(ABILENE, Texas) – Andrew Vann found his career opportunity at Texas State Technical College.
The first-year Industrial Systems student said it was only natural for him to work on equipment because he has done it his entire life. He spends his spare time working on his 1968 Chevrolet C10, which led him to choose a career working on machines.
“I am leaning more toward the electrical side of the program. I really want to become an electrician,” he said. “I could also go into the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) side as well. No matter which way I go, I feel like I am going to have a good career opportunity.”
Instructor Daniel Diaz said TSTC teaches students different areas of maintenance systems that can lead to good careers.
“We teach our students what they need to do to be successful in industrial maintenance,” Diaz said, adding that students learn skills needed to repair and maintain hydraulic systems, pneumatic equipment, conveyor systems and mechanical controls, as well as learning welding.
During his first semester, Vann said he has struggled in some areas. He said his dedication to the program motivates him to complete his assignments.
“I am working hard on all of my assignments and want to make sure I continue to pass everything,” he said.
Vann said having Diaz as an instructor has helped him grow as a student.
“Daniel makes sure we know what we are doing before we move on to something else,” he said. “He wants to make sure we are prepared for the next session.”
Vann, who is working toward an Associate of Applied Science degree, first became interested in TSTC during a campus tour while attending Hawley High School.
“I liked what I saw being offered in Abilene,” he said. “I knew that my experience working on things would lead to a technical school and a career.”
Having the opportunity to work in a hands-on environment was also a reason Vann chose Industrial Systems.
“I learn so much better by working on the equipment. I learn from my mistakes so they will not happen again,” he said.
Vann also said having a guarantee in place for a career helped him finalize his decision.
“Having the money-back guarantee was what really led me to attend TSTC,” he said. “Everyone believes in us that we will succeed.”
Industrial Systems is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. The college’s commitment to students is simple: If they do not have a job in their field within six months of graduation, they will receive a full refund of their tuition. For more information on the program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/admissions/tuition.
Vann said when he is not in school he hopes to work part time as an electrician.
“I would love to learn from someone who does this for a living while also learning how to do things in school,” he said. “I think the more you learn, the more you will be successful.”
The need for industrial machinery mechanics will increase over the next few years. According to onetonline.org, such positions are expected to grow by 13% in Texas by 2028. The average salary for an industrial machinery mechanic in Texas is $54,980, according to the website.
At its Abilene campus, TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Systems – Mechanical Specialization and a certificate of completion in Industrial Systems Mechanic.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.