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What I Need to Know About Entry-Level Solar Energy Jobs

HVAC Technician

The renewable energy industry is booming. More and more consumers and businesses are seeing the benefits of resources like photovoltaic (PV) arrays and wind power. This has led to a drastic uptick of job growth in the solar energy field. The photovoltaic industry in particular has seen handsome gains in job creation thanks to the manual labor requirements of building an array. While it is great to hear about what jobs are in high demand, it is perhaps more important to know which specific skills are required to do a variety of jobs in the solar energy sector.

So, what are the important things to know about various entry level solar jobs? Why is the renewable energy industry job market growing? What are the skill requirements & job responsibilities of positions like solar panel installer, boiler operator, field service technician, solar power plant operator? Knowing more about solar energy jobs will help you decide whether an Energy Technology Program is the right path for your solar energy job success.


Alternating Current (AC) vs Direct Current (DC) Power: An HVACR Guide

HVAC Technician

Are you interested in becoming an HVACR professional? While attending an HVACR program at a vocational school, you will have the opportunity to study alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). This knowledge will come in handy when working on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigerators.

In the 1880s, the electrical industry was in a state of disarray. In the early years of electricity, direct current could not be easily converted to high voltages and powerplants needed to be established within one mile of the end user. Alternating current, on the other hand, could be provided relatively inexpensively at several thousand volts with little loss of power as it traveled to the end user. As opposed to DC, an AC power plant could be located several miles away from the end user. With Thomas Edison holding patents on DC power at the time, a current war was sparked.


Vocational Training and Career Education Providers Address Employer Demands for Skilled Trades

john-willis-2By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston President

Welders. Pipefitters. Aviation maintenance technicians. Elevator repair technicians. Electricians. Computer and information technology specialists. Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians. Plumbers.

These are just some of many skilled trades that are required to support the growing needs of employers in the United States.  These high demand, professional careers can be a viable option for many students graduating from high school and entering the workforce.

Vocational training and career and technical education providers such as MIAT College of Technology can and should be the first choice for men and women who want to begin working and earning an income in a chosen field sooner and with lower costs than those that are commonly associated with a four-year college or university program. (more…)

Celebrating Our 50-Year Heritage, Embracing Our Present, Anticipating Our Future

Jennifer-PaughBy Jennifer Paugh, MIAT College of Technology Canton President

As the New Year approaches and 2018 is coming to a rapid close, now is a perfect time to reflect on our successes of the past, embrace our present situation, and anticipate an exciting future for MIAT College of Technology. Our MIAT faculty and staff are thankful for where we have been, enjoying where we are, and continuing to create new programs and opportunities for our students and graduates.

MIAT College of Technology will celebrate its 50-year anniversary in 2019.  We have more than 10,000 graduates of all ages, and we have equipped workplace-ready men and women for employers in a wide range of industries all over the world – aviation, manufacturing, power generation, oil and gas heating, cooling, refrigeration, and many others. During our 50th Anniversary year, watch for profiles on our alumni, faculty, staff, and employers who have contributed to our amazing history. We want to highlight those who have helped make MIAT the viable career college it is today.

At a time when many other career colleges are experiencing declines in student population, we are in the fortunate position to be enjoying a trend toward increased enrollment. Enrollment at our Canton campus is up over the same period as last year. (more…)

Demand for Wind Power Technicians Continues to Increase with Growth of Wind Energy Sector

john-willis-2The outlook for career opportunities as a wind turbine service technician continues to be bright, according to statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Employment of wind turbine service technicians is projected to grow 96 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. Because wind electricity generation is expected to grow rapidly over the next several decades, additional technicians will be needed to install and maintain new turbines. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, total wind energy capacity is projected to be 113.45 Gigawatts (GW) across 36 states, up from 52.31 GW in 2013. By 2050. total wind energy capacity is expected to grow to 494.25 GW across 48 states.

