(RED OAK) – Miguel Gutierrez of Burleson is fascinated by Volvos and engine overhauling.
The Texas State Technical College student has combined his interests through hands-on training and getting a job in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Gutierrez is a candidate for graduation with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Diesel Equipment Technology-Heavy Truck Specialization. He and more than 30 other students will receive certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College in North Texas’ Spring 2019 Commencement at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 3, at the Waxahachie Civic Center.
Gutierrez, a graduate of Cleburne High School, started working after high school. He was a regional commercial truck driver for 10 years before having a desire to move into the service side of the industry.
“I am glad I am here (at TSTC) right now. It’s made a world of difference,” he said.
He took TSTC classes full time so he could concentrate on his studies.
“For me, the academics was the biggest challenge for me,” Gutierrez said. “I find more satisfaction getting into the problem-solving side.”
Elisha McKinney, an instructor in TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program, said the Basic Brake Systems class was Gutierrez’s favorite.
“Miguel was always easy to work with,” she said. “He kept an open mind and easily applied his previous experience to diesel. He makes me proud that he can easily teach another student exactly what I had taught him.”
Gutierrez said he was confident during his job search and knew he would find something that would match his interests.
“There are a lot of people looking for diesel mechanics,” Gutierrez said. “The market is wide-open for employment.”
The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area has more than 7,000 bus and truck technicians and diesel engine specialists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual mean wage is more than $53,000, according to the agency.
Gutierrez has been hired at Prevost in Fort Worth and will start work in May.
“I will be going to work servicing tour buses and motor coaches,” he said. “Prevost is a subsidiary of the Volvo Group. I will be starting as a level II technician. I’m thankful for the training and education I received from the diesel program at TSTC.”
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to www.tstc.edu.