Your new career awaits: autonomous vehicles, biomanufacturing, and more

Jul 6, 2023Courtney Morris
Crane technician

Houston, we have a solution!

If you want to pick up career-ready skills for booming industries in the Houston and Gulf Coast region, San Jacinto College’s new certificate and degree programs may be your answer.

Rolling out in fall 2023 are …

  • Autonomous vehicle (certificate)
  • Engineering technology (Associate of Applied Science degree)
  • Heavy diesel equipment/crane technician (certificate and A.A.S. degree)
  • Medical laboratory assistant (certificate)
  • Plumbing technology (certificate)

Coming in spring 2024 are …

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in education (pending approval by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)
  • Biomanufacturing (certificate and A.A.S. degree)

“We are always looking for ways to improve and expand what we offer to our students and the community,” said Dr. Laurel Williamson, deputy chancellor and College president. “These new programs not only meet regional workforce needs but also help students secure in-demand jobs at family-sustaining wages.”

Check out these new technical, health science, and education programs:

Autonomous vehicle (certificate of technology)

Nuro autonomous vehicle
Autonomous vehicle program
With the autonomous vehicle field growing, companies need skilled junior fleet technicians to keep up with the demand. Learn how to maintain and manage driverless vehicles that can sense their environment.

Offered in partnership with Nuro, this program includes in-class demos and practice lab skill sets for hands-on, real-world experience. Through the Earn While You Learn program, you may also work in the automotive field while taking classes.

Your training will prepare you for the Automotive Service Excellence exam to become a desired candidate at any auto facility.

  • Length: Three terms
  • Location: Central Campus
  • Salary Potential: $37,440, plus bonus eligibility (Nuro)

Engineering technology (A.A.S. degree)

Engineering technician
Engineering technology program
Want to work on an engineering project from design to completion? You could join a growing, diverse field as an engineering technician. You’ll apply basic engineering principles and technical skills to support engineers in various projects.

Learn about safety, processes, systems, tools, and techniques to construct, refine, operate, and maintain an engineering design.

  • Length: Two years
  • Location: South Campus
  • Salary Potential: $61,949 (median wages for engineering technologists and technicians, Gulf Coast region,, 2021)

Heavy diesel equipment/crane technician (certificate of technology and A.A.S. degree)

Heavy diesel repair
Heavy diesel equipment/crane technician program
Enjoy working with your hands and getting a little dirty? Learn to maintain and repair large diesel engines, construction equipment, and cranes. You’ll also learn about engine components, hydraulics, and electrical.

If you’re looking for a stable career with problem solving and teamwork, heavy diesel equipment/crane technician may be perfect for you.

  • Length: Three terms to two years
  • Location: North Campus
  • Salary Potential: $53,571 (median wages for heavy equipment field technicians, Gulf Coast region,, 2021)

Medical laboratory assistant (occupational certificate)

Medical lab assistant
Medical laboratory assistant program
Work behind the scenes in health care. In this program, you’ll learn how to collect and process specimens, report lab data, and perform simple tests in a health care setting. You’ll also work with other health care disciplines.

Train in the classroom, in labs, and at partner hospitals. After completing this program, you may take the American Medical Technologists’ national certification exam.

  • Length: One year
  • Location: Central Campus
  • Salary Potential: $53,244 (median wages for medical laboratory assistants, Gulf Coast region,, 2021)

Plumbing technology (occupational certificate)

Plumbing technology program
If you like working with your hands, solving problems, and helping others, a plumbing career may be the perfect fit. Our program will teach you to identify water supply systems, read and sketch blueprints, understand plumbing codes, install and maintain plumbing piping and fixtures, and use special tools and equipment.

As a plumber, you can see projects through from start to finish, work with little to no supervision, and stay on top of the latest construction technology.

  • Length: One term
  • Location: North Campus
  • Salary Potential: $56,182 (median wages for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters,, 2021)

Bachelor of Applied Science in education

Early childhood classroom
Bachelor of Applied Science in education
If you’re a paraeducator/paraprofessional or early childhood educator, consider San Jac’s new Bachelor of Applied Science in education with an emphasis on early childhood, coming in spring 2024.

This degree will prepare you to work with young children from six weeks through third grade. You’ll also be eligible to work in an early childhood organization, such as Head Start, or apply for teacher certification to teach preschool through third grade in public schools.

  • Length: Four terms (with already completed Associate of Applied Science in child development/early childhood studies)
  • Location: Central Campus
  • Salary Potential: $62,424 (median wages for elementary school teachers,, 2021)

Biomanufacturing (certificate and A.A.S. degree)

Biomanufacturing program
In spring 2024, the Generation Park Campus offers you the chance to start the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training’s biomanufacturing training program. You’ll get hands-on, real-world experience in a pilot-scale bioprocessing center that includes upstream, downstream, and fill-finish training and cutting-edge equipment.

The curriculum includes cell and gene therapy and other innovative, developing industry sectors. Afterward, you can transfer the skills you learn to most advanced biomanufacturing operations today.

This new hands-on facility comes thanks to a partnership between San Jac and McCord Development.

  • Length: Two years
  • Location: Generation Park Campus
  • Salary Potential: $39,384 (median wages for biological technicians,, 2021)

Learn more

At San Jac, you can gain the skills to enter the evolving job market with confidence. For more information about these new programs, visit

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