(ROSENBERG, Texas) – The construction and transportation industry in the Houston area and statewide is rapidly growing, meaning that a skilled workforce is very much in demand.
Texas State Technical College is helping to fill that need with its technical programs like Diesel Equipment Technology.
TSTC Diesel Equipment Technology instructor Brandon Foster said that program faculty receive numerous calls from employers who have attended Employer Spotlights on campus and want to recruit TSTC graduates.
“Our graduates are in high demand. Skilled diesel technicians are in high demand,” he said. “And we’re working diligently to ensure that our graduates are job-ready.”
To accomplish that, the program focuses on hands-on training to teach the appropriate skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the industry.
Students have access to a large shop that is equipped with industry-standard technology, such as training aids for hydraulic, brake and electrical systems, to learn skills in diagnosing, troubleshooting, repair and maintenance.
The shop is also complete with heavy-duty diesel trucks, bulldozers and front-end loaders.
“All of our equipment allows for a real-world experience,” said Foster. “And the skills they learn can be applied immediately to tasks they will find in the workforce.”
In addition to technical skills, soft skills such as resume building, interviewing, writing, leadership and communication are also a focus for the program.
“Soft skills are just as important as technical skills,” said Foster. “They have to be effective writers and communicators; all jobs require you to be.”
After completing one of three pathways — certificate one, certificate two or an associate degree — a student can work as a diesel mechanic technician, maintenance technician, construction equipment technician, engine specialist or heavy-duty equipment mechanic.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of diesel service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow five percent through 2028, faster than all other occupations, with a median pay of $22 per hour.
Companies who have hired TSTC Diesel Equipment Technology graduates include Chevron, Freightliner, Halliburton, Holt Equipment, John Deere and Peterbilt.
Diesel Equipment Technology is also offered at TSTC’s Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses.