Selena Gomez, a TSTC Precision Machining Technology student, uses a high-speed lathe to cut steel during a recent lab session.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Selena Gomez knew that she wanted a better life after experiencing several unfulfilling jobs.

“I was an insurance adjuster at my last job,” the Mercedes resident said. “I wanted a career that would be hands-on.”

Her brother recommended looking into Precision Machining Technology at Texas State Technical College.

“I scheduled a tour (and) was amazed to see how hands-on the education is,” Gomez said.

Now she is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in the program at the Harlingen campus.

“What I love about my program experience are the recruitment opportunities,” she said. “I think it’s fantastic that manufacturing companies visit our program to potentially hire graduates for their entry-level jobs.”

Gomez said one of her favorite experiences is a project that lasts two semesters.

“Our class has been working on creating a table saw in the Basic Machine Shop course,” she said. “There’s many techniques that the assignment requires.”

Gomez said she appreciates how the instructors allow students to learn on their own.

“The objective is to learn from our errors,” she said.

Alvaro Juarez is one of Gomez’s instructors.

“Selena had never been in a machine shop prior to enrolling in our program,” he said. “She has adapted well. Our program prepares students such as Selena to be effective machine operators and versatile in the Texas workforce.”

Gomez said she is happy with her decision to enroll at TSTC.

“It made me realize there is an education that’s fitted for me,” she said.

According to, CNC tool programmers earn an average of $61,740 per year in Texas, where the number of such jobs was projected to increase 47% from 2020 to 2030.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Precision Machining Technology, as well as a certificate of completion in Machining, at its East Williamson County, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas and Waco campuses.

Precision Machining Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. For more information, visit

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