(ROSENBERG, Texas) – For many students at Texas State Technical College, their education comes as a way to further their careers and open new doors.
Such is the case for Brandon Kopecky, a student in the Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus.
After working for many years, Kopecky began to feel the need to try something new to better support not only himself, but his family as well.
“My brother started out here (at TSTC) and came through the program,” Kopecky said. “He got out into the field and was pushing me toward the lineworker field.”
Kopecky was on the fence about whether a change was right for him and his family. But after not getting a promotion at his workplace, he decided to give the program, and TSTC, a chance.
“I wanted something more for myself and my family,” Kopecky said. “I was working at a tire shop for quite some time, and it wasn’t going anywhere. I decided it was time to find a career.”
The flexibility of the lineworker program is what made him feel comfortable about taking on the workload. He is able to balance his classes with his work and family life. Had it not been for that, he said, he doubts if he would have pursued this career pathway.
Still, he acknowledges that his wife plays a big role in helping him.
“I have two boys, a 7-year-old and an almost 2-year-old,” Kopecky said. “It can be challenging getting studying done at home. I’ve received a lot of help from my wife, who helps me find the time I need.”
Kopecky describes himself as a fast learner, especially when it comes to hands-on work. He enjoys the lab portions of the lineworker program, being outside climbing poles and learning the ins and outs of the profession. Additionally, he said the instructors play a big role in his learning.
“Every instructor I’ve had thus far has been solid,” Kopecky said. “They’ve all been easy to learn from.”
Kopecky plans to graduate in August with his certificate of completion. While his brother said a position at the company he works for could be available, Kopecky plans on keeping his options for work open upon graduation. He is undecided as to whether he plans on continuing his education to obtain an associate degree.
According to onetonline.org, electrical power-line installers and repairers in Texas can earn a median salary of $65,730 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 its Abilene, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which refunds a participating graduate’s tuition if he or she has not found a job in their field within six months of graduation.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.