TSTC Welding Technology instructor Salvador Marquez judges one of the projects during the high school welding competition in Breckenridge earlier this month. Marquez, a graduate of TSTC, is an instructor at the Breckenridge and Brownwood campuses.

(BRECKENRIDGE, Texas) – Salvador Marquez has great memories of studying Welding Technology at Texas State Technical College in Waco.

He wants future welders to have those same memories at the Breckenridge and Brownwood campuses. Since November, the 2016 TSTC graduate has been a Welding Technology instructor, splitting his time between teaching students at both campuses.

“There are a lot of benefits to teaching after coming out of the welding industry,” he said. “The industry can be very demanding on you because you are away from your family. That is one reason why I looked into teaching.”

Marquez worked in the oil and gas industry after earning his Associate of Applied Science degree. Since he began teaching, Marquez has noticed one difference in his work schedule.

“You usually work all-day shifts (in the oil and gas industry), including weekends,” he said. “Now I get to spend more time with my family while doing something I enjoy.”

Another reason that Marquez chose to return to TSTC was his experiences in Waco.

“I have kept in touch with many of my instructors over the years,” he said. “Some of the students I went to school with are now instructors at TSTC campuses around the state.”

Raquel Mata, the associate provost at the Breckenridge and Brownwood campuses, said Marquez brings something special to TSTC.

“Salvador is bringing support we did not have to these campuses. These have traditionally been one-instructor campuses,” she said. “Now we have someone with different knowledge and skills about the industry. He is also able to tell students about the different experiences he had at our Waco campus.”

Stephen Hope, the Welding Technology instructor at the Breckenridge campus, has seen Marquez’s experience pay off in the lab.

“He has stepped up to be a tremendous asset for our program,” Hope said. “(His ability) to split his time between Breckenridge and Brownwood has been a tremendous help to us. He has had a critical hand in helping educate our students.”

Marquez said he has one major goal for each student when they complete their time at TSTC.

“I want them to be fully equipped skillwise, with everything they need to be successful in the welding industry,” he said.

Mata said there is another aspect that Marquez is helping with while being at the two campuses.

“Having him working at both campuses will allow our instructors more time to go out for recruitment visits to local schools,” she said. “That will be a big benefit for our welding program.”

According to onetonline.org, welders can earn a yearly median salary of more than $47,000 in Texas. Welding jobs were expected to increase 23% between 2020 and 2030 in the state, according to the website.

TSTC offers Welding Technology at each of its 10 campuses located throughout Texas. Welding Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. The college’s commitment to participating students is simple: If they do not have a job in their field within six months after graduation, they will receive a full refund of their tuition. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/admissions/tuition/.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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