Texas leads the nation in wind power with more than 21,450 megawatts; since 2014.  Wind power in Texas generated more electricity than both of the state’s nuclear power plants. (Source: https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=TX)

Quick Facts: Wind Turbine Technicians

2017 Median Pay $53,880 per year; $25.91 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Post-secondary non-degree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2016 5,800
Job Outlook, 2016-26 96% (Much faster than average)

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics


Follow this link to information from the U.S. Department of Energy to see the projected growth of the wind industry through 2050.


Wind Power Technician Training

Offered over seven months, the Wind Power Technician Program at MIAT College of Technology campuses in Houston and in the Detroit metro area provides hands-on training, practical experience, and industry support. MIAT introduced this program at our Canton campus in 2008 and in Houston in 2010. We have been experiencing steady growth in student enrollment in this program over the past two years, with approximately 10 percent of our students in Houston and in Canton enrolled in the Wind Energy Technician Program this year. Typical class sizes range from 15 to 30 students, depending on the time of year when students enroll. Many or our students who complete our seven-month certificate program choose to continue with us for another eight months to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Energy Technology by studying online and on campus.

David Moriconi, Lead Instructor for the Wind Energy Technician Program in Houston, and other MIAT instructors at both campuses with years of experience working directly in the wind industry lead interactive classes and practical skills training.  Wind energy businesses are engaged in the development of our curriculum, provide guest speakers for our students, donate equipment for instructional purposes, and employ our graduates  —  many of whom are U.S. veterans.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of our Wind Power Technician Program are equipped for an entry-level career in the wind energy industry. MIAT alumni find jobs in the Texas panhandle and in the Great Plains States, as well as in other popular wind energy states such as California and Colorado, in service, manufacturing, construction, commissioning and sales. Our graduates can expect to secure a position with any of these and many other potential job titles:

  • Wind Service Technician
  • Wind Turbine Construction Technician
  • Composites Technician
  • Control Room Operator
  • Generator/Winder
  • Wind Turbine Sales Representative

Come Visit Us

Jennifer Paugh, MIAT College of Technology Canton President, and I welcome campus tours for anyone interested in our Wind Power Technician Program. Our staff members are available by phone, via email, or in person to address inquiries from employers, veterans, high school counselors, parents and prospective students about our curriculum, tuition, financial aid, housing assistance, and career services.

To learn more about MIAT’s Wind Power Technician Program, please visit


Thank you now and always for your support of MIAT College of Technology, our students, graduates, faculty, and staff.   On behalf of all members of the MIAT College of Technology board of directors, I wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday celebration. Our campuses will be closed Thursday, November 22, and Friday, November 23.   Classes will resume as normal on Monday, November 26.

The Math Behind Welding: A Welder’s Guide


Did you know math is a skill that a welder must master? Welders must know how to measure materials and calculate cutting force, understand how heat can warp metal and weld seams together, read scales used on blueprints, and determine the exact amount of materials to use. A welder must be familiar with fractions, decimals, geometry, and trigonometry.


Tips for a Positive Aviation Mechanic Work Environment


Aviation mechanics will spend time in a variety of positions as an integral part of their training. This enables them to put the theoretical knowledge learned in a classroom into practice and allows them to pick up new skills. During training, a positive experience is vital for the aviation department as well as the aviation mechanic themselves. Here are a few tips on how to make that happen.


How to Attract Millennials to Work in Aviation

With an increase in air travel, the addition of budget airlines to the aviation industry, expanded routes and the commission of new and more advanced aircraft, the demand for highly trained aviation mechanics will continue to grow. The millennial generation is the next in line to become aviation mechanics, but they have a specific set of requirements as they pick their career. First, we will review what a millennial is. Then, we will talk about what the millennials are looking for in a career. Finally, we will take a look at some of the ways with which the aviation industry can attract millennials, as well as how to retain current employees.


