TSTC graduate Ryan Hall (right) recently visited the Marshall campus and reunited with TSTC Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology instructors Samuel Roberts (left) and Mark Bayliss (center), with whom he previously worked at Southwestern Electric Power Co. TSTC lineworker students can be seen in the background on the program’s practice utility poles. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – The Career Services department at Texas State Technical College recently estimated that Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) has hired about 90 of the college’s Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology graduates in the last 10 years.

One of those graduates is Marshall native Ryan Hall, who followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and became a lineworker. 

“My grandpa worked at SWEPCO for 40 years,” he said. “You get to do something different every day and work outside, work with your hands. It sounded like something I wanted to do.”

Hall received a certificate of completion in TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program in 2010.

“When I went through the program, we did two months of class and then two months of an internship, then came back and did more classwork, and then went back and did another internship,” he said. “Back then it was a little different.”

Hall’s student internship was at SWEPCO. Though he worked for another company after earning his certificate of completion, he returned to SWEPCO four years later.

Hall said he has traveled across the United States since returning to the company, including riding out Hurricane Irma with his crew in Orlando, Florida.

“We go all over,” he said. “You get to see a bunch of neat stuff that you normally wouldn’t see.”

TSTC Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology instructor Mark Bayliss worked alongside Hall at SWEPCO until Bayliss’ retirement from the company in 2022.

“He’s an outstanding young man with a great work ethic, leadership qualities, and is a great team player,” Bayliss said. “He’s excelled at every aspect of the job.”

Hall currently works as a “troubleman” for SWEPCO, acting as the first on the scene during outages and doing day-to-day work for homes and businesses.

“It’s a real learning job, and you make a good, honest living doing it,” he said.

According to onetonline.org, electrical power-line installers and repairers in Texas earn a median salary of $72,510 a year. The website projected that there would be a 24% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at the Abilene, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses. The program is one of nine Money-Back Guarantee programs in which tuition is refunded if a participating graduate has not found employment in their field of study within six months of graduation

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.

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