation Technology (ETEC) course and immediately signed up.

“With the skills we’re learning here, you can do just about anything, especially with the instrumentation part of the course,” Cortes said. “You can work at brewery, a water treatment plant, anywhere that requires calibration of instrumentation equipment and valves and conduits, programmable software and transmitters.”

Jose Quesada can relate to Cortes’s enthusiasm for the work. As an LMC ETEC professor, he brings to the classroom his own 27 years of experience in the field and fond memories of having gone through the same program when he was starting out. Students in his Friday class practiced wiring outlets and running conduits through a structure.

The skills are in high demand across local industries, from refineries, chemical plants, water and waste treatment plants to manufacturing and power generation. LMC offers students a path to certification as electrical and instrumentation technicians and toward earning an associate of science degree in ETEC.

“It’s a big field with a lot of demand, and in some these jobs, the starting salaries can be from $55 to $75 an hour,” he said. “This is a great course that I would recommend to just about anybody.”

The course was perfect for Jezica Perez, 32, who graduates this spring with her ETEC certification. Perez, who works in the parts department for Bay Area Rapid Transit, sees certification as her path to advancement and a bump in pay of at least $10 an hour.

“It’s taken me about one and half years to complete the certificate, which means that once I pass the test, I can apply for my promotion,” she said. “I’ll be working on the trains with other electricians and mechanics rather than just grabbing the parts
for them.”

Electrical Technician

The Electrical Technical specialization trains students to maintain complex electrical automation systems used in the manufacturing and power generation industry.

Instrumentation Technician

The Instrumentation Technician specializations trains students to maintain the process measurement and control systems used in refineries, chemical plants, biotech plants, pharmaceutical plants, water and wastewater treatment plants.

Certificate of Achievement

Four semesters. Courses in the first three semesters are common to Electrical and Instrumentation Technicians. The fourth semester varies. Electrical Technicians concentrating on the skills needed for electrical maintenance. Instrumentation Technicians concentrate on the measurement and control of processes.

Associate of Science Degree

An Associate of Science Degree in ETEC may be obtained by completing General Education English and math requirements and the required courses for the major in ETEC. Physics 15 satisfies the Physical Science requirement for the AS degree.