Statewide Interest in the “Trades” Coupled with High Demand for Aviation Maintenance and HVACR Technicians Leads to Increased Student Enrollment at Canton Campus for Fall Semester 2018

Jennifer-PaughBy Jennifer Paugh, MIAT College of Technology Canton President

Fall is the season that students and families commonly associate with “going back to school” or “going off to college.”  Even “new traditional” education (education and training for the “adult” learner) is impacted by the inclination for people of all ages and in all stages of life to return to college during the Fall.

MIAT College of Technology faculty and staff bear witness to the trend that a greater number of high school graduates as well as older adults are “going back to school” for career and technical education: We have had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the highest number of new students for enrollment in recent years at our Canton campus for the Fall 2018 start.  Our total student enrollment this Fall is approaching 500, with new students who started classes on September 10 representing approximately 10% percent of the overall student population.

Why is enrollment increasing at career schools like MIAT?

While contributing factors are many, one is that the state of Michigan is embracing a “return to the trades.” This sentiment is forwarded in no small part by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder along with many other city and township elected officials who have identified the need for qualified industrial and technical workers as a priority for the local and state economies.

MIAT’s new Electro-Mechanical Technology program has generated considerable interest because trained technicians are needed for manufacturing, construction, automotive, and many other industry sectors. Also, with the celebration of our 50th year of continuous operation fast approaching in 2019, MIAT is benefitting from the excitement and support of our employer partners and the communities that we serve by helping them to address their training, workforce readiness, and employment goals.

What programs are the most popular this Fall and why? 

We consistently experience higher enrollment in our aviation maintenance programs every Fall semester; however, this year, we’ve seen unique progress and exponential growth in our Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) program.  Our HVACR faculty is doing an excellent job of being actively involved with the communities surrounding our Canton campus, and our local HVACR employers are spreading a positive message via “word of mouth” about the quality of the students who are graduating from this program.  People characteristically want to be a part of a professional team, and our HVACR students, graduates, and faculty are enjoying great success in Michigan and around the country.

HVAC Students Learning Refrigeration Systems
HVAC Students Learning Refrigeration Systems

Student and employer satisfaction are top priorities.

Not only does MIAT offer extensive services to students while they are enrolled in our programs, we also continue to offer outstanding career services support upon their graduation.  Last week, we hosted a career fair at our Canton campus with the active participation of about 40 employers, thus enabling both our current students and graduates to interact and interview with potential employers throughout the day.  Last week’s career fair is one of many that we plan to host on campus throughout the coming year. As an additional benefit, MIAT has an open invitation to employers to come to our campus to present to students or to interview candidates for open positions and externship opportunities.

Special thanks are due!

To all the students who have entrusted us at MIAT with their education and training, we want to say thank you for choosing MIAT. We are committed to addressing the needs of our students throughout the course of their training, ensuring that our students have a positive and productive experience with our school and that they acquire the skills necessary for a successful and rewarding career following graduation.

Our Admissions team does an excellent job of ensuring a mutual fit for our incoming students. The Financial Aid team works diligently to ensure that students have a financial package that is appropriate and manageable for them.  Student Records coordinates the registration process and all new student orientations. The Training Department assists students in adapting to MIAT’s learning environment both in the classroom and in the lab.

Supporting the needs of all students, alumni, and the families who expect financial and quality of life benefits from our graduates, as well as meeting the expectations of the employment community for trained workers, is truly a huge group effort at MIAT.  I am especially grateful to every one of the dedicated women and men who make our school and our campus the welcoming and effective place that thousands have come to know and trust. Our faculty and staff are outstanding.

For more information on our programs or to arrange a campus tour, please visit www.miat.edu or call 800-447-1310.

The Future of Aviation Mechanics: Current Trends to Watch


The field of aviation mechanics is changing. There are trends occurring now and on the horizon that promise to transform the way maintenance work is carried out in Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in the United States and around the world.

Most of these trends are technical and will affect every area of aviation—from the biggest airlines to the smallest private airline operators employing a Director of Maintenance and perhaps a crew to maintain their plane or fleet of planes.

The demand for aviation mechanics now and in the coming years is trending up for both those already in the field as well as those who plan to attend a technical skilled trades school to pursue a career within the field.