(SWEETWATER, Texas) – The thought of working as a wind turbine service technician is intriguing for Ezekiel Loe.
The Austin native said he altered his career path in order to achieve that goal. Loe said Texas State Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology program will provide him with the unique opportunity of having a career that can enable him to travel.
“I decided to begin this program because I liked the ability to travel and work at the same time,” he said. “I also wanted to achieve certain heights and work under pressure. I will be able to do both inside a wind turbine.”
Loe meant “heights” figuratively.
“I like the fact that I will be working at the highest of heights,” he said. “I know my adrenaline will be at an all-time high when I am working.”
Prior to beginning his Associate of Applied Science degree studies in Wind Energy Technology, Loe was studying criminal law. He learned, however, that law was not the best career path for him.
“I wanted to get to work quickly. Being ADD (having attention deficit disorder), sitting in the classroom was not something I wanted to do for several more years,” he said. “I also did not like the class size of my previous school.”
When Loe learned that TSTC has a hands-on program with specialized instruction, he knew a change was needed.
“There was not much hands-on work in criminal law, and I like to work with my hands,” he said. “I cannot sit still for very long. When I began at TSTC, I found it very intriguing. The class size is perfect, and we (students) are supporting each other.”
Russell Benson, a TSTC Wind Energy Technology instructor, said Loe and his classmates are among the best he has seen at this point in their studies.
“Ekekiel and his classmates are very attentive in class,” he said. “This group of students will do well as they progress through the program and when they begin their careers.”
Loe said having instructors with experience in the field makes it easier for him to master the course material.
“Especially Russell, because he was working in the industry just three years ago,” he said. “He knows the experiences we will face and can relate that to us as students. I know he will tell us what to expect because he has lived it.”
Loe said his future plans are simple: He wants to travel and work on wind turbines. His participation in class each day is teaching him the importance of a good work ethic.
“This is just like a job. We are expected to be in class every day,” he said. “If we do not show up, we do not get rewarded. Like in the workforce, if you do not show up, you can expect not to have a job.”
Loe also set another goal for himself.
“I know it takes hard work to be a wind technician,” he said. “It will be rewarding only if you respect what you are doing. I want to do that in class and when I have a job.”
The job outlook for the wind energy industry is bright. According to onetonline.org, the need for wind turbine service technicians in Texas was forecast to increase 102% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary for a technician in Texas is $51,560, according to the website.
TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.