(ABILENE, Texas) – Levi Taylor is learning more than he expected to in Texas State Technical College’s Industrial Systems program.
Taylor, who is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree, knew he would learn different systems and how they work. He also found out that it provided him a depth of knowledge to begin a career.
“The program covers everything for us. There is such a wealth of knowledge for me to take in,” he said.
Taylor currently works at a trucking company’s maintenance department and takes some of his newfound knowledge to work.
“I have been doing some of the things I learned in the lab and used it at work. I have seen it paying off for me,” he said.
Entering his third semester, Taylor, of Hawley, said some areas have been more difficult for him to grasp than others. One of those is the program logistic controls that is used to program systems to do the work.
“I have not always been good with computers, but being able to work on the controls has helped,” he said. “I can now say I am getting better at the program logistic controls. It has taken a lot of practice for me, which has helped me get more comfortable.”
Taylor said having experienced instructors leading by example also helps his confidence.
“Terry (Steelman) does a real good job getting in there and showing us how to do things,” he said. “He works with us to make sure we do things correctly. (Daniel) Diaz is the person to go to because he has so much information for us.”
Steelman said Taylor will be a person who excels in the field he chooses.
“He is an exceptional student and will do really well when he finds the job he is looking for. No matter what he plans to do, he will excel in it,” he said.
Taylor does not have any current plans on what he would like to do after graduation, but he knows he will be prepared.
“Working in the lab with the hands-on experience will help me when I decide what to do after graduation,” he said. “I know I will be prepared to work, no matter what I decide to do.”
Industrial Systems is a technology field based on electrical and mechanical training. Technicians learn motor controls and all devices used, three-phase wiring, wiring schematics and electrical symbols, program logistic controls, and how to weld and fabricate tools or mounts using a lathe and mill, Steelman said.
The need for industrial machinery mechanics will increase over the next few years. According to onetonline.org, such positions are expected to grow by 13% in Texas by 2028. The average salary for an industrial machinery mechanic in Texas is $54,980, according to the website.
At its Abilene campus, TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Systems – Mechanical Specialization and a certificate of completion in Industrial Systems Mechanic.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit tstc.edu.