Process Control Technician

CampusStart DateTuition/Fees
Saint JohnSeptember 2022 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International

Program Overview

Process Control Technicians are smooth operators. They analyze, adjust, and optimize process units and equipment in industrial facilities to ensure successful outcomes. You’ll learn specific skills in thermodynamics, applied chemistry, instrumentation and controls, and electrical devices, as well as general knowledge related to process control operations in plant settings. Our work practicum provides you with hands-on learning and counts toward trade requirements. Canada’s energy sector growth means that Process Control Technicians are in high demand.


The requirements for this diploma program may be achieved within two years of full-time study.

Admission Requirements

    Profile C

  • High School Diploma or Adult High School Diploma or GED Diploma of High School Equivalency or Essential Skills Achievement Pathway: Post-Secondary Entry High School Diploma
    • Foundations of Mathematics 110
      Geometry and Applications in Mathematics 112 and Functions and Relations 112
      • Total of two (2) sciences, including at least one (1) from the following:
        • Biology 112 or 122
        • Chemistry 112 or 122
        • Physics 112 or 122 (recommended)

      NB Francophone High School Math Equivalencies
      International Student Admission Equivalencies

      Career Possibilities

      As a graduate, you can work in pulp and paper, petroleum, LNG, food, beverage and mineral processing industries, power plants, oil production and refining, municipal treatment plans and government inspection services.

      Find career possibilities related to this program in Career Coach.


      Specific Considerations

      Where there is a compulsory work practicum or co-op work term, you may be required to participate in work terms at sites other than in Saint John. Please note that when you are hired as process control technicians, you may rotate between different processing units during shift cycles, you may work in a team with shared supervisory responsibilities and participate in training other workers, or you may be cross-trained in a skilled trade and work in that trade during shift cycles.

      Technology Requirements
      NBCC is a connected learning environment. All programs require a minimum specification, including access to the internet and a laptop. Your computer should meet your program technology requirements to ensure the software required for your program operates effectively. Free wifi is provided on all campuses.

      Program Courses

      Courses are subject to change.

      This is a first year technology course that develops competencies in both DC and AC electrical theory and circuit applications. Topics discussed include: Ohm’s law, Kirchoff’s laws, voltage, current, impedance, power, sine waves, series circuit characteristics, parallel circuit characteristics, combination circuit characteristics, electromagnetic induction, mutual inductance, and transformers. This course contains a practical component that will involve the use of electrical measuring devices such as multi-meters and oscilloscopes.

      Completion of this course prepares for advanced studies in electrical machines and control circuits that require fundamental knowledge of electrical theory and the ability to properly operate circuit measurement devices.

      This course is designed to provide students with an awareness of fuels and the combustion process. Students study the chemistry of combustion and analyze exhaust gases.

      This course builds on the first foundational chemistry course by applying the fundamental concepts of chemistry to such topics as chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry and oxidation-reduction reactions, radioactivity, nuclear chemistry, and organic chemistry. The combination of lectures and laboratory experiments ensures a sound chemistry background required for the understanding of industrial processes. .


      • CHEM1100

      This is an introductory chemistry course focusing on the nature of matter, states of matter, measurement, atomic theory, chemical bonding, non-organic nomenclature, and simple chemical reactions. Students will reinforce these topics by performing measurements and conducting experiments in a chemistry laboratory.

      This course teaches students how to create documents that are organized, unified, and coherent.

      This course introduces students to ethical principles and codes of conduct applicable to professional practices. The subject of ethics is a requirement of many accredited programs. Therefore, successful completion of Professional Ethics is a graduation requirement for engineering technology programs.

      Upon successful completion of this course, the learner will understand the design and operational differences for centrifugal and positive displacement pumps and also between dynamic and positive displacement compressors.


      • ICCI1040I

      This course is intended to provide the student with a study of final control elements and give an introduction to basic process control theory. Control valves are covered along with other final control elements such as vanes, dampers, metering pumps, and variable speed drives. Accessories found with control valves such as actuators (pneumatic, electric, and hydraulic), valve positioners, are included in this study. An introduction to basic process control theory with an emphasis on control blocks, and the basic concepts of automatic process control are also covered.
      The course also provides the learner with an application's study of process, piping and instrumentation drawing and symbols.


