TSTC Precision Machining Technology student Rene Garay Jr. trains on a computer numerical control (CNC) 5-axis machine during a recent lab session at the Harlingen campus.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Manufacturing jobs are an integral part of the Texas economy, and recently the Central Texas region has experienced an increase in machinist jobs.

This job outlook is a key motivator for students who are enrolled in the Precision Machining Technology program at Texas State Technical College. The program is known for training highly skilled candidates to fill vacant machinist jobs across the state, including Central Texas.

Alvaro Juarez, a TSTC Precision Machining Technology instructor in Harlingen, said the program offers students a well-rounded education.

“We teach students the basics of machining,” he said. “That includes G and M codes, which are the language codes of computer numerical control machines. We also teach students the software programs and how to operate the CNC machine. During their final semester, they learn how to create the design, how to create tool paths, and how to machine the part.”

Rene Garay Jr., of Brownsville, is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology. He enjoys experiencing new challenges and figuring out methods to overcome them.

“I feel the boom of machinist jobs in San Antonio, Austin, Hutto and other areas in Texas is a perfect opportunity to use my skills and manufacture a much-needed part in the machining industry,” he said. “What can be challenging about a CNC machine, it’s designed to use precise dimensions and tools that are inputted into a system, if it’s done correctly.”

Luis Tamez is a CNC machinist at StandardAero in San Antonio. The TSTC alumnus said companies from other states are bringing manufacturing jobs to Texas due to the demand.

“There has been a surplus of machinist jobs at my place of employment, and they are seeking machinists who have experience,” he said.

Bob Farley, director of economic development for the city of Hutto, said TSTC’s East Williamson County campus is helping to fill the need for trained technicians in Central Texas and beyond.

“Anything that adds to the general skill set of the region also generally benefits the state,” he said. “Essentially the physical aspect of TSTC’s campus in Hutto makes a huge difference, and it has been a huge blessing based on what we’re trying to accomplish in the city of Hutto.”

According to onetonline.org, 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. If participating students 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, visit tstc.edu/mbg.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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