Christopher Biello gained relevant training through TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program
(ROSENBERG, Texas) – An automated machine shop in a U.S. Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan, gave Christopher Biello an idea of what he would do after his military career.
“I was thoroughly impressed with what they were doing in there,” he recalled.
Once Biello’s 17-year service ended, it took a couple of years for him to move on to the next stage of life. But Texas State Technical College — and its Precision Machining Technology program — were ready for him. He toured the lab on the Fort Bend County campus, met instructor Deogratias Nizigiyimana and decided to enroll.
“I bought it hook, line and sinker and ran with it,” Biello said.
After earning his Associate of Applied Science degree at TSTC in 2019, Biello started work at Schlumberger in Houston. Two years later he received a promotion, and he currently works as a manufacturing specialist.
Biello stays in contact with Nizigiyimana, keeping him updated about industry trends.
Biello credits his education with helping his success at Schlumberger, including the opportunity to familiarize himself with processes at TSTC before using them on the job.
“The flow was good — how it started you off on manual machines, machining practices before it bumps you up to CNC (computer numerical controlled machines),” he said. “What I liked about it was Deo’s (Nizigiyimana’s) work experience. He’s very knowledgeable when it comes to machining. He made it easy to understand complex stuff like programming.”
Biello’s training at TSTC culminated in a final semester project that tasked students with making a small engine from scratch. It combined work on manual machines with CNC machining, challenging Biello and his classmates to use their cumulative experience to complete their work.
“I enjoyed every minute of it,” he said. “It was a really cool experience.”
Biello recommends the Precision Machining Technology program at TSTC to prospective students — and has some advice for them as they start their hands-on training.
“When you get there, you see these big machines, you start talking about the software and applications,” he said. “Don’t get intimidated. Just like anything, once you wrap your mind around the basics and you get the foundation, you can branch out from there. Once you understand it, you can really do some cool things.”
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology, a Machining certificate of completion and a Basic Machining occupational skills award.
In Texas, CNC tool programmers can earn an average annual salary of $57,670, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Onetonline.org forecasts a 29% growth for this job in the state through 2028.
The Precision Machining Technology program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which promises to refund graduates’ tuition if they do not find a job in their field within six months after earning their degree. The college is confident machining graduates will get hired — especially since Texas employs the most CNC tool programmers in the nation.
Learn more about TSTC at tstc.edu.