Process Technology

Program Information

Degree Type: 
Associate in Applied Science

Prepares students for a career in process technology. A process technician/operator is a key member of a team of people responsible for planning, analyzing, and controlling the production of products from the acquisition of raw materials through the production and distribution of products to customers in a variety of process industries. These industries include, but are not limited to, chemical, food and beverage, oil exploration and production, pharmaceuticals, power generation, pulp and paper, refining and waste water treatment. This program assists students in developing skills necessary for being an effective technician/operator, such as working effectively in a team-based environment, strong oral and written communication, maintaining a safe work environment, controlling, monitoring and troubleshooting equipment, analyzing, evaluating and communicating about data, and training others.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of Process Industry-based manufacturing systems with a focus on process technology operations using a systems perspective and process safety management.
  • Demonstrate standard principles and practices of the commonly utilized equipment in the Process Industry. This includes their purpose, component types, operation, and the Process Technician’s role in terms of operating and troubleshooting.
  • Identify and describe process equipment related to basic systems, describe the purpose and function of specific process systems, explain how factors affecting process systems are controlled under normal conditions, and recognize abnormal process conditions.
  • Identify and apply the common terms and symbols used in algebra as they relate to the Process Industry and solve practical application problems requiring the use of industrial formulas and equations.
  • Define and apply the concepts of mass, force, motion, work, energy, and power and identify their practical applications in the workplace, identify the practical applications of reactions involving oxidation and reduction, and have a working knowledge of the chemistry of the environment, including air pollution, the chemistry of trace metals, hazardous waste in the ground and water, and radioactive wastes as they relate to the Process Industry.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the basic refinery and process plant operations, basic operating and maintenance procedures, basic equipment, systems, and instrumentation found in the process technology environment.
  • Demonstrate standard principles and practices associated with the fundamental principles and laws governing general chemistry, recognize the symbols of elements and differentiate between elements, compounds and mixtures; demonstrate proficiency in using the periodic table as a tool to make predictions; recognizing patterns and locating information about atoms, and apply principles of safety rules and demonstrate knowledge of the use of common laboratory and safety equipment.
  • Demonstrate standard principles and practices associated with the fundamental principles and laws governing general physics and the concepts of mass, force, motion, energy, work, and power; be able to identify their practical applications in the workplace; and be able to apply the concepts of mass, force, motion, energy, work, and power to the six basic machines.
  • Describe the history of the Quality Movement in the United States and in the Process Industry today. Describe the impact of Quality on an organization’s economic performance. Understand the essential elements, function and tools of effective team membership. Use continuous improvement methods to optimize processes and implement problem solving and decision making techniques.
  • Describe and demonstrate a basic level of proficiency with the manipulation of the commonly used devices and equipment associated with instrumentation: pressure, pressure instruments, temperature and temperature instruments, level and level instruments, flow and flow measurement instruments, and analytical instruments. Be able to describe the major process variables controlled in the Process Industry.
  • Apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related principles, tools, and applications to process industry-based manufacturing.
  • Apply the foundations and principles of Process Industry-based manufacturing to new and renewable (green) forms of energy, i.e. bio-diesel and wind-farm operations.

Degree-Specific Requirements

All students receiving an Associate Degree are required to meet Degree-Specific Requirements AND General Education Requirements. Courses listed in the Required Core and/or Required Support Courses may also be used to fulfill Degree-Specific and General Education Requirements. Developmental courses (those numbered below 100) cannot be used to fulfill these requirements.

Attention: It is the student's responsibility to review the entire program form before making course selections for registration purposes. The College recommends that students meet with an advisor or counselor well in advance of registration deadlines and before making course selections.

General Education Requirements: 

The following courses are required in this program and satisfy HFC's General Education Outcomes for this program. Students who change their program will need to confirm in advance that they are completing all required courses for their specific program of study, including additional General Education courses. All Associate in Applied Science degrees require at least 15 General Education credits total, including at least three credit hours from each of the five areas below. For this program:

  1. Civil Society and Culture: Complete at least one of the following:

  2. Communication: Complete at least one of the following:

  3. Computer Technology: Complete at least one of the following:

  4. Critical Thinking and Information Literacy: Complete at least one of the following:

  5. Quantitative Literacy: Complete the following:

NOTE: For this program, General Education minimum credits: 19

Degree-Specific Requirements: 

Fulfill the Required Core, Required Support, and/or Elective Courses for this program.

Elective Courses

Complete additional 100-level or above courses to reach the 60 credits required for the Associate in Applied Science degrees.

Maximum Credit Hours Necessary: 1

Minimum Number Of Credits To Graduate: 
60.0 (Including Options/Electives)

Requirements are Subject to Change

The information represented here is for the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the Program Evaluation section of WebAdvisor.

Other Information

Year Established: 
Program Code: 


Industrial Technology Division: 313-845-9656,, Technology Bldg, Room: E-172
Joseph Skupin:, Technology Bldg, Room: E-172

Transfer Information

Transfer Options/Requirements: 

The College has articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to help students who want to transfer to other institutions once they have completed their studies at HFC. Articulation agreements ensure that graduates from HFC can transfer to another institution and work towards a bachelor’s degree without a loss of coursework completed at HFC. Transfer guides denote the transferability of HFC coursework toward specific degree programs at other institutions. It is important that students who intend to transfer to another institution consult the appropriate articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to ensure the transferability of the courses they take to the institution they plan to attend. Articulation agreements and transfer guides are available on the HFC Transfer Resources page. For additional resources and assistance with transferring, students are encouraged to work with HFC’s University Transfer, Advising, and Career Counseling Center (313-845-9612,, Learning Resource Center). Students enrolled in this program frequently transfer to institutions such as:

Career Opportunities: 
  • Job Forecast Data:
    • Process technicians/operators will be in demand more than ever in the coming years. A shortage of process technicians/operators currently exists within the chemical, oil and gas exploration and production and power generation industries.
  • Chemical Sector:
    • The chemical process industry represents a large diversity of industries:
    • Plastics Materials and Synthetics
    • Cleaning Preparations
    • Industrial Organic Chemicals
    • Industrial Inorganic Chemicals
    • Miscellaneous Chemicals
    • Paints and Allied Products
    • Agricultural Chemicals
    • Drug Manufacturing
  • Oil and Gas Production Sector:
    • Qualified process technicians will be needed to meet demands for projects in production. For example, BP, the second largest oil company in the world, estimates that an additional 200 people will be needed (based on 2002 projections) to staff new deep-water projects in the Gulf of Mexico.