(HUTTO, Texas) – From computer tablets to soft drink cans, precision machining is a critical component of our lives.
“When the economy is down, the first place that comes back is the machining world,” said Tim Hemesath, an instructor in the Precision Machining Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s East Williamson County campus. “Everything is touched by a CNC (computer numerical control) machine.”
Companies that have hired TSTC program graduates in the past include Athena Manufacturing, One Source Manufacturing, National Oilwell Varco, Cypress Industries and Wolfram Manufacturing, according to TSTC’s Career Services office.
“We have employers coming in looking for people right now,” said Ross Beard, an instructor in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program in East Williamson County. “Some students might have a job before they graduate.”
Every TSTC program has a statewide advisory board that gives recommendations on what students need to learn, with the curriculum being adjusted as required. This helps students be more competitive when interviewing for jobs.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website, CNC tool programmers are making a yearly median salary of more than $57,000 in Texas. Jobs are concentrated in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio areas.
Hemesath said graduates are making up to $27 per hour in the Austin area.
“There are companies moving in that are willing to pay more than in any other part of the state,” he said. “When they are looking for a qualified machinist, they come to us.”
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology and a certificate of completion in Machining. The program offers day classes only.
Registration continues for the fall semester, and scholarships are available. For more information, go to tstc.edu.