TSTC West Texas, industry partners create specialty oil and gas certificate

TSTC West Texas will be offering a new specialty certificate this fall, Downhole Tool Technician, pending approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Downhole Tool Technicians are in-demand locally due to the recent Cline Shale activity, as well as across Texas as shale operations continues to increase. According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, Texas today produces roughly 30% of the US natural gas and roughly 30% of US oil production. With the Cline Shale booming in West Texas, industry has expressed the need for qualified, trained technicians. TSTC West Texas worked hand-in-hand with industry to develop a 15-week curriculum that directly addresses the industry.Downhole Tool Technician graduates will know how to refurbish and maintain the important downhole tools, or packers, used in oil well servicing and completions. “As it currently stands, employers are forced to train hires on the job. This program, once complete, will give graduates a competitive advantage in the initial hiring process with future employers,” said Troy Burton, Vice President of Completion for Globe Energy Services. Students will receive hands-on training in shop and mechanical skills, downhole tool redressing, mechanical drawings and technical assembly manuals, troubleshooting tool problems as well as industrial safety. The Downhole Tool specialty certificate offers students a fast-track into the oil and gas industry, rather than completing the two-year Applied Engineering associates degree. Oil and gas industry advisors tell TSTC West Texas they are currently hiring trained downhole tool technicians