(WACO, Texas) – Amanda Williams, of Belton, is an Instrumentation Technology student at Texas State Technical College who is scheduled to graduate this spring. She grew up in Hawaii and has lived in Texas for the last few years.
How did you choose TSTC and your program of study?
My fiance, Timothy Daniels Sr., was an industrial engineer and boiler technician. When we were planning to get married, he wanted me to finish my degree. I was going to do accounting because that is what I partially had credits for. He asked if I really wanted to sit behind a desk. He was at a training at Southern Arkansas Community College and there was a poster behind the instructor for instrumentation classes. He thought I would be a good fit. He told me to look at it for a month and research what it is. I did a Google search and found TSTC and read up on the accreditation, and the recruitment by companies was way better. That is how I ended up (at TSTC).
What challenges did you encounter while at TSTC?
My fiance passed away the first semester I was at TSTC. If it was not for TSTC, I don’t know how I would have made it. Then the pandemic hit. I had to retake some classes because the grief was bad.
What have you enjoyed about the Instrumentation Technology program?
I have enjoyed all of it. What I am learning in the fifth semester is my favorite with the analyzers. Last semester, we broke down valves and sensors and rebuilt and calibrated them. I have been learning about programmable logic controllers and how to program the system to work properly. Some things I am stronger in than others.
The instructors want students to come to them to explain things. It is more of a team environment.
How do you like having female instructors in the program?
I think it is encouraging. I think it is good for the male students to see that they can be instructed by females and that it is not such a male-dominated field
How do you like hands-on learning?
You can read and memorize anything, but to see yourself doing it correctly makes you feel more confident when stepping into the workforce. The one main thing we need to prepare ourselves for the workforce is the hands-on labs.
What motivates you in life?
What motivates me is being successful and being a role model for the younger women in my family. It is showing them that life can throw you really hard stuff, but you can really get through it. You don’t have to quit.
According to Zippia.com, a career expert website, only six percent of calibration and instrumentation technicians in the United States are women.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net Online website, calibration technologists and technicians in Texas can make a yearly average salary of more than $57,000. Texas had over 7,700 workers as of 2018, with more than 8,500 workers being needed in the state by 2028.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Instrumentation Technology at the Waco campus.
For more information, go to tstc.edu.