Waco HVAC Technology Zachary Womack

(WACO, Texas) – Zachary Womack balances working as an emergency medical technician in Gatesville with taking HVAC Technology classes at Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus.

“I was just talking to my wife about my schedule,” the Harker Heights resident said. “With emergency medical services, I work 24 hours on and I am off for 48 hours. I was talking to her about getting a better schedule and getting a calmer job, something not as high-strung.”

Womack is a candidate for graduation at TSTC’s Spring 2024 Commencement scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, at the BASE at Extraco Events Center in Waco. He is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in HVAC Technology.

Womack has commuted up to three days a week to Waco for classes. He is using the GI Bill to fund his education.

“I kind of wanted something to teach me a little of everything,” he said. “HVAC teaches electrical, plumbing, and it teaches you more than one trade. You can go anywhere with HVAC.”

Womack said learning the program’s material using the college’s performance-based education (PBE) model fit well into his work schedule. In PBE, students work with program staff to develop a schedule in two-hour time blocks. Lectures, videos and other learning content is online, and hands-on work is done in labs.

“He has been a determined student from day one,” said Jordan Campbell, a TSTC senior enrollment coach in the HVAC Technology program. “He has worked diligently to complete his degree. I am blessed to know him and see where he goes from here.”

Womack said some of his favorite classes dealt with electrical work.

“Zachary is a punctual and diligent student,” said Jacob Wimer, an HVAC Technology instructor at TSTC’s Waco campus. “He is very personable and easygoing. I would expect him to do very well in our industry.”

Womack grew up in North Carolina and joined the U.S. Army two months after graduating from high school. He did basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and was stationed in Germany, Poland, and Fort Cavazos in Killeen. He was a combat medic specialist during his three-year stint in the military.

“I wanted my whole childhood to be in the military,” Womack said. “My dad kept pushing me to do something I could get out and get a job with.”

Womack said his advice for people leaving the military is to have a plan, apply for jobs early, and take advantage of the Army’s career education classes. He said attending TSTC has proved to be an easier adjustment than he would have had attending a four-year university.

“It was different coming in and being in school again,” Womack said. “The coursework was not hard. You just had to come in and do it. You just had to be disciplined enough to do your work.”

After graduation, Womack said he will seek commercial HVAC work in the Harker Heights area.

Registration continues for the summer and fall semesters at TSTC.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu

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