Ozarks Technical Community College’s Landon Vinson has said that the Industrial Maintenance Technology degree could be referred to as the “unknown degree,” but OTC’s full-time IMT instructor is letting anyone who will listen know about its profitable advantages.
“There’s going to be a huge demand for these graduates in the workforce,” said Vinson. “Big companies in town are coming to OTC and looking for graduates to update their workforce. They want us to train their future employees.”
People who don’t know about the program think the degree teaches you how to clean up the grease and grime in manufacturing settings and believe the pay is pitiful.
Both assumptions couldnt be further from the truth.
The jobs offered to IMT graduates vary from production management to quality control. And the pay for some of those jobs is among the highest for associate degree earners. In this region, salaries range from a low of $33,000 to as much as $70,000.
Recent graduates have gotten jobs at BNSF Railroad, CoxHealth and 3M.
Vinson knows what hes talking about when it comes to the program. He graduated from OTC with an IMT degree in 2011 and worked at Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation before coming to OTC this semester to become the full-time IMT instructor.
Vinson said demand for IMT graduates will increase over the years.
“For many years, companies relied on those with a farming background for experience in fixing things. Those people are retiring and the equipment is more technologically advanced. Theres a lot more automation and troubleshooting involved. Old machines are being replaced with new ones,” he said.
Vinson, an Ava native, came to OTC to earn an automotive degree but found he didn’t like it and switched to IMT, in part because of his father.
“My dad was a mechanic so I gravitated to the mechanical side. I was interested in industrial problem-solving,” he said. “The opportunities were larger. I was able to get into all kinds of stuff.”
Earlier this year, Vinson jumped at the chance to teach at his alma mater.
“Teaching was always my target. I was thinking about it closer to retirement age, but when it came up, it seemed like the right time for me,” he said. “It’s a continuous challenge, but a perfect one for me.”
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