a COT student working in the process plant labAssociate of Applied Science (AAS)

If you have an interest in science and want to apply it to a high-paying career, you may want to consider our Process Plant Technology degree. This degree uses various scientific disciplines to teach students how to take raw materials and turn them into something usable and productive. The Associate of Applied Science degree in Process Plant Technology focuses on the technical, mechanical and safety systems utilized in oil, chemical, water, and power processing plants. This prepares students for challenging and rewarding careers in a variety of petroleum, petrochemical, and inorganic chemical processing industries. Some of the largest employers in Billings and the region utilize process plant operators, making City College the ideal location to earn your degree. The Process Plant Technology degree includes foundational scientific course work, along with hands-on application in the lab and internship opportunities with many of the local and regional employers. With these internship opportunities, our students gain field experience, which helps build their resume and professional network to get their foot in the door in this highly competitive field.

Refinery Operators, Petroleum Pump System Operators, Gaugers

 Median Wage (MT)  $62,890 yearly
$30.24 per hour
 Median Wage (US) $67,400 yearly
$32.40 per hour
Expected growth (MT)** 19%
Median Wage (US)** 3%
City College entry-level wages of graduates
$74,828 (2014-2017)

**Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Employment Projections; MT Dept. of Labor and Industry, Research and Analysis Bureau; (projections through 2026)

  Graduate Placement Data

As a graduate of our Process Plant program, you will find employment in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Oil Refineries
  • Ethanol Refineries
  • Power Plants
  • Chemical Plants
  • Many other processing plants

Examples of where recent City College graduates are working:

  • Exxon Mobile Refinery, Billings, MT
  • Phillips 66 Refinery, Billings, MT
  • CHS Refinery, Laurel, MT
  • Sinclair Refinery, Casper, WY
  • Billings Water Treatment Facility Billings, MT
  • Conoco Phillips, Watford City, ND
  • Dakota Gasification Company, Beulah, ND
  • Koch Industries, Wolsey, SD
  • Flat Iron Field Service, Williston, ND


  • First-time college students must have high school diplomas from an accredited high school, a GED/HiSET, or passed the MSUB Readiness Exam offered through our university.
  • Transfer students will need to submit records from all regionally accredited institutions.

Montana State University Billings is accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). 

ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE (AAS) Process Plant Technology » »


Students who earn an AAS degree and want to further their education and thus, career, are able to go on for a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degree through MSU Billings. Students can focus on various thematic concentrations to earn the BAS degree.  Contact the MSU Billings Advising Center at 406-657-2240 for further details.

Q: Is this program hands-on?
A: Yes! The majority of your time in the program is spent working hands-on in our high-tech lab. In addition, our program contains core process plant classroom work to help build a strong foundation for how the industry works and some general education courses to help not only land your dream job but to continue growing within your field.

Q: Is this the same thing as a power plant degree?
A: Although different, the City College Process Plant Technology program also prepares graduates for work in power plants.

Q: When can I start the program?
A:  Process Plant is a fall start program, which means the core PPT courses begin in September of each year.  For a student who is looking to begin in the spring, there are a select number of general education courses that can be taken early, and provide a great foundation for success in the program. 

Print Program Overview

Print Program Overview