Program Description

The Automation Systems Technology Associate Degree program prepares learners to work with integrated machine systems that involve industrial automation, robotics, mechanics, computers, industrial communications and/or electronics technology.

Approximate Program Cost

Tuition & Fees: $10,647
Books & Supplies: $1,103

Starting Salary

Average, based on the NTC Graduate Outcomes Report

Financial Aid

Total financial aid offered may not exceed the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA).
An aerial view of NTC's Wausau Campus main entrance on a sunny summer day. Trees and greenery frame the spacious side walks that lead up to the light-brown brick building.

Take a Look Around

Explore the Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence to get an idea of what it’s like to be an Automation Systems Technology student.

Get Started

The application takes just a few minutes to complete.


Courses for this program may be available at a variety of campus locations through multiple modes of delivery if you meet the admission requirements and prerequisites.

at Wausau
at Antigo
at Medford
at Phillips
at Spencer
at Wittenberg
at Online

* Campus and online availability of courses and programs may be subject to change.


Graduates will be able to…

  • Integrate automation and mechanical control systems
  • Perform work safely
  • Communicate technical information
  • Troubleshoot electrical and mechanical systems and devices


Some of the potential careers graduates can pursue are:

  • Automation Technician
  • Controls Technician
  • Engineering Technician
  • Controls Designer


The Automation Systems Technology Associate Degree is a 61-62 Credit program. The following is a typical semester breakdown of the courses within the program.

First Term

College 101 1.00
Fluid Power Systems 1: Fundamentals 1.00
Fluid Power Systems 2: Fundamentals Of Pneumatics 1.00
Machine Control 1: Ladder Logic Fundamentals 1.00
Machine Control 2: Motor And Actuator Control 1.00
Machine Control 3: Sensors And Machine Safety 1.00
Industry Workplace Safety 1.00
Electrical Fabrication 1.00
Industrial Electronics Technology 1 - Direct Current Electrical Characteristics 1.00
Industrial Electronics Technology 2 - Alternating Current Electrical Characteristics 1.00
General Physics 1 4.00
Intermediate Algebra W/Apps 4.00
College Algebra W/Apps 3.00

Second Term

Robotic Applications 1: Fundamentals Of Robotic Control 1.00
Robotic Applications 2: Robotic System Components And Software 1.00
PLC 1: PLC Fundamentals And Bit Based Instructions 1.00
PLC 2: Timers, Counters And Program Control 1.00
PLC 3: Data, Math, Sequencer And Shift Instructions 1.00
Collaborative Robots And Vision 1.00
Intro To Microcontrollers 1.00
Industrial Electronics Technology 3 - Electronic Circuits And Devices 1.00
AutoCAD Electrical 1.00
Written Communication 3.00
English Composition 1 3.00
College Physics 2 3.00

Third Term

Industrial Motors 2: DC/AC Variable Speed Motor Drives 1.00
Servo Systems 1: Fundamentals Of Industrial Control Systems 1.00
Servo Systems 2: Motion Control Systems 1.00
Servo Systems 3: Advanced Position Control And Integration 1.00
PLC 4: Advanced Instructions And Programming 1.00
PLC 5: Industrial Networking 1.00
PLC 6: Plc, Pac And Pc Automation Integration 1.00
Ethernet IP 1.00
Human Machine Interfacing 1.00
Needs Analysis 1.00
Remote Io For PLC Applications 1.00
Oral/interpersonal Communication 3.00

Fourth Term

Industrial Applications 1.00
Scada Systems 1 1.00
Capstone CELL Integration 4.00
Advanced Drive Applications 1.00
Introduction To Safety PLC Programming 1.00
Scada Systems 2 1.00
Introduction To Diversity Studies 3.00
Intro To Sociology 3.00
Psychology Of Human Relations 3.00
Intro To Psychology 3.00

Credit for Prior Learning Available

View All Detailed Course Information


Pathways are a series of connected programs that enable you to advance over time to better jobs and higher levels of education and training. By earning one degree, you could also be completing several courses of a related program in a pathway, bringing you one step closer to an advanced degree.

If you begin with one of the following programs, you will earn significant credit towards this Automation Systems Technology Associate Degree:

Transfer Information

You can continue your education to earn a four-year degree in a variety of ways.

Program Transfer

The following transfer guides, executed in partnership with post-secondary institutions, are based on agreements that allow you to continue your program at another college.

School Name Degree Name
Milwaukee School of Engineering Bachelor of Technical and Business Management
UW Stevens Point Bachelor of Technology Management
UW Stout Bachelor of Automation Leadership

General Transfer

All associate degrees transfer to a variety of programs at other partner colleges to give you the opportunity to continue your education in other areas of study.

View all transfer guides

Cost of Attendance

2023-2024 Estimated Academic Year Budgeted Cost of Attendance

The estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) is a budget that includes categories of expenses that a student can expect to incur while attending college. The COA does not reflect actual charges. It is an average based on the estimated living costs typical of our region. In determining the cost of attendance, Northcentral Technical College uses the budget established by the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Financial Aid Budget Work Group. This budget is used to determine financial need for all students who apply for financial aid. A student's cost of attendance is composed of all educational expenses that can be included for financial aid purposes that a student may accrue while pursuing their education for the year (or semester, if enrolled less than a year). A student's financial aid cannot exceed their cost of attendance. Schools are required to provide a fuller picture of what it may cost students to pursue their degree, not just what they will owe in tuition/fees and books/supplies.

Please Note: this COA budget estimate assumes full-time attendance for two semester Fall 2023 and Spring 2024.
ExpensesStudent Living With Parents (Home)Student Living on Own (Other)
Full-time Tuition (based on a total of 30 credits, 15 credits fall and 15 credits spring)

In-State Tuition & Fees


Out-of-State Tuition & Fees


In-State Tuition & Fees


Out-of-State Tuition & Fees


Living Expenses (Housing & Food)$4,052$9,614
Books / Supplies$2,061$2,061
Personal Expenses$2,245$2,245
Loan Fees$83$83
Total Estimated Cost Of Attendance









* Tuition listed is based on approved rates for the 2023-2024 academic year with a projected base increase of 1.65%. Rates are approved each March by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board and estimated budgets are updated at that time.

Students with dependent care, computer or study abroad expenses should contact the Financial Aid Office to document allowable expenses which may serve to increase their COA.

Students awarded Federal Direct Loan(s) also have an average of the mandatory loan fees automatically added to their COA.

Students with disability-related expenses may contact the Financial Aid Office to have their additional expenses considered. Disability-related expenses include but are not limited to: personal assistance, equipment, and supplies. The Financial Aid Office may potentially include disability expenses in the COA that are not provided by other assisting agencies.

NTC also offers a Net Price Calculator to help estimate costs.

For more information regarding billed tuition and fees visit

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about how the financial aid process works. Please feel free to reach out for more information.

NTC Financial Aid Office


Admissions Process

Our application process takes just a few minutes to complete, but we want to make sure you have the things you’ll need on hand to complete the application. We’re here to help if you have any questions while submitting your application.

Fill out our application

The application can be submitted online and takes just a few minutes to complete. There is no fee to apply.

Apply Now

Then, submit one of the following

Documentation can be sent via email to, via mail, addressed to: Northcentral Technical College, ATTN: Admissions, 1000 W. Campus Drive, Wausau, WI 54401, or delivered in person to any NTC campus.

  • High school transcript indicating a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above. Contact the high school you attended if you do not have a copy of your transcript.
  • ACT composite score of 18 or above. Request an ACT College Report from ACT or contact the high school you graduated from if you do not have a copy on hand.
  • Accuplacer scores. Score requirements vary by program and version of the Accuplacer test that was taken. For more details, please contact Admissions. If you did not take the Accuplacer at NTC, contact the college at which you took it to obtain a copy of your scores.
  • College transcript indicating a cumulative GPA of 2.5 over a minimum of 12 credits, earned at a single college.

If you do not meet any one of the above criteria, don’t worry, complete the application anyway and we will contact you to discuss your options.

What’s Next?

We’ll review your application and let you know if we need anything else. If you’re all set, your acceptance letter will be emailed to you.