(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Tyler Scarbrough wanted a career in which he could travel.
The Merkel native knows he can do that with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Wind Energy Technology from Texas State Technical College. Now in his third semester of the program, Scarbrough is excited about his career opportunities.
“This program has been everything I have expected,” he said. “I know that not every job in this industry needs a degree, but having my associate degree will get me in the door quicker.”
Having the opportunity to work outside of West Texas was one of the reasons that Scarbrough chose a career in wind energy.
“I have not traveled much outside of Texas,” he said. “I know I will be able to travel some to start my career. Most people in this program want to travel for a couple of years. There are so many wind locations in the United States.”
After touring TSTC’s Sweetwater campus while in high school, Scarbrough immediately felt that he belonged in the program.
“I have enjoyed meeting everyone,” he said. “I know the friendships I have made since starting school will last. I know I can call on anyone for help and they will be there with the answers. I will be able to do the same thing for them.”
That willingness to help others has caught the attention of instructor Russell Benson.
“Tyler is very sharp, and he is an energetic student,” Benson said. “This is my first class with Tyler, but I quickly have learned he is willing to do his best and to make sure others are doing the same. I cannot wait to see what he does with his career.”
Scarbrough said TSTC’s instructors are willing to do anything for the students to be successful.
“They understand that we have jobs, and are willing to work with us to make sure our work is done,” he said. “They are doing everything they can for our success.”
That includes following safety procedures when climbing TSTC’s wind turbine.
“My first climb was better than I thought,” he said. “It was also a lot harder, but having the safety precautions in place made it easier to accomplish. Now it is second nature for me.”
Having the latest technology has helped Scarbrough grow as a student.
“It is great to have this equipment available to train with,” he said. “Sometimes reading from a textbook is hard to understand. We have the ability to learn with the latest technology, which is the best way to learn.”
The job outlook for the wind energy industry is bright. According to onetonline.org, the need for wind turbine service technicians in Texas will increase 83% over the next decade. The average annual salary for a technician in Texas is $51,560, according to the website.
TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.