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Engineering Technology - Composites

Engineering Technology - Composites - AAS-T

The field of engineering technology develops, processes, and tests the efficiency, production quality, and safety of nearly every product available on the market. In particular, composites technicians work with innovative, lightweight composite materials that are in demand by the aerospace and high-tech industries. These associate degree programs provide excellent job and career training for students who are mechanically inclined, good at math, or interested in how the products we use every day are designed and developed.

At Bellingham Technical College, the Engineering Technology: Composites associate degree program teaches top skills that are in-demand for such positions as assembler, fabricator, machine operator, production worker, or supervisor in leading American industries.

To learn more about Bellingham Technical College programs you're interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you're interested in, email outreach@btc.edu for more information.

Employment Information

$60,694 starting annual wage
$79,144 average annual wage
$92,331 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Wages:
    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( esd.wa.gov) reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Students may begin working toward this degree quarterly.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?

Classes

Total Program Credits: 99

  • Academic Core

  • MATH& 151Calculus I5 CR
  • PHYS& 221Engineering Physics I w/Lab5 CR
  • CHEM& 161General Chemistry w/ Lab I5 CR
  • CHEM& 162General Chemistry w/Lab II5 CR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • ENGL& 235Technical Writing5 CR

  • TOTAL Academic Core Course Credits
    30 CR
  • Engineering Core

  • ENGR 100Engineering Orientation2 CR
  • ENGR& 104Introduction To Engineering & Design5 CR
  • ENGR 115Graphics5 CR
  • ENGT 233Intro To CATIA5 CR
  • ENGR& 214Engineering Statics5 CR
  • ENGR 270Introduction To Materials Science5 CR
  • ENGR 180Parametric Modeling5 CR

  • TOTAL Engineering Core Course Credits
    32 CR
  • Composites Core

  • COMP 101Survey of Composites2 CR
  • COMP 121Composite Design & Fabrication I5 CR
  • COMP 222Composite Design & Fabrication II5 CR
  • COMP 235Inspect, Test & Repair5 CR
  • COMP 290Tool Design5 CR
  • MACH 191Manual Machining for non-Majors5 CR
  • MACH 193CNC Machining for non-Majors5 CR

  • TOTAL Composites Core Course Credits
    32 CR
  • Engineering Electives

  • Any CENG, ENET, ENGR, ENGT, or COMP course 100-level or higher
  • MATH& 152Calculus II5 CR
  • MATH& 163Calculus 35 CR
  • PHYS& 222Engineering Physics II w/Lab5 CR
  • PHYS& 223Engineering Physics III w/Lab5 CR
  • CS& 131Computer Science I C++5 CR

  • TOTAL Engineering Electives Course Credits
    5 CR

Program Outcomes

  • Create and navigate Composite Engineering Drawings: 1) Create and interpret Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance (GD&T) callouts.

  • Use 3D parametric modeling to design and fabricate composite parts: 1) Employ wet layup, vacuum infusion, and pre-preg techniques; 2) Apply strategic fiber placement and orientation; 3) Utilize drape forming, elevated temperature, and pressure forming techniques; 4) Monitor and control process factors that affect the final product; 4a) Bagging schedules, temperature, pressure; 5) Utilize honeycomb, wood, and foam cores.

  • Design and fabricate parts using manual and CNC machines: 1) Utilize CAD/CAM software to generate 2D and 3D tool paths for CNC Routers, Mills and Lathes.

  • Utilize Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) in Composites: 1) Utilize ultrasonic inspection for Quality Assurance; 2) Evaluate damage in composites, and perform scarf repairs.

  • Perform Finite Element Analysis: 1) Design experiments utilizing destructive testing with different resin systems, fiber types and orientation; 2) Evaluate stress, strain, and deflection levels under axial loads, tensile, compression, and shear loads.

Employment Outlook

Employment in the engineering technology field in Bellingham and the state of Washington is expected to increase. Job openings for assemblers and fabricators, machine operators, and production workers and supervisors vary according to occupational specialty. The average annual wage for this field is $76,835, with an earning potential of $89,128 per year.

Across the state of Washington, the number of engineering graduates is well below industry needs. Employers such as manufacturers and fabricators urgently seek qualified mechanical, industrial, and plastics engineers. BTC students who pursue transfer degree opportunities can go on to a four-year school to earn a bachelor’s degree and pursue a career in this high-demand field. Engineering graduates are typically working professionals, so salary ranges will vary, depending on the field.

Potential positions for Composites graduates include:

  • CAD/CAM CNC Programmer (both clean room and post cure)
  • CNC machine operator (both clean room and post cure)
  • Non-destructive testing machine operator, ultra-sound tester (NDT)
  • Metrologist (Coordinate measuring machine operator (CMM))
  • Manufacturing planner
  • Quality Assurance Inspector
  • Lab testing technician / material science / Destructive materials tester (load testing)

Composites graduates have the potential to enter the following fabrication industries:

  • Aerospace, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • Automotive, Mass Transit
  • Marine
  • Medical
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Wind Energy

Faculty & Support

Photo of Peter Morgan
Peter Morgan