February 27, 2020

So, you’re interested in a career in PLCs? You’ve chosen one of the most exciting fields in the tech industry with a great outlook. Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are so versatile and have such a wide range of applications and career opportunities for PLC Technicians. These opportunities include working in a variety of industrial settings, which range from manufacturing to power distribution, food processing, mining, transportation, consumer electronics and many others.

Woman working in a factory

Whichever aspect of PLC applications you’re interested in, the PLC Technician Program at George Brown College will provide you with the strong foundation to build your knowledge on. Let’s have a look at some of the different ways this program can help you gain the skills to achieve your career goals.

1. You will learn about sequence of operations and master ladder logic programming.

Our PLC Technician programs prepare you for working with documentation, schematics and ladder logic programming diagrams. After the completion of this program you will be able to understand PLC programs and algorithms. You will learn how to implement the correct sequence of operations to develop your own programs for use on industrial equipment.

The biggest value that comes out of this program is that you will master ladder logic programming by using industry-standard simulation software which emulates Rockwell Logix 500 (PLC Technician Program) and RS Logix 5000 (PLC Technician II program) series control software. This simulation software is invaluable as a learning tool and will help you familiarize yourself with different features of Allen Bradley PLCs, such as timers, counters, sequencers and math functions. As a PLC student you gain a lifetime license to use the simulator, which can be a great resource for your future work with PLCs.

2. You will learn about installations and maintenance of PLC systems.

Installations, maintenance and troubleshooting are an integral part of almost every PLC job. As much as it is important to write good programs for PLCs, it is crucial to know how to maintain your systems in good health and troubleshoot the systems.

The program covers security precautions, installations and routine maintenance of PLC systems, proper grounding techniques and precautions to avoid electrical interference. You will also familiarize yourself with field checkouts of PLC systems. Many careers related to PLCs are field-based, so this is a very important aspect of the training.

3. You will learn about multiple specialized technologies.

The PLC Certificate programs at GBC are designed to offer students an introduction to many specialized technologies which supplement your knowledge of automation systems. There are modules dedicated to Remote Thermal Units (RTUs) and Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs), as well as Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs). There are detailed modules on I/O systems and process control. You will also learn how to setup different industrial networking systems (Ethernet).

Students in the PLC Technician II program will also get a thorough introduction to Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and SCADA systems, with a more advanced module in advanced PLC programming languages and introduction to robotics.

In addition to all of this technical knowledge, you will also gain some other valuable soft skills. Self-paced study may be convenient, but you need to manage your time well. Students who want to be successful need to find a system which works for them and their schedule. Maybe studying in the evenings makes it easier to remember things, or you prefer to wake up early to get your studies done for the day. Whatever tactics work for you, make sure to get in the habit of setting short-term goals. This is a very valuable skill you can transfer into every other aspect of your life.

By completing a PLC Technician program, you’re demonstrating to your employer (or potential employer) that you are self-motivated, willing to learn and can finish what you start. At times when things in the world of technology are changing so much, these are invaluable skills to have.

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