What is mission critical?

Have you ever heard the term “mission critical operations”? When I started working at CCC it was a new term to me. I had no idea what it meant.

When you take a moment to think about it, figuring out the general meaning isn’t hard. Mission critical operations are those functions a business needs to keep running in order to fulfill its mission — building operations, computers, machinery and more. And, it needs to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In reality, these jobs have existed for as long as there have been manufacturing facilities, hospitals, airports, and other organizations that need to stay up and running all the time. The challenge with keeping these companies running today, is knowing and understanding new technology.

Today, many building systems, such as heating and cooling systems and air handling systems, are controlled by technology. What happens when these systems break down? That’s where mission critical operators become very important to the success of a business. They are the people with the skills to fix mechanical and technical issues, and more importantly they have the training and skills to prevent many issues from ever happening.

Building operations is one side of mission critical operations. Another side deals more with information systems technology. Think about all the tasks we do every day that involve a computer or cell phone — sending emails, sending and receiving phone calls, storing information, and so much more. Even a building’s doors can be set to lock and unlock automatically. A mission critical operator understands the equipment and software involved in making these activities happen, and how to keep it functioning properly.

Mission critical operations is a growing field with many opportunities for those who want the challenge. Starting salaries for mission critical operators average around $60,000 per year. Jobs are available in a variety of industries including business, banking, data centers, health care, manufacturing, security, and more.

If you would like more information about this field, check out the National Consortium for Mission Critical Operations’ (NCMCO) website http://ncmco.us/.

For more information on available associate degrees, diplomas and certificates within the field of mission critical operations visit clevelandcc.edu and go to Programs of Study.