Press Release
Posted August 17, 2021

Michael Atkinson is building a lucrative career in automation through hard work and degrees from Lorain County Community College (LCCC).

Atkinson is currently an engineering process technician at Johns Manville, a roofing materials manufacturer in Milan. The 36-year-old automation engineering technology student expects to graduate with a degree specializing as a system specialist in December of 2022.

Michael Atkinson posed in the automation lab with yellow machines
Michael Atkinson

“The mechanical and hands on approach of this program is already helping me in my career and I love it.” The Lorain resident said.

After previously working in retail and other manufacturing positions, and in other roles at the plant where he works, Atkinson is thrilled to have a lucrative, exciting career with local career opportunities. The average salary of an automation engineer is $77,746 in the U.S., according to

“At LCCC, students will be well prepared for the fast-growing field of Industry 4.0 and automation and robotics as they train on the latest industrial automation equipment in the classrooms and Computer Integrated Manufacturing Lab,” said Engineering, Business and Information Technologies division Dean Kelly Zelesnik.

“They are learning the applied skills, knowledge and competencies that the industry is looking for.”

Most automation students complete a paid internship through the TRAIN OH – Earn and Learn program where they attend school full-time two days a week and work at a sponsoring company three days a week while honing their skills through work experience that prepares them to enter the workforce, said automation engineering technology instructor Johnathan Alexander.

The industrial automation field has numerous local career opportunities. Students become automation and robotics engineering technologists and work with industrial robots, computer numerical control equipment, programmable logic controllers, sensors, RFID, vision and other technology, Alexander said. LCCC graduates and students are working at companies like Lincoln Electric, Agrinomix, NASA, MTD and others, he added.

Working in automation engineering long term is Atkinson’s plan. He hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in automation and “perfect my skills the rest of my life,” he said. “I worked hard, continued to learn to get into this position, and will continue to expand my knowledge in my career path.”

Automation engineering program options at LCCC include a short-term certificate (maintenance technician) and associate degrees in automation engineering technology (systems specialist or maintenance/repair).

Learn more about engineering paths at LCCC.

Michael Atkinson posed in the automation lab with yellow machines
Michael Atkinson

Fall semester at LCCC starts Aug. 23. Same-day advising appointments are available through Aug. 25. Schedule an appointment by calling (440) 366-4775 beginning at 8:30 a.m. daily, or schedule online with an adviser. Advisors will also be available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21.