(WACO, Texas) – Dominic Abeyta, of Hewitt, is working toward a Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology certificate at Texas State Technical College. He is scheduled to graduate in December.
What inspired you to study Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology at TSTC?
I was working as an armed security guard, but I was looking for a new challenge and something better financially. I was noticing how the economy was and what different trades are needed more than others. I wanted to find a career that has more of a future, is more stable and more reliable. I don’t have to worry about being laid off because, honestly, everyone needs a plumber.
I knew Jimmy Bibb (a TSTC Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology instructor), and he got me interested and started talking to me about the program and told me about the benefits of plumbing. He also told me the negatives and positives and let me weigh my options. I was a little skeptical at first, but once I started the application process and started the program, I fell in love with it.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up, and I usually make myself a cup of coffee and jump in the shower. I try to make sure to read TSTC emails before I go to school. I make sure that I have my backpack ready, my books and laptop, and everything ready to go. I have to make sure I am dressed in my TSTC plumbing shirt. I have a little bit of breakfast and drink a protein shake on the way to TSTC.
When I get to TSTC, I start doing whatever I am told, whether it is to study, clean up in the shop, or set up projects for future use. Staying on top of my grades is a big thing. I really want to succeed.
What have you enjoyed learning so far in the Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology program?
When I started soldering, I was really bad at it. But the more I did it, the better I got. It is basically taking two pieces of pipe that really have no purpose, fusing them together and forming a route of how the water is going to be flowing.
What are your plans after graduation, and are you optimistic about the job market?
I want the hours I work to be able to go toward my plumbing license. I recently started work at Capstone Mechanical in Waco. I like the benefits and experience they offer and the learning atmosphere they provide. I like the way people learn from each other, teach each other and are there for each other.
Why should more people consider pursuing the plumbing and pipefitting industry?
As long as we continue to have wastewater, drinking water, and systems where water is distributed among people all over the world, you are always going to need a plumber. You are basically guaranteed a job.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that there will be a need for more than 511,000 plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters by 2029 due to the maintenance of existing plumbing systems and new construction. In Texas, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters made an annual mean wage of $50,840 as of May 2020, according to the agency.
TSTC offers a Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology certificate of completion and a Basic Plumbing occupational skills award.
Registration continues for the summer and fall semesters at TSTC. Scholarships are available. For more information, go to tstc.edu.