(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College student Diego Ballesteros might be the youngest among his Electrical Lineworker Technology program classmates, but that does not stop him from taking the lead.
“He takes the first step — always,” said Angel Toledo, TSTC lineworker lead instructor. “He’s always available, always able to participate. I’m giving my job briefing with the group, and once I’m done with the briefing, he jumps in to start with the process. He’s always willing to learn and to work.”
That kind of drive is something Toledo recognizes as a marker for future success.
“That guy, he is going to learn as much as he can,” Toledo said. “He’s going to be able to make it all the way to the top.”
Ballesteros, who lives in Bayview, Texas, first learned about the lineworker program when he was researching what TSTC has to offer. Just a few weeks after he toured the program, he enrolled to obtain his Associate of Applied Science degree. He will graduate in spring 2022.
What made you want to enroll in the Electrical Lineworker Technology program?
I joined this program because I’m very interested in this work and have always thought it would be a great career. This program was exactly what I was looking for.
How has your experience been?
This program has been a great experience and couldn’t have been better. The instructors are awesome guys and have done a great job making linemen out of us. The guys in this program have been great to work with, and we shared a lot of memories, experiences and hard work. I love the challenges and difficulty of this work: the heights, the weather conditions, the physical and mental demands that are part of it every day.
Overall, it has been a great experience, and I’m very grateful to the instructors, Mr. Toledo and Mr. (Candelario) Deanda, for sharing their knowledge. My fellow students have all been really supportive to each other, and we’ve learned a lot. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
Would you recommend the lineworker program to others?
I would recommend this program to anyone looking for a good career in a challenging line of work. It’s not for everyone, but if you know what you’re getting into, it is really a great choice.
What are your hopes following graduation from TSTC?
I can’t wait to go out and work. I hope to get a job as soon as I graduate.
TSTC students can study to earn a 20-month Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Lineworker Technology, or they can choose a 12-month Electrical Lineworker certificate of completion. The program is offered at the Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses.
Electrical power-line installers and repairers are in high demand in Texas, with a projected growth of 16% by 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workers in the state can earn, on average, $55,880 annually, according to onetonline.org.
Electrical Lineworker Technology is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. This program refunds tuition to participating students who do not find a job in their profession within six months of graduation.
Registration for the fall semester at TSTC is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.