      • ICCI1040I

      This course is a study of a more advanced technician level process control  (PID, Cascade, Ratio, etc.). It introduces the learner to the combined application of process measurement, controls, piping and instrumentation drawing (P&ID), programmable logic controls (PLC), and direct digital control (DDC). This course utilizes process simulation software.


      • ICCI1037
      • CHEM1094

      This course is intended to provide the student with a practical knowledge of instrumentation and its use in industrial operational applications.


      • MPMI1095

      This course is intended to give the student a fundamental knowledge of environmental control and the general principles of how it can be used in the manufacturing sector to minimize or eliminate environmental damage. Emphasis is placed on the traditional methods of handling airborne pollutants, water-based effluent, and solid waste. Environmental regulations and ISO 14000; a specification for Environmental Management Systems, are also examined.

      This course is designed to provide the student with a general understanding of the Pulp and Paper Industry. Students are introduced to the different process stages from raw material to final product and to the terminology used in the industry. Laboratory exercises are standardized tests and procedures used in the Pulp and Paper Industry for quality control.


      • CHEM1094
      • ICCI1040I

      This course provides the student with the functioning principles, theory and industrial application of petroleum refining. The topics include an introduction to refining techniques and application, terminology, operating principles of related equipment (furnaces, exchangers, coolers, cooling towers, distillation towers, reactors, and tankage or storage facilities). Distillation principles and safe firing of process heaters is a concentrated area of study. A process simulator and computer generated tutorials are used in the lab portion of this course.


      • ICCI1037
      • CHEM1094

      This course is designed to provide the student with a general understanding of the Food Processing Industry. The material covered will explain the special requirement of a food grade processing facility with emphasis on the numerous standards as defined by the regulating authorities. The processes of sterilization, pasteurization, and fermentation will be covered.


      • CHEM1094
      • ICCI1037

      This is a course dealing with the fundamentals of processing minerals. Students are introduced to metal bearing minerals, specifically oxide ores, sulfide ores, and salts, and given an overview of the different ways these ores are processed. The course focuses on the unit operations which take place between the mining stage (raw material) and the refining stage (finished product). Students reinforce these topics by laboratory exercises.


      • CHEM1094
      • ICCI1037

      This course introduces students to the fundamentals of materials and testing.

      This course provides students with a sound mathematical foundation in preparation to higher level mathematics (calculus) and other technology courses.

      This course develops the ability to solve problems related to applied and fluid mechanics. It focuses the performing the necessary calculations related to these mechanical principles.


      • MATH1089

      This course will introduce students to job search techniques.

      This applied work experience provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills developed in the preceding instructional courses. This further develops and enhances their abilities in these areas.

      This course provides an introduction to the meaning of community service.  Students learn how community service can enhance a student’s educational experience, personal growth, employability, and civic responsibility. Students participate in one day of volunteering to enhance their understanding of civic responsibility and to help the New Brunswick Community College realize its vision of transforming lives and communities. 

      This course is designed to develop knowledge and skill relating to AC Power Theory as well as DC Machine Theory and Operation. Topics include 3-phase power, meters and measurement, transformers, Faraday’s Laws and DC motors and generators. Lab work matched to course work is a key component of this course.

      Completion of this course prepares the student for studies in Power Industry System concepts as well as AC machines applied to industry.


      • BEEB1033

      This is designed to develop knowledge and skill in AC machine theory (motor and alternator) and its application in electric power and other industrial settings. Topics include induction motors, synchronous motors and alternators, as well as key concepts in power system design and application. Lab work matched to course work is a key component of this course.


      • PHYS1014C

      This course provides students with a basic knowledge of thermodynamics and relevant applications to industrial processes.

      Students learn the skills essential to the operation and maintenance of boiler plants. This course is required in order to satisfy New Brunswick Department of Public Safety Technical Inspection Services specifications for 4th Class Power Engineers examination in New Brunswick.


      • PMOI1008

      This course is unique in that its many objectives introduced on the first day carry through to the last day of Power Theory for 3rd Class Power Engineer. The course builds on concepts introduced in the first power lab course and introduces students to working with steam turbines.


      • PMOI1003D
      • PMOI1008

      This course is unique in that its many objectives introduced on the first day carry through to the last day of Power Theory for 3rd Class Power Engineer.


      • PMOI1003D

      This course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of power plant systems including turbines, fuel firing equipment, control loops, and principles of heat transfer. It builds upon the concepts introduced in Power Theory I and many of the course objectives addressed here carry through to the Power Theory III course. 


      • PMOI1008
      • PMOI1003D

      This course is designed to introduce students to the practices and procedures of project management. An emphasis is placed on time, cost, personnel and communication aspects of project management.


      • SAAL1502

      The course provides the ability to develop and implement statistical analysis tools within the context of quality assurance in areas such as chemical processing, manufacturing and construction. Topics covered include central tendency, distribution analysis, linear regression, control charts and statistical process control.

      Statistical analysis includes methods such as central tendency, distribution analysis, linear regression, statistical process control.

      This course provides students with a general knowledge of refrigeration principles, systems, equipment, and also gives a basic introduction to the principles of heating, ventilation and air conditioning as applied to human comfort control, equipment selection and operation. In particular, it will prepare students for relevant questions on the SOPEEC examinations.

      This course teaches students how to develop reports, spreadsheets, and presentations using computer applications, and to use the internet for basic research in a network environment. The course is instructor led in a classroom or lab environment and requires the completion of several assignments and tests. Students taking this course are expected to have prior knowledge and competence in using the basic functions of a personal computer and its operating system including the following: manage and organize files/directories/folders/email; copy, move and delete files/directories/folders/email and; demonstrate the ability to work with desktop icons and to manipulate windows.

      This course provides students with a basic knowledge of a Loss Control Management program – including health and safety, hygienic practices in their everyday life and the practices and standards used in the industry today. It is intended to make students aware of the employer/employee involvement and responsibilities in identifying and eliminating risks, hazards and accidents in the workplace. They will also discover the government's responsibilities and some of the programs that are available to make the work environment a safe place in which to work.

      A safe and healthy workplace is the responsibility of the employer and the employee. This course introduces students to the importance of working safely and addresses how employers and employees can control the hazards and risks associated with the workplace. Students will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders including WorkSafeNB, the employer and the employee in ensuring workplaces are safe.

      NOC Codes

      9232 - Central control and process operators, petroleum, gas and chemical processing


      Organization: Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB)
      Accreditation Period:
      Information: The Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) nationally accredits this program at the technician level.

      Articulation Agreements

      Institution: University of New Brunswick Saint John - Faculty of Business
      Articulation Period:
      Information: Bachelor of Applied Management Degree
      NBCC graduates of any 2 year diploma program with a GPA of 70% or greater receive 2 years full credit toward this degree and will be eligible to enter year 3 of the 4 year Bachelor of Applied Management (BAM) program.


      Institution: Dalhousie University
      Articulation Period:
      Information: Bachelor of Technology (Small Business Management)
      Students who have completed a non-business two-year technical/technology diploma program from NBCC and having a minimum cumulative average of 70% may apply for admission to the first year of the two year post-diploma Bachelor of Technology (Small Business Management) program at Dalhousie's Faculty of Agriculture (the "BTECH Program").
      Institution: Cape Breton University
      Articulation Period:
      Information: Bachelor of Engineering Technology.
      NBCC graduates must complete 36 credits of course work.  This can be done on-line, in class or a combination - minimum 2 semesters.
      Institution: St. Stephen's University
      Articulation Period:
      Information: All one and two year NBCC programs will be recognized as approved programs of study within SSU's Bachelor of International Studies (BIS) program.

      External Certifications

      Process Control Technician graduates may have an opportunity to acquire the following external certifications upon meeting the external agencies certification requirements and paying any required fees to the external agency:

      Institution: Standardization of Power Engineer Examinations Committee (SOPEEC)
      External Certification: Power Engineering Technology
      Information: Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate may apply to write the SOPEEC examination for 4th Class Power Engineers in New Brunswick. Upon successful completion of the SOPEEC examination for 4th Class Power Engineers in New Brunswick and an advanced work experience in a Power Plant facility, graduates of this program will be eligible to continue their Power Engineering exams of advancing Classes.

      Disclaimer: This web copy provides guidance to prospective students, applicants, current students, faculty and staff. Although advice is readily available on request, the responsibility for program selection ultimately rests with the student. Programs, admission requirements and other related information is subject to change.

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