Electrical Controls & Maintenance

This video was designed and created by students in Mesabi Range College’s Graphic Design Media program in collaboration with the faculty and students of the Electrical Controls and Maintenance program.


The Electrical Controls and Maintenance program provides training in the areas of electrical maintenance, industrial electronics, process control, instrumentation, fluid power, electrical-mechanical systems, and integrated computer control.

The first semester of the program focuses on the fundamentals of electrical/electronic theory in lecture and practical applications performed in lab exercises. The second semester of the program teaches the basics of industrial control, including motor control, instrumentation/process control, programmable logic controllers, and the national electrial code. In the second year of the program, lecture-based lab work builds on the basics with additional technology continually being introduced.


The Electrical Controls and Maintenance program is a two year technical program devoted to “hands-on” skills training, starting with basic electronics courses, and continuing through courses related to the application and maintenance of industrial process and industrial machine control systems.

Our mission is to prepare students for entry-level employment as instrumentation and electrical technicians in a broad range of industries including pulp and paper, mining, manufacturing, chemical processing, utilities and more.

Program Planners

Tool List

PSEO students are responsible for the cost of equipment that becomes their property, such as tools and computers.

Career Opportunities

In order for industries to remain competitive, they must adapt to modern technology. Automation of equipment and processes is increasingly used to accomplish this goal. A need exists for personnel trained in servicing and maintaining high technology equipment. The job outlook for service and technical personnel is expanding. Opportunities exist in plant engineering/maintenance in almost all sectors of industry including paper/pulp, manufacturing, assembly, mining transportation, warehousing/distribution, utilities, graphics/publishing, chemical processing, and petroleum refining.

A project done by our Electrical Controls and Maintenance students!

Program History

Established in the late sixties as the Industrial Instrumentation program, we have over forty years of experience providing "a high quality education resulting in rewarding employment" for our students as well as providing a skilled workforce for local employers.

With curriculum centered around the mechanical, pneumatic and analog electronic control equipment of that era the Industrial Instrumentation program's initial mission was to train this area's early technicians working in the mining, pulp and parer and power generation industries and over the years grew and evolved along with the advancements in technology and emerging needs in industry.

In 1984, a second option was added to the original Industrial Instrumentation offering called Automation Systems Maintenance. Designed to offer curriculum directed more towards the manufacturing industry the ASM program ran as a second year option in parallel with the Industrial Instrumentation program until 1995 when the two programs were combined into one offering called Automated Control Technologies.

In the fall of 2001 the process of making major revisions to our curriculum was started and was completed in May of 2003. Along with significant change in curriculum and assumed its fourth name, the Process Automation Systems program, to take effect for fall 2012.

While this program has seen many changes over the years one thing remains the same, our commitment to providing the best education possible in the field of automation and controls.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Automation? - Click here

Where have some of our graduates gone to work?

USS Minntac
USS Keetac
United Taconite
Northshore Mining Silver Bay/Babbitt
Murphy Oil Superior
Blandin Paper
Minnesota Power
Louisiana Pacific
Sappi Paper
Michael Foods
Mesabi Nugget
Douglas Machine
General Mills
Crystal Sugar, etc...

What can I expect to get paid for an entry level position in this field?

A starting wage survey of recent ECM/PAS graduates, completed spring semester 2018, showed an average starting wage of $27.64/hr. plus benefits. Based on this survey the starting wages varied in range from $21.00/hr. to $32.61/hr. and included graduates from 2015-2018.

After three years of full time employment it is anticipated that most graduates will be earning in the $30.00-$35.00/hr. range, plus benefits. In this particular field it is also very common for the hourly personnel to have the opportunity to work a substantial amount of overtime as well.

What is the employment outlook in this field of study?

Now is an excellent time to consider training for this field. In addition, to a number of new industrial projects proposed for this region, we have been involved in ongoing discussions with representatives from local industries regarding their projections for a significant number of retirements over the next 3-5 years.

Any new industrial growth, combined with retirements from within existing industries, will result in the need for skilled workers. Formal training will be required to qualify for these jobs and our program has been identified as one that can meet the training requirements for some of these projected vacancies.


Scott Norcia

An instructor at Mesabi Range College since the fall of 1998, Scott holds a BS Degree in Vocational Education from Bemidji State University and an Industrial Instrumentation Diploma from the Eveleth Area Vocational and Technical Institute.

In addition to his years of teaching, Scott has 13 years of practical experience in the process automation field as a partner in The Control Company, Inc.

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