Finding training, employment, and education on the internet

The internet can be used as a tool, entertainment, resource, time saver, and many other life-enriching ways. For the plant engineer, the internet can also be a tool for professional development in the forms of training, education, and career growth. Training and the internet Training is important to maintaining the health of any organization.


The internet can be used as a tool, entertainment, resource, time saver, and many other life-enriching ways. For the plant engineer, the internet can also be a tool for professional development in the forms of training, education, and career growth.

Training and the internet

Training is important to maintaining the health of any organization. Money spent on workforce training is an investment in the stability and efficiency of the plant. In lean economic times, however, training is often the first item cut from the budget.

Using the internet as a training tool can help lower the bottom line. Virtually any plant can do inhouse training.

Designated employees conduct training on everything from personal development and time management to company-specific, high-tech concepts. There is a plethora of training courses available to aid the inhouse trainer or trainee.

For example, if you wanted to increase Windows 2000 understanding among plant engineering personnel, just turn to the internet. A simple internet search for Windows 2000 training results in literally thousands of possibilities. Many companies, including Microsoft, offer this type of training. Using this online information to train plant engineering personnel is less expensive than going outside, and lightens the load on the inhouse training staff.

A sampling of web sites that provide further information on training is listed in the "Training resources" table.

Employment and the internet

Plant engineers, once hired, tend to stay on the job. However, it is sometimes necessary to change jobs to enable career growth. And sometimes, a change isn't a matter of choice. Traditional job searches are making way for web-based employment opportunities. This case is true for many professions — including plant engineering oriented positions.

The internet provides an easy way to locate potential employment. Job seekers post resumes with search companies, human resource departments post available jobs on companies' web sites, and job search firms post both jobs and resumes. Regardless of the avenue, there are jobs available for plant engineering personnel via the internet, if you search in the right places.

The "Finding employment on the internet" table lists a sampling of companies that cater to the needs of plant engineering personnel in search of employment.

Plant engineers have many tools from which to choose to do their jobs. The internet can be one of these. Certainly, the internet is a tool that can aid the plant engineer's professional development.

Education and the internet

Most plant engineers have engineering degrees. But the need for more education never really ends. The internet makes it possible to pursue higher education — undergraduate degrees, post-graduate degrees, or just a few courses — without physically attending a college or university.

Using an "online university" offers more flexibility than traditional programs and offers more personalized instruction.

The table, "Internet-based learning programs" presents a sampling of colleges and universities that offer some form of internet-based learning program. Many of the programs offer interactive learning and online certification or degrees.

Training resources

Company, URLComments
Plant Engineering Magazine plantengineering.comProvides links to training and education sites specific to the plant engineering field. Information is categorized by Plant Engineering channel.
DVT company provides machine vision and photoelectric sensors, and offers training through distributed software, on site and on the internet. The extensive software training offering is also available online.
International Institute for Learning iil.comIIL offers both on site courses and distance learning through nteractive internet workshops and web casts. The course offerings deal primarily with project management.
Virtual-Workshops virtual-workshops.comVirtual-Workshops offers online workshops specifically geared to plant engineering personnel. It includes workshops on bearing failure analysis, electrical safety, total productive maintenance, and others.
National Association of Manufacturers Virtual University features online courses in general manufacturing and technical training, OSHA compliance, quality, supply chain management, and others.
Reliabilityweb reliabilityweb.comThe company provides online training for industrial plant and reliability maintenance. The course schedule includes maintenance benchmarking, bearing failure analysis, maintenance planning and scheduling, and root cause analysis.
Microsoft company provides or sponsors internet-based, instructor--led, and self-paced training in areas such as Windows 2000, SQL Server, Windows NT, Microsoft certification, and e-commerce architecture.
Methods, Organization, Resources and Achievement, Inc.,LLC web site offers information about total productive maintenance. Links are provided to numerous training resources directly applicable to plant engineers.
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) astd.orgQuestions concern fundamental issues of how work and learning occur in the workplace, including how work is organized, how leadership is practiced, how training is connected to performance, and how a business culture is created. In its work with leading edge practice and research, ASTD has found that the most consistent competitive advantage for business, and for individual employees, is the ability to learn faster and perform more efficiently than the competition.

Finding employment on the internet

Company, URLComments, hotjobs.comThis site is a popular consumer job board that provides an exchange between opportunity seekers and employers. The site boasts hundreds of thousands of jobs posted by corporate hiring mangers, staffing firms, and executive recruiters. The site provides both facilities and engineering channels, within which searches can be performed.
Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE) afe.orgThis professional organization of 9000 members ensures the optimal operation of plants, grounds, and offices. Its web site includes a job search engine. Searches can be conducted by both job type and location.
California State University, Long Beach site offers a computerized job search for mechanical engineering graduates. Resume services and job listing databases are available.
J. Miles Personnel Services independently owned recruiting and placement firm specializes in engineering, technical, and logistics professionals.
Executive Resource, Inc. erijobs.comThis recruiting and placement firm specializes in engineering. Applicants can apply for jobs online.
Premier Search Associates, Inc .psearch.comThis national recruiting firm specializes in chemical, mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering. Applicants can respond to online job listings.
The Weitzel Employment Agency agency places mechanical and electrical engineers in plant engineering, maintenance, production ,and information systems positions.

Internet-based learning programs

College/university, URLComments
University of Wisconsin - Madison epdweb.engr.wisc.eduThe College of Engineering, Department of Engineering Professional Development, offers distance learning and internet-based degree programs for professional engineers, as well as many online short course offerings.
University of Nevada - Las Vegas me.unlv.eduThe Department of Mechanical Engineering offers internet-based course work.
Stanford University online.stanford.eduThe university, through Stanford Online, incorporates video with audio, text, and graphics in its distance learning offerings. This program allows engineering students to ask questions or otherwise interact with the instructor, teaching assistant, and/or other students asynchronously from their desktop computers.
Texas AM University teexweb.tamu.eduThe Engineering Extension Service offers interactive web-based courses in engineering, electronics, communication, PC repair, and others. Instruction includes simulations, problem-solving exercises, links to informational resources, ability to work in collaborative environments, and participation in real-time discussions with other learners and instructors.
University of Illinois online.engr.uiuc.eduThe Engineering Online program offers a wide variety of credit and noncredit courses allowing students to work toward the completion of a graduate degree in computer science, and electrical or mechanical engineering. These courses and degree programs are the same as the on-campus courses and programs.
Adult Distance Education Internet Surf Shack offers free information about online degree programs, including CyberState University, which provides complete network certification courses online.
Petersons Distance Learning lifelonglearning.comThe organization provides a vast database of distance learning courses and information on options for financing a nontraditional degree.
eCollege, ecollege.comeCollege provides resources for online students, from internet research links to brass tacks job hunting tips.
The MathWorks is a technical computing portal for engineering and scientific needs. It contains links and descriptions for internet- based courses, degrees, and labs. This site is not nstitution-specific.
Georgia Institute of Technology Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a masters degree in mechanical engineering entirely via the internet. The program uses streaming audio and video technologies, synchronized slides, simulations, and other multimedia. Internet instruction includes links to other web-based materials.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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