(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Chris Pittman, Texas State Technical College’s newest Diesel Equipment Technology instructor at the Sweetwater campus, noticed that what he was doing while working in the oil field could apply to the field of education.
“I worked mainly as a supervisor teaching new mechanics. I decided I should do it full time and make a career of it,” he said.
After a career in the oil fields of West Texas and maintaining a fleet of diesel trucks, Pittman began his education career as the automotive instructor at Monahans High School.
“When I began teaching at Monahans, I knew I found my calling,” he said. “Teaching students the correct way to maintain a vehicle is what I need to be doing.”
However, his passion for diesel engines led him to apply for a TSTC instructor position. Since he started in the summer, Pittman has noticed the passion of the college’s students.
“The students are willing to learn and want a career,” he said. “They are serious about their education.”
Pittman said TSTC has the best style of learning for students.
“I like that we are mainly teaching in the labs,” he said. “Teaching theory is important, but the time in the lab makes it stick with a student.”
Pittman said his goal as an educator is to emphasize two points.
“I want each student to know that there is a safe way to do every job,” he said. “I also want them to know that it is OK not to know the answer, but they need to know where the answer is.”
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.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.