(SWEETWATER, Texas) – When Chris Llanas began the Diesel Equipment Technology program at Texas State Technical College, he did not know what to expect.
What he quickly found out is that each of his instructors wants him to be successful. Their encouragement motivates him to work hard to complete his certificate of completion in order to begin his career.
“It’s a family environment at TSTC,” he said. “The instructors are going to take care of you because, even if you do not ask for help, they are going to be by your side making sure you succeed. That has made learning what we need to know even better.”
Instructor Lane White has seen Llanas grow in the program.
“He has matured a lot with us,” White said. “He works hard to make sure he knows what to do, and he is always busy in the shop.”
Llanas, of Miles, has always been interested in diesel trucks.
“The first vehicle I learned to drive was a diesel truck. If I could have reached the pedals, it would have moved,” he said.
Llanas’ interest in working on diesel engines came naturally.
“My uncle would always fix trucks and made them loud and fast,” he said. “He raised me in his trucking company, and I was working right alongside him.”
One area that Llanas is anxious to learn more about is something that he did not realize would be part of his degree program.
“I am looking forward to when we start working on the computers. I did not realize how much diagnostics are involved,” he said. “I know the instructors are going to be helping us with each step.”
After he completes the program, Llanas hopes to work in a shop to continue to learn. He also hopes to have his own shop one day. He knows that the TSTC Career Services department is available to help him in his job search.
“TSTC has so many people willing to help you be successful,” he said. “That is going to take a lot of the stress off looking for that first job. It is already stressful enough looking for a job, so having people supporting you in that effort will make it easier.”
According to onetonline.org, jobs for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists are expected to increase 14% in Texas by 2028. Diesel technicians employed in Texas can earn an annual average salary of $49,810, the website stated.
Diesel Equipment Technology is offered at the Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. It 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.
TSTC offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with different specializations, as well as several certificates of completion, in Diesel Equipment Technology.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.