Process Technology, Associate of Applied Science


Program Information

If you have a technical mind, you are in luck. Houston is home to the largest petrochemical and refining complex in the nation, and the demand for skilled process technicians continues to grow! Our graduates enter the workforce with the necessary skills that are highly prized by companies that continually hire students directly out of our program.

The San Jacinto College Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Process Technology:

  • Prepares students to become plant operators responsible for equipment, the hazards of the chemicals, and the chemistry and physics involved in process technology;
  • Works in the LyondellBasell Glass Distillation Plant laboratory. This world-class plant offers real-world scenario experience as a fully functional unit. Most importantly, students will engage in a work-based learning environment that they will see in a plant environment. The learning experience is enhanced as the internal workings of the process are transparent. Thanks to industry support, this is another positive addition to the many labs dedicated to this program;
  • Teaches students to read piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), identify and troubleshoot equipment, operate simulators, and as a capstone course, run the Propylene Glycol Distillation Unit, which is PTAC 2438 Process Technology III - Operations;
  • Earns industry support as students graduating from the program are endorsed by the North American Process Technology Alliance (NAPTA);
  • Is recognized by the Texas Skill Standard Board (TSSB). Upon graduation with an AAS in Process Technology, students will earn the Texas Skill Standards recognized program seal affixed to their AAS credential; and
  • Has participated and won the NAPTA National Troubleshooting Competition Championship three years in a row 2017, 2018, and 2019. In 2020 the event was cancelled due to COVID. In 2022 San Jacinto College placed second.  

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the San Jacinto College Process Technology program have the opportunity to work in:

  • Chemical plants,
  • Refineries,
  • Wastewater treatment plants,
  • Canneries,
  • Pharmaceutical plants,
  • Paper mills,
  • Terminals,
  • Pipelines, and
  • Fuel storage depots.

Earning Potential

Chemical Plant and System Operators: $95,554 per year1


Source:, median salary Gulf Coast region, 2022

For more information, students may contact:

Department Chair - 281-998-6350, x1188. Direct Line Office: 281-478-2712 -


Central Campus


The Process Technology department is a direct link to the largest industry in the greater Houston area and the Texas Gulf Coast region. In the past, very little formal training was required prior to taking a job in the chemical process industry. However, companies in the Houston area now require more education for their entry-level technicians and are looking to community college graduates to meet those needs.

Students train in state-of-the-art process laboratory facilities similar to area refining and chemical plant environments. The College built its facility in cooperation with area petrochemical companies. San Jacinto College works closely with industry as a member of the North American Process Technology Alliance (NAPTA) to maintain a curriculum reflecting current technology standards.

Completion of the Process Technology curriculum can provide students with the technical skills required for entry-level positions as process technicians in petrochemical and related industries.

A Level 2 Certificate of Technology in Process Technology is still accepted by most of the industry; however, several industries have indicated they will hire only graduates with the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Future trends indicate that most of the petrochemical industry technicians will be required to have an AAS degree. Students who earn qualifications to be in the Chemical Lab Technician Specialty degree program after obtaining their AAS will sign up to pursue the Enhanced Skills Certificate (ESC). The student will then have the advantage of earning qualifications for being hired into either the operations division or laboratory department of a process plant because the ESC will make the student more marketable.

Students enrolling into San Jacinto College programs with external learning experiences (i.e., clinical, practicum, externship, cooperative, etc.) will be required to comply with the immunization requirements and policies of the clinical/external learning sites to engage in all clinical/external learning experiences. Vaccination requirements at clinical/external learning sites are implemented pursuant to the independent authority of such facilities and are not mandated by San Jacinto College. Failure to meet the immunization requirements mandated by clinical/external learning sites may limit a student’s ability to complete the program and/or may delay the student’s graduation date. San Jacinto College does not process exemptions, and students should address potential vaccination exemptions directly with the clinical/external learning site.

Students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree after graduation from San Jacinto College may want to consider programs at Lamar University. Lamar will accept credit for students with an AAS in Process Technology. Interested students may find more information on the Lamar transfer website.

Plan of Study


Plan of Study Grid
First TermCredits
PTAC 1302 Introduction to Process Technology 3
PTAC 1408 Safety, Health, and Environment I 4
TECM 1301 Industrial Mathematics 1 3
Select one of the following: 3
Introduction to Speech Communication
Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Business and Professional Speech
Second Term
PTAC 1432 Process Instrumentation I 4
PTAC 1410 Process Technology I - Equipment 4
CHEM 1305
CHEM 1105
Introductory Chemistry I (lecture)
and Introductory Chemistry I (lab) 2
ENGL 1301 Composition I 3
Summer Year One Term
ETWR 1302 Introduction to Technical Writing 3 3
Third Term
PTAC 2420 Process Technology II-Systems 4
SCIT 1418 Applied Physics 4
CTEC 2445 Unit Operations 4
Social and Behavioral Sciences or Government/Political Science or American History 3
Fourth Term
PTAC 2438 Process Technology III - Operations 4
PTAC 2446
Process Troubleshooting
or Internship - Chemical Technology/Technician
PTAC 2314 Principles of Quality 3
Language, Philosophy and Culture (Humanities) or Creative Arts (Fine Arts) 3
 Total Credits60

Verification of workplace competencies.

Capstone Experience: PTAC 2438 Process Technology III - Operations


Students desiring to obtain a baccalaureate degree should take MATH 1314 College Algebra. Students entering this program with MATH 1314 College Algebra or MATH 1342 Elementary Statistical Methods (Statistics) or MATH 2413 Calculus I may substitute this course for TECM 1301 Industrial Mathematics.


The College encourages students to complete TECM 1301 Industrial Mathematics before taking CHEM 1305 Introductory Chemistry I (lecture)/CHEM 1105 Introductory Chemistry I (lab) to be more successful in the Chemistry lecture/lab sections.


Students who have successfully completed ENGL 1302 Composition II or ENGL 2311 Technical and Business Writing may receive credit for ETWR 1302 Introduction to Technical Writing.

If you do not see your transfer school, please follow the Plan of Study. For more information, contact an Admissions Advisor. Please speak to an advisor at San Jacinto College and the transfer institution to ensure this Transfer Plan is accurate and complete. For a list of all MAPs, students may go to Transfer Plans A-Z. Students may filter for specific universities, disciplines, or degrees, and print individual MAPs.

Lamar, Process Tech, Industrial Tech, BSIT Full-time

Lamar, Process Tech, Industrial Tech, BSIT Part-time