Oncor Electric Delivery Co. designers Scott Kopenitz (center) and Derek Conner (right) talk with TSTC Electrical Power and Controls student Antonio Dinovo following a recent employer spotlight.

(ABILENE, Texas) – A behind-the-scenes job at Oncor Electric Delivery Co. could be the perfect fit for some Texas State Technical College graduates.

Members of Oncor’s design team said the Electrical Power and Controls program has the best curriculum to fit the needs of the company. The team develops designs and prepares estimates to ensure quality construction of electric distribution system additions, expansions and modifications to meet the needs of new and existing customers, all within budgetary guidelines.

“Our job is to talk about the needs of customers from the start of the project to when it is finished,” said Ryan Cavazos, the design team’s training manager.

Cavazos said two TSTC Electrical Power and Controls graduates from Waco were recently named supervisors of a design team at the company.

“The design team is a good place to start your career after graduating from TSTC,” she said. “What you learn here is a great introduction to the technology you will use in the field.”

Oncor has three tiers of designers, with the entry-level position being that of designer associate.

“You will receive a lot of on-the-job training with our designers,” Cavazos said. “This is the perfect blend for TSTC students because you will be able to work your way up. As you go through the training, we will tier projects to fit your skill set.”

However, designer associates will not be alone.

“You will be paired with someone who will help you make the right decisions,” Cavazos said. “We want you to be comfortable and confident before you are assigned a territory.”

After spending at least one year at an Oncor training facility, designer associates may be promoted to be a designer and assigned a region. Designers Derek Conner and Scott Kopenitz said their jobs vary from day to day.

“We have worked on everything from water wells to truck stops,” Conner said. “We are the more customer-focused part of the job. We base our designs on the customers’ needs.”

Both designers said they have worked not only with residential customers, but also with railroad companies, the Texas Department of Transportation, and city and county officials.

“While we do stay with each project from the design phase to the construction phase, we do not finish our work until the project is closed,” Kopenitz said.

“The projects we design can become very complex,” Cavazos said.

The highest employment tier among Oncor designers is the senior level, which includes project management responsibilities.

Following her presentation, Cavazos interviewed students for possible designer associate positions.

“We are excited to be able to interview students because you are what we need on our design team,” she told the students.

Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians can make an average salary of $63,260 in Texas, according to onetonline.org. The increase for such positions in the state was projected to be 14% between 2020 and 2030, according to the website.

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. If participating students do not find a job in their career field within six months of graduation, they will receive a refund of their tuition.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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