Diana McGinty
Workforce Development

BioWork is a 128-hour introductory course that trains technicians for careers in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and chemical manufacturing. This course bringing together the basics of manufacturing technology and the fundamentals of science.

North Carolina ranks number three in the nation in the number of biotechnology companies. The starting salary for a BioWork Technician may range from $42,000 to $46,000 per year. Train now for a future in the Biotechnology industry.

The BioWork Hybrid course is designed for task-oriented, self-motivated, organized students with excellent reading skills. Students enrolled in this hybrid course complete fifty percent of the class online and the other fifty percent in the classroom/lab. To be successful with an online hybrid course, students must have access to a computer with the Internet and stay on target with assignments and submit them by the deadlines. It is recommended that all BioWork students take an Orientation to Online Learning or similar course to ensure that they have the basic computer skills required to be successful using BlackBoard for online learning.


BioWork is a rigorous 16-week, 128-hour training course consisting of the following topics:

Unit 1: Your New Job (12 hours)
This unit exposes students to the rewards and realities of working as a process technician and includes two visits to process manufacturing facilities, where students can observe process technicians in an actual working environment. Students will also discuss typical job duties, salary potential, and employer expectations for process technicians.

Unit 2: Working Safely (4 hours)
This unit teaches the importance of safety and safety awareness. The unit is not intended as a comprehensive treatment of safety but provides a helpful foundation for the more specific safety training that is provided by employers.

Unit 3: Building Quality into the Product (12 hours)
This unit looks at the foundations of various quality systems common in process manufacturing such as ISO and GMP. Unit activities help students understand how conscientious employees achieve quality goals during every phase of production. The emphasis is on GMP as an example of a comprehensive quality system.

Unit 4: Measuring Process Variables (16 hours)
This unit teaches students how to make measurements using the metric system and how to convert between the English and metric systems. Students also learn about basic types of measurement including linear, volumetric, mass, temperature, pressure, flow, and level. During the unit, students practice selecting and using appropriate measurement instruments, applying basic measurement skills, and properly recording measurement data. Basic physics concepts related to pressure are included.

Unit 5: Transforming Matter (20 hours)
This unit introduces students to the chemistry that is the foundation for much of process manufacturing. Students learn the basics of elements, chemical compounds, and chemical reactions. Working in a laboratory, they learn to use a pH meter, make solutions, follow chemical safety guidelines, and practice reading and using MSDSs.

Unit 6: Learning the Nuts and Bolts (20 hours)
This unit describes process technology, process equipment, and plant utilities. Students learn how to read simple process flow diagrams and P&IDs and how to view manufacturing processes as integrated systems.

Unit 7: Controlling the Process (8 hours)
This unit describes how processes are controlled to achieve consistent product results. Principles of basic feedback control are described, together with the equipment elements involved.

Unit 8: Maintaining Sterile Processes (16 hours)
This unit introduces bacteria, fungi, and viruses and explains why and how they are controlled during industrial processes. Students practice procedures for sterilizing liquids, using disinfectants, completing sterile transfers, and gowning. Students learn about their responsibilities in preventing contamination on the job.

Unit 9: Growing Living Cells (16 hours)
This unit is specific to bioprocessing and introduces students to fermentation and downstream processing. Students learn to make media and grow cells. The unit includes basic elements of bioreactor structure and process variables monitored during growth.


What are the costs for the BioWork course? $180 registration fee, $1.25 insurance fee and estimated books fee of $140.

When are registration fees due?
It is recommended that registration fees are paid on the day of registration and required no later than the first day of class.

Where is the program offered?
Classes are held on the Person County Campus and via Internet for this Hybrid program.

Is financial aid available for students?
This program is not eligible for financial aid, but some students who are unemployed or under-employed have qualified for Workforce Investment Act funds through the College’s Human Resources Development area.

Diana McGinty
Workforce Development
(336) 599-0032