(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Heights are not a problem for Christian Perez.
The Fresno, Texas, resident works for a landscaping company and often climbs to trim tall trees and plants, like palms.
The skill translates nicely to Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program.
“For me it’s almost the same thing,” Perez said. “I have a little bit of experience climbing — and not getting scared.”
Perez first heard about TSTC from a friend who graduated from the college’s campus in Fort Bend County.
“He told me it was pretty nice,” Perez said. “I got interested in it, and it’s been good so far. I like working outside, doing the hands-on stuff.”
Some of his favorite moments from his training in TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program include pole-top rescues, putting up crossarms, installing wire and learning about transformers.
Training may be hard work, but the camaraderie among his peers — and the expertise of TSTC’s instructors — keep Perez motivated.
“The teachers teach well, and the students are like a family working outside,” he said. “We’re a crew.”
Perez anticipates earning his certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology this summer. His goal after graduation is to get his foot in the door at a utility company and go from there.
As for advice for prospective Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology students, Perez recommends that they not be daunted by the program.
“It’s just knowledge,” he said. “You have to focus and just practice and practice.”
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at its Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses. The program is also part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee. If participating graduates are not hired in their field within six months of earning their degrees, TSTC will refund their tuition.
In the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area, lineworkers can earn an annual median salary of $76,330, according to onetonline.org. The website forecasts that the number of lineworker positions across the state will grow by 16% through 2028.
At 14,090, Texas employs the highest number of lineworkers in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area has the highest employment level of lineworkers out of all other metropolitan areas in the nation.
Fall enrollment for TSTC is underway. Learn more at tstc.edu.