How to Determine Which PLC Program is Right for You

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 10:48

You’ve taken a big step and made the decision to register in a PLC Training Program. Deciding to go back to school to upgrade your skills wasn't easy, but you’re confident this is the right way to go. You’ve seen our two online Certificate PLC Training Programs and you’re asking yourself “which one is best for me?” We’ve got you covered.

Important Things to Consider

Of course, we know that you don’t want rush the choice you make and we understand that. You may be asking yourself, “Where do I begin?” A good starting point would be to take a close look at your immediate needs. What program would help get you where you want to be at work? You may be a beginner when it comes to PLCs. You know that your workplace is bringing in the new Allen Bradley RSLogix 5000 models. These models use more advanced programming and you want to be one of the go-to employees that can tackle them. Or, you might be in a scenario where the company you work for is still using the 500 series models. If this is the case, then sticking with the first PLC Technician Certificate Program is probably the best bet. We’ll have more on the differences between the two programs a bit later.

It’s also key to look at long term needs, both at a personal level and in your workplace. Is your employer using the Rockwell 500 series of PLC hardware right now? Or are they using the 5000 series? In that case, you may want to take both Certificate Programs. Along with that, you should look at your level of experience with PLCs. Do you know the fundamentals of PLC programing? Are you already familiar with the Rockwell 500 series of PLC hardware? Want to know more about tag based PLCs? Or are you coming into this with no experience at all? Examining the specific differences between the two will help you determine what’s best'

Differences between the Two Programs

So let’s take a more in-depth look at the differences between the two PLC Technical Certificates we offer. Once you know the differences between the programs and have a grasp on your needs, you’ll be set. The PLC Technician Certificate provides a solid foundation. You’ll get an introduction to the fundamentals of the Rockwell 500 series of PLC technology. The PLC 500 series of hardware uses traditional file based addressing and you’ll also be using the PLCLogix 500 simulator. The PLC 5000 series is a newer generation of PLC hardware, and uses more advanced tag based addressing. This hardware is more powerful, flexible, and versatile in its abilities than the 500 series. In the PLC Technician II Program you’ll be using the PLC Logix 5000 simulator, which allows you to design, run, and debug complex control systems that use the PLC series 5000 hardware. Both versions of the simulation software used in these programs will immerse you in interactive 3D worlds that use push buttons, levers, control panels, switches and more.

That was a lot to take in and consider. Are you still undecided? Remember, you want to make a decision that takes your many needs into account. Here’s a quick review. Before deciding what program to take, think about your specific needs and the skills you need to succeed in the long term. Take into consideration your background with PLC programing. Do you need a quick and thorough introduction to PLCs? Or are you ready to take on more advanced topics?

Take a moment to answer this simple 5 question quiz that will help you decide which program is the best fit for you.

Start the quiz now

Comment below and tell us what strategies you have applied to make this important choice. We hope with what you’ve learned, you’re one step closer to achieving your goal of becoming a PLC Technician. For more details about our programs, you can call and talk directly with one of our Program Consultants toll-free at 1 888-553-5333. We can also be reached via e-mail at

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