(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Gabby Moya is no stranger to a diesel engine.
The Knox City native was a heavy-equipment mechanic for four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, which included a deployment to Oman. Moya decided that being a diesel mechanic would be a good career when she left the Corps, which led her to begin work on an Associate of Applied Science degree in Diesel Equipment Technology at Texas State Technical College.
“My best friend and I started looking into different schools and saw that TSTC had the diesel program,” she said. “I knew it was for me.”
While her best friend did not follow her to TSTC, Moya said her decision has paid off.
“I have learned more in class than I ever did in the Marine Corps,” she said. “What I have learned here is so much more in-depth and advanced.”
Moya said that many times while serving in the Corps her physical size was an advantage.
“The guys in the Corps with me liked working with women because we could get into those tighter spaces to make repairs,” she said. “We were a big family in the Corps, and that is how it is becoming in our class at TSTC.”
Chris Pittman, a Diesel Equipment Technology instructor at TSTC’s Sweetwater campus, said Moya is showing her strengths in class.
“Gabby is becoming a leader in our class,” he said. “She works well with everyone in the class and is going to be successful in the industry.”
Moya said learning from instructors like Pittman and Lane White has proven to be a positive way of learning more, and in different styles.
“Chris will tell you what something is and give you the confidence to make sure you know what needs to be done,” she said. “Lane is going to be there to help you, but he is not going to do any of the work for you.”
Moya, who hopes to open her own diesel equipment repair shop in the future, recommends that veterans look at TSTC to get training that can help them transition into the workforce.
“TSTC has been so good to me and helped me each step of the way,” she said. “I hope more veterans look to begin their second career by studying at TSTC.”
According to onetonline.org, jobs for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists were expected to increase 19% in Texas from 2020 to 2030. Such technicians employed in the state can earn an annual average salary of $50,970, the website stated.
Diesel Equipment Technology is available at TSTC’s Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. Depending on campus location, the program offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with different specializations, as well as several certificates of completion.
The program 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 refund their tuition in full.
Registration for the spring semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.