Helena “Lani” Orr doesn’t look like a typical electrical technician.
But once she gets her Associate of Applied Science degree in the Power and Electrical Controls program at Texas State Technical College, she hopes she can help change that, especially as the industry resonates in it and comes with an additional job security bonus.
âA lot of things are being replaced by machines – especially in automation in factories,â Orr said. âActually, you need someone to do all of this maintenance. It can’t be done by robots – yet. I hope that by the time they have a robot to do it, I will be retired.
Orr, from Katy, has found his place at the TSTC. With hobbies like sewing, crochet, knitting, and participating in her high school robotics team, she knew her interests were more practical.
Orr’s older brother attended a large college, where he attended large classes filled with students.
âI already knew I wanted to go to a small school,â Orr said. “I couldn’t deal with all of these people.”
A high school counselor and a few campus tours convinced Orr that TSTC was the college for her, particularly with her desire to explore training in engineering and math.
âIt’s been really cool,â Orr said of his TSTC experience. âIt’s much easier for me to learn on the job and with a smaller class. I can actually talk to the instructors and get specific help.
This help can be a basic clarification on an ongoing project or an overview of the bigger picture, going deeper into the program.
âLani is an incredible soul,â said Jonathan Bonkoske, TSTC’s lead power and electrical control instructor. “She’s really listening.”
The willingness of TSTC instructors to spend more time making sure students understand – and the affordability compared to other colleges – made the TSTC Orr the better choice, she said.
She sees the power and electrical controls program having a big impact on her future.
âOne of the things I love about this degree is that I can do several different jobs using the same degree,â Orr said. âIt’s very versatile in what it can be applied to. “
Orr encourages other women to think about their hobbies and consider their options when deciding on the direction of their education and training. If they like hands-on activities like DIY or complex projects like building computers, then they might find a home at TSTC – just like Orr did.
The TSTC offers an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Power Supply and Controls at four of its campuses, including in Fort Bend County.
In Texas, electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians can earn an average salary of $ 69,310 per year, according to onetonline.org, which predicts an 8% growth in jobs statewide through 2028.
Texas employs the second highest number of such technicians in the country, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area is home to the seventh largest number of any other metropolitan area in the United States.
TSTC’s power supply and control program is part of the college’s money back guarantee. If a graduate of this program is not hired within six months of graduation, the TSTC will reimburse their tuition fees.
Registrations for the spring semester at TSTC are underway. For more information visit tstc.edu