(ABILENE, Texas) – With the volatility of jobs in the oil field, Sean Spear was looking to make a career change.
Some fellow employees at the company where Spear worked told him about Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Power and Controls program. He began researching the program and is now studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree.
“I worked on the pipelines before and have done other jobs,” he said. “I was just looking for a career change and thought this would be a good field to study.”
Spear, who is originally from Houston and now lives in Abilene, said he is always excited when he completes an assignment on the equipment that students are able to use in the lab.
“It is so exciting to wire something up and watch it work,” he said after completing one assignment.
Spear said having an associate degree will help him find a career with stability.
“This is such a great program, and I know that I will be able to find a good job and make good money,” he said.
During his first two semesters at TSTC, Spear has learned different techniques.
“I did not have a lot of electrical experience when I started,” he said. “I would never have been able to wire up a wall outlet before starting this program. Now I can go out and confidently wire an electrical box.”
Instructor Kevin Staton has seen Spear’s drive grow during lab sessions.
“He works extra hard to help improve himself,” Staton said.
Spear comes to the lab even if he is not scheduled to attend school that day.
“I want to go that extra mile and learn all I can,” he said. “I like to come in here and do the extra lab work to make sure I am prepared.”
Staton said that shows Spear’s commitment to completing the program.
“He has the drive to do what it takes to learn everything he can,” Staton said.
Spear said his commitment was recently tested.
“My former employer called me to offer me a job,” he said. “I turned them down to continue my education. I know that by holding a degree, the potential will be almost limitless. I want to be able to get the highest-paying job possible, and the degree is the first step toward that achievement.”
Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians can make an average salary of $69,310 in Texas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The projected growth for such positions in the state is 8%, according to onetonline.org.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Power and Controls in a hybrid format, combining virtual learning with in-person, hands-on lab work. In addition to the Abilene campus, TSTC’s campuses in Fort Bend County, North Texas and Waco offer the program.
Electrical Power and Controls is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee. Through this program, TSTC students who do not find a job in their career field within six months of graduation will receive a refund of their tuition. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee, visit https://www.tstc.edu/admissions/tuition/.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.