Texas, and especially the Gulf Coast region and its petrochemical companies, is facing a severe shortage of machinists. According to a November 2014 news report from WFAA-Channel 8, an ABC news affiliate in Dallas, “petrochemical workers in their 20s, fresh out of two-year programs, are routinely taking home more than 100,000 dollars a year." This may sound too good to be true, but the report also noted "an estimated 80 billion dollars is expected to be spent on more than 120 petrochemical facilities around the Houston Ship Channel in the next few years.” Texas is already the second-largest employer of machinists in the nation, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be 1,920 job openings in Texas each year for the next seven years in the career options listed below. That’s more than 13,400 positions that will need to be filled with skilled, qualified personnel through 2022.
To help you get in on the action, TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology that requires about four semesters to complete. For those wishing to enter the workforce more quickly or add to an existing knowledge base, TSTC also offers a certification in machining, which requires just 39 hours to complete. This intense, hands-on program progresses through a series of machine tool operation courses to develop and challenge students’ skills using a variety of conventional and Computer Numerical Controlled machines. Students will also learn related skills such as precision measurement, blueprint reading and the heat treatment of metals, making them highly employable and work-ready from day one. Graduates can find jobs in commercial and military aircraft, medical and telecommunications equipment, automotive tool manufacturing and, of course, oil tool manufacturing.