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HARLINGEN — Andrew Garza, a Wind Energy Technology student at Texas State Technical College, hopes to channel his previous managerial experience toward a management position someday in the renewable energy industry.
“My friends who graduated from the program now have great-paying careers in the industry,” the Harlingen resident said. “Sometime in the future I would definitely like to operate my own wind farm.”
Justin Richardson, office manager for Gemini Energy Services, said prior experience can affect the types of jobs that people qualify for at the company where he works.
“A candidate with more experience can handle a difficult situation, such as climbing turbines in difficult weather,” he said. “This is a safety- and quality-first job. The people with managerial experience will possibly translate better to being lead technicians that do stronger work than just simple tower cleaning or operations and maintenance work.”
Garza is studying for a certificate of completion in Wind Energy Technician at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.
“Safety has been a key part of this education because I will be dealing with many electrical components that are high-voltage,” he said. “The instructors have told our class to make sure we check all personal protective equipment every day because it’s an important practice for our success.”
Javier Rodriguez, a TSTC Wind Energy Technology instructor, said Garza demonstrates maturity and discipline during class.
“Andrew does a great job when following instructions and follows through with his assignments,” he said. “He will be successful in the industry because he is self-driven to get the job done.”
The job outlook for the wind energy industry is bright. According to onetonline.org, the need for wind turbine service technicians in Texas was forecast to increase 102% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary for a technician in Texas is $56,640, 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.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.