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 a new lab in March 2021, the LyondellBasell Glass Distillation Plant. 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 since we entered in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

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: $71,508 per year1

For more information, students may contact:

Program Director -  281-998-6150, x1495

Department Chair - 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 curricula 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 (COT) 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.

Plan of Study

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Central Campus

Plan of Study Grid
First TermCredits
ENER 1240 Employee Success in Energy Industry 2
PTAC 1302 Introduction to Process Technology 3
PTAC 1308 Safety, Health, and Environment I 3
PTAC 1410 Process Technology I - Equipment 4
TECM 1301 Industrial Mathematics (or higher) 1 3
Second Term
PTRT 1301 Introduction to Petroleum Industry 3
PTAC 1432 Process Instrumentation I 4
CHEM 1305
CHEM 1105
Introductory Chemistry I (lecture)
and Introductory Chemistry I (lab)
PTAC 2420 Process Technology II-Systems 4
Summer Year One Term
ETWR 1302 Introduction to Technical Writing 2 3
Third Term
SCIT 1418 Applied Physics 4
PTAC 2314 Principles of Quality 3
ENGL 1301 Composition I 3
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
Speech Elective 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