A business that relies on continual operation is defined as mission critical. Mission critical operators are individuals whose job is to keep those facilities running and protected. The need for mission critical operators is on the rise.

That’s why Cleveland Community College, with the help of a United States Department of Labor Employment Training Administration grant, created degree and certificate programs in mission critical operations.

The program curriculum was developed through real-world job analysis done by working, mission critical professionals. Topics include:

  • Electrical, HVAC, and Infrastructure Communication Systems
  • Critical Site Operations and Facility Management
  • SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Systems
  • Industrial Cybersecurity
  • Emergency communications and operations

And more!

Mission Critical

Mission Critical

While mission critical jobs require skills in both operations technology and information technology, job roles can potentially focus more in one area or another. To accommodate this, the program is divided in two tracks. If you are more interested in computers, networking, and cybersecurity, you might be interested in our information technology track. However, if industrial automation, facilities maintenance, and HVAC are more your thing, then the operations technology track may be for you.

The Mission Critical Operations programs are ideal for high school graduates, veterans, and unemployed or underemployed workers seeking opportunities in a growing field – and for industry employers who need workers with these specialized skills. Industries like:

  • Banks
  • Communications
  • Critical Laboratories
  • Data Centers
  • Emergency Services
  • Hospitals
  • Power Plants
  • Water Treatment Facilities

And many more!

Or, you could choose to transfer your credit toward a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university like UNC-Charlotte or East Carolina University.

Starting salaries for mission critical operators average around $60,000 a year. Do you have what it takes?

The NCMCO also offers professional development courses for individuals and industries already in the mission critical field.

For more information about mission critical or the mission critical operations program at Cleveland Community College, visit www.ncmco.us.


“I was able to break into the MCO field and it was a life changing event. It really is a dream career path. I would implore any student that is thinking about MCO to take full advantage of what CCC has to offer. Get the credentials, get the knowledge base, and then get into a career path with unlimited opportunity and potential.”

– Jason Sizemore, Student, Mission Critical Operations


“The NCMCO has committed to addressing a severe talent shortage across the collective Mission Critical Industry. This first-of-its-kind program will create valuable technical careers for a new generation and ensure the success of the mission critical organizational functions we deliver.”

– Tony Rossi, Mission Critical Operations Director working with Fortune 50 Companies


“Whether students focus on information technology or operations technology, jobs in this industry require people who are able to think independently, solve problems logically and stay focused in situations where continuous operation is jeopardized.”

– Sheila Molino, Executive VP 7×24 Exchange Carolinas Chapter