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Sustainable Energy Technician

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Program Director: Cody Strunk

Program Website

This program has been modified and is no longer accepting students under this particular version. For the current versions of this program, please visit the catalog pages for the Industrial Technician CAS, the Industrial Technician AAS, and the Renewable Energy Technician AAS programs.

The Sustainable Energy Technician Associate of Applied Science degree program prepares graduates for technician jobs in the rapidly expanding sustainable energy industry. Program graduates have general skills in industrial safety, electrical troubleshooting, hydraulic and pneumatic system operation, and mechanical system repair. They also have specialized skills in programmable logic controls, digital electronics, and wind turbine operations and maintenance. These specialized skills are built on a strong educational foundation in math, writing, communications, and computing.


This program was developed as a workforce development project funded by the Department of Labor’s Community-Based Jobs Training Grant program. Project partners include the Wind Montana project industrial advisory board and four units of the Montana University System: Highlands College Montana Tech, Montana State University-Northern, City College Montana State University, and Great Falls College Montana State University. The program is available on all four campuses.

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Identify and practice safe workplace habits.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with basic electrical tools and the ability to troubleshoot a basic electrical system.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with basic mechanical tools and the ability to repair a basic mechanical system.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of both conventional and renewable energy sources.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use personal computers and common operating systems and applications software.
  • Develop and practice professional standards of workplace communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrate wind industry safety skills, including climbing, rescue, and confined space procedures.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of AC and DC variable speed motor drives.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of programmable logic controllers.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of digital electronics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of wind turbine operations and maintenance procedures.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of college-level algebra.

Estimated Resident Program Cost*

Tutiion and Fees $6,380
Application Fee $30
Program Fee $1,000
Books/Supplies $2,105
Total $9,515

Many students need preliminary math and writing courses before enrolling in the program requirements. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math and writing placement before planning out their full program schedules.

GFC MSU Additional Graduation Requirement

COLS 103Becoming a Successful Student +1
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ETEC 101 AC/DC Electronics I **,+ 3
NRGY 101 Intro to Sustainable Energy **,+ 3
NRGY 120 Industrial Safety and Rigging **,+ 3
NRGY 130 Fundmtl of Mechanical Systems **,+ 3
Select one of the following:  
M 095 Intermediate Algebra **,+ 4
M 121 College Algebra **,+ 3
M 151 Precalculus **,+ 4
M 171 Calculus I **,+ 4
CAPP 120 + 3
COMX 115 Intro to Interpersonal Communc + 3
ETEC 103 AC/DC Electronics II *,+ 3
ELCT 130 Elec Motors and Generators *,+ 3
NRGY 110 Fundmtl Hydraul/Pneu Systems *,+ 3
WRIT 104 Workplace Communications + 2
Second Year
CAPP 156 MS Excel *,+ 3
ETEC 220 ElectricalPower/Distribution I *,+ 3
ELCT 250 Programmable Electronic Contro *,+ 3
NRGY 210 Wind Technician Safety *,+ 4
NRGY 220 *,+ 3
ETEC 230 Electric Power/Distribution II *,+ 3
ETEC 245 Digital Electronics *,+ 4
ETEC 231 Electronic Drive Systems *,+ 3
NRGY 230 Wind Turb Operations & Maint *,+ 3
 Total Credits61-62