(ROSENBERG, Texas) – When he earned his degree in December 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic nearly derailed Texas State Technical College Precision Machining Technology graduate Andrew Butschek’s plans for his career. But a few months — and a quick refresher course from a TSTC machining instructor — later, the Katy resident got hired and started succeeding in his chosen industry.
Why did you choose the Precision Machining Technology program at TSTC?
I chose machining because it’s easier on your body versus other careers. A machine running automated, by itself, was definitely the career choice for me because I didn’t want to have bad eyes or a bad back.
What are some of your favorite memories from your training at TSTC?
Learning all the CNC (computer numerical control) machines — that was the first I ever learned about them. It really set myself up for success for where I work now. (TSTC Precision Machining instructor Deogratias Nizigiyimana) was a great instructor. He really taught me well.
Do you feel that TSTC prepared you for your current position?
I do think it did. COVID-19 was definitely a big toll on my graduating class, but it did prepare me very well.
I reach out to (Nizigiyimana) every now and then. I talk to him about where I’m working now. Before I started the job that I have now, I came in and got a little refresher course on machining because it was a few months before I found a job. It set me up for success for the job I have now.
What kind of feedback do you get from your family and friends on your career?
They’re very happy about what I’ve chosen. I’ve been at this machine shop, Star Precision, for about nine months. I’ve enjoyed it. I actually have a really big job out of Orange, Texas, and that pays about double of what I’m making now. You can definitely move up once you get the experience.
What advice would you have for current or prospective students interested in machining?
I would just say, show up to work every day eager to learn. Just showing up is a huge part. You might struggle a little bit at first, but by showing up every day and putting in effort every single day, you’ll definitely learn.
What keeps me motivated is the money. With all the overtime I get working at the job I have now, that definitely motivates me to get out of bed every day and go to work.
TSTC offers training in precision machining at its campuses in East Williamson County, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas and Waco. At its Fort Bend County campus, students can choose to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology, a certificate of completion in Machining and an occupational skills award in Basic Machining.
The Precision Machining Technology program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee. If participating graduates do not find a career in their field within six months of earning a degree, the college will refund their tuition.
Demand for CNC tool programmers is high in Texas, with onetonline.org projecting the positions to grow by 29% through 2028. CNC tool programmers can earn an average annual salary of $57,670.
Learn more about TSTC at tstc.edu.