Skagit Valley College logo

Composite Technology

Composite Students in Class
Welcome To Composites Technology

Composite manufacturing has evolved into a diverse industry. The use of composite materials is found in the marine, aerospace, automotive, transportation, sports equipment, recreation, construction, alternative energy, bio-medical devices, and consumer goods industries, creating an expanding wealth of opportunity for talented practitioners. The Composites program at Skagit Valley College is designed to provide a comprehensive education for the next generation of composite technicians. This certificate program provides students with skills and knowledge in plant safety, manufacturing and repair processes, composite materials, gelcoat/controlled spraying/fluid handling applications, vacuum infusion process, light resin transfer molding (RTM), part and tooling design techniques and composites strength of materials. Students learn chemical safety, design, modern closed mold techniques, and construction of molds to construct a variety of parts.

The evolution of the industry and greater standardization of skill sets now mean that modern Composite Technicians can now earn portable industry certifications through the American Composites Manufacturer's Association. The green composite industry supports the use of closed molded techniques such as vacuum infusion, closed cavity and light resin transfer method. These new processes require a skill level greater than the present laminator of traditional molding processes to be successful in today's composites industry. The closed mold process has also advanced usage of materials such as carbon fiber, resins, mold releases, tooling methods, and production techniques.

Advanced technologies in materials and production processes ensure that modern composite manufacture and repair is safer for the employee and the environment. The technical skill competencies required to meet the demands of new and emerging applications will continue to grow, creating further emphasis on the importance of training and certification.

Composite Students in Class
Program Options

The Composites Technology program combines classroom theory with real experience. You will work with materials in a large shop equipped with the latest computer and electronic components. The Composites program includes pathways into several trade specialty areas.

The estimated program length is based on full-time enrollment. It is the student's responsibility to discuss sequencing and work out their individual schedule with a counselor or program advisor. Any developmental coursework a student may be required to complete may increase the program length. The certificate program is not intended for university transfer.

Degrees / Certificates Credits Estimated Program Length Admission Dates
Adv. Composites Manufacturing Technician Certificate 31 3 quarters Fall Quarter
Composite Repair Technician Micro-Certificate 13 2 quarters Fall Quarter

NOTE: at Skagit Valley College Micro-certificates of Completion are designed for taking courses over a short period of time focusing on enhancement or development of a specific skill or set of skills. Micro-certificate courses can help enhance employability skills or provide preparation for continuing education in the program area. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or above in all required course work.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Composites Technology program will  

  • Be prepared with the skills and knowledge required for successful entry-level employment in composite-related industries.
  • Understand the safety hazards and workplace precautions that need to be taken when working with hazardous chemicals typically found in a shop environment.
  • Identify resins, initiators, promoters, solvents and all chemicals by sight, smell and touch, and handle according to established safety standards.
  • Demonstrate ability to correctly apply various types of catalyzed coatings and paints.
  • Demonstrate ability to use the correct technique for repairing a variety of composite structures.
  • Demonstrate ability to develop a full size plug from a scaled drawing, and correctly finish the surface using various mediums current to industry standards.
  • Correctly perform contact molding, vacuum bagging techniques, out of oven autoclave, oven curing and autoclave molding techniques.
  • Demonstrate silicone bag part building and rigid B side part building techniques using current industry standards.
  • Distinguish and operate support equipment in Closed Cavity and Light Resin Transfer Method.
  • Demonstrate ability to use advanced composite nomenclature related to equipment, tools, accessories, and materials commonly used in the composites workplace.
  • Understand environmental issues related to manufacture and use of composite structures.
  • Understand and follow laws and regulations as they relate to composites certifications.

Certification

Students will work toward an industry recognized certification from the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA)

ACMA Logo
www.acmanet.org

CCT Logo

Industry Gold Standard for
Composites Training

The Certified Composites Technician (CCT) program was created by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) in 1999 to respond to the composites industry's need for uniform training and technical skills. CCT training focuses on the fundamental technology used in producing a wide range of products within general molding, boat manufacturing, cast polymer and solid surface manufacturing, corrosion, compression molding, and the closed molding processes of vacuum infusion and light resin transfer. These program-specific certifications place specific emphasis on the knowledge and technical skills required in production. The CCT program is designed to elevate standards in the industry, enhance individual performance, and recognize those who demonstrate a prescribed level of knowledge in a specific composites specialization. The ACMA exam is administered by the program and taken on campus.

You May Study

  • Composite Materials
  • Composite Strengths
  • Composite Tools and Equipment
  • Composite Manufacturing Processes
  • Construction of Molds
  • Sprayed Applications
  • Fabrics and Resins used in Composites
  • Vacuum Infusion, Closed Cavity & Light Resin Transfer Methods
  • Part and Tooling Design Techniques
  • Repair of Composite Structures
  • Chemical Safety
  • Shop Safety Standards
  • Environmental Issues related to Composites Manufacturing
  • Personal Protection Equipment

Entry into the Program

Please apply to the Admissions Office. Make an appointment to take the college's COMPASS Test. Please be aware that some classes/sequences are not offered every quarter.

Certificate Options - Descriptions

See SVC Course Catalog for a complete overview of each certificate/degree option and course descriptions.

Advanced Composites Manufacturing Technician (31 credits)

Composite manufacturing has evolved into a diverse industry and can be found in the marine, aerospace, automotive, sports equipment, construction, alternative energy, medical devices, and many other industries, creating an expanding wealth of opportunity for talented practitioners. The Composites Technician Certificate program provides students with skills and knowledge in plant safety, manufacturing processes, composite materials, gelcoat/controlled spraying/fluid handling applications, vacuum infusion process, part and tooling design techniques. Students learn chemical safety, design, modern vacuum-infusion techniques, and construction of molds to construct a variety of parts.

Composite Repair Technician (13 credits)

The Composite Fundamentals Micro-certificate program provides students with an overview of composites and their application across a spectrum of industries. Instruction covers materials commonly used in composite manufacturing processes such as hand lay-up, filament winding, compression molding, resin-transfer molding, and pultrusion. Introduction to fiberglass reinforced plastics with emphasis on chemical safety applicable to poly and vinyl-ester resins, solvents, and epoxies. Students will receive hands-on training in use of molds, gel coats, release agents, resins, cosmetic color matching, and reinforcing materials in hand layup and structural repair. Industry-appropriate shop safety standards and correct use of Personal Protection Equipment is also covered.

Career Opportunities and Job Search Information

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is the nation's primary source of occupational information. The O*Net Online database is an interactive research tool for exploring and searching occupations. The database, developed by the US Department of Labor, contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors, and provides a variety of FREE Career Exploration Tools.

O-Net Online: http://www.onetonline.org

  • SOC 17-3029.09 - Manufacturing Production Technicians
  • SOC 51-2091.00 - Fiberglass Laminators & Fabricators
  • SOC 51-2099.00 - Assemblers and Fabricators
  • SOC 11-3051.00 - Industrial Production Managers
  • SOC 51-2092.00 - Team Assemblers

For more detailed information about employment trends, wage rates, employment opportunities, job tasks, etc. search the websites listed below:>

Placement Rate

Placement and Completion Data

Contact Us

Mike Swietzer 
Department Chair 
360.766.6282 ex. 3005

Email Mike

Information Sessions

Information sessions are scheduled by the Department Chairperson or program faculty. For a current schedule of dates/times, please contact the person listed above.