(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Isaiah Dunn said taking classes in a shop environment is helping him prepare for a career.
Dunn, a first-semester Diesel Equipment Technology student at Texas State Technical College, has always been around big vehicles, so working on engines has come naturally. The Childress native is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree with the hope of returning home to work.
“Having classes in this type of environment is helping me. I like the hands-on aspect of the program,” he said. “Being here for a short time, I am impressed with the amount of knowledge I had before coming to school.”
Having that prior knowledge will only help Dunn over the next few months.
“I can’t wait to get into the upper-level courses and learn even more,” he said. “I know it is not going to be easy, but I am up for the challenge.”
Dunn said he chose a diesel career because of his work on the family farm.
“This is something I already had some knowledge in by working on the farm,” he said. “I wanted to do something that I knew I would be able to be good at, and working on diesel engines was natural.”
Dunn said attending TSTC was also a natural choice.
“I knew TSTC would be a good place to earn a degree and get right to work,” he said. “I plan to apply for jobs back home because I know they will always have job openings.”
According to onetonline.org, jobs for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists are expected to increase 14% in Texas by 2028. Diesel technicians employed in Texas can earn an annual average salary of $49,810, the website stated.
Until Dunn graduates, he plans to learn as much as he can from the instructors.
“The instructors are really knowledgeable about the program and want us to succeed,” he said.
Instructor Lane White said Dunn and his classmates are one of the best groups he has seen in the program.
“This is a really good group of students. This is also one of the youngest groups I have had,” he said. “Isaiah and many of the students actually came to us to enroll, and that shows people are eager to learn.”
Dunn said he learned about TSTC’s program at Childress High School.
“Recruiters would come to our school and talk about what TSTC has to offer,” he said. “I knew going to a smaller school would be a better fit for me, and I have not been disappointed by what I have learned so far.”
Diesel Equipment Technology is offered in Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco. It is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. If a participating graduate does not find a job in their field within six months of graduating, TSTC will return their tuition in full.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and several certificates of completion in Diesel Equipment Technology.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.