Automation Technology

AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY Associate degree | ATU Ozark

Automation Technology involves using advanced control systems like computers, robots, and information technologies to assist or replace human work and manage complex industrial processes and machinery. It aims to boost efficiency, reliability, and productitivity by automating repetitive, complex, and/or dangerous tasks that people would normally do. 

Key parts of automation technology include sensors, control systems, software, and actuators. these components work together to monitor, control, and optimize processes, improving quality, reducing costs, and increasing safety. Automation technology is used in many fields, such as manufacturing, agriculture, amusement parks, automobiles, aerospace, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and logistics, through innovation and the growth of smart factories and intelligent systems. 

This program teaches students the practical skills to work with automated systems. Automation Technicians may be expected to install, operate, repair, and upgrade a wide range of automated systems, so these courses cover a variety of topics including how to set up and program programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), trouble shoot complex electrical control systems, and build automated systems from the individual sensor all the way to large facility management systems.

Students get hands-on experience using real equipment, which helps them learn how to solve problems they might face on the job. They will learn the skills needed for careers in any automated industries, including manufacturing, HVAC, robotics, motion control, material handling, logistics, and green technology. The ultimate goals of this program are to produce graduates who find good-paying jobs with excellent opportunities for career growth, while also providing skilled technicians for our area businesses and industries. 

Hands-on Learning Opportunities

Students of the program work on equipment in a lab setting.

Skills You Will Learn

Programmable Logic Controls (PLCs): Understanding how to program, install and troubleshoot PLCs.
Electrical Systems: Knowledge of electrical circuits, control systes, and wiring.
Robotics: Skills in operating, programming, and maintaining robotic systems.
Mechanical Systems: Understanding mechanical components and systems used in automation.
Sensors and Actuators: Knowledge of various sensors and actuators used in automated systems.
Computer Aided Design (CAD): Ability to use various CAD software packages to design and model automation systems.
Networking and Data Communication: Understanding of industrial networking, data communication, and cybersecurity.
Troubleshooting and Maintenance: Skills in diagnosing and repairing automated systems.
Safety Standards: nowledge of working safely in industrial settings. 
Software and Programming Languages: Proficiency in software and programming languages used in automation, such as ladder logic and other relevant programming tools.

Students living in states bordering Arkansas receive in-state tuition.

Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. The Arkansas Tech University school code to use on the FAFSA is 001089.

The AR Futures grant could cover your expenses for this credential. Check credential eligibility

Calculate Tuition

You could work as a(n):

  • Controls Technician
  • Electronics Technician
  • Instrumentation Technician
  • Maintenance Technician

Alumni of our program work at:

  • ABB Motors
  • Hiram Walker Allied Domecq
  • Tokai Carbon
  • Tyson Foods

View the links below to better understand the courses, the course timeline, and who your faculty will be when you enroll as an ATU student.

Credentials that stack with this degree:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies


Point of Pride

Our students placed first in the state at the last Skills USA Robotics competition in Little Rock.



Find out how we will empower you to meet every challenge head-on.

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Program faculty



Stacey McCollough

Stacey McCollough

Program Chair

Industrial Controls Building
1700 Helberg Lane
Ozark, AR 72949

(479) 508-8500 ext 6640

Cody Harkness

Cody Harkness


Industrial Controls Building
1700 Helberg Lane
Ozark, AR 72949

(479) 508-8500 ext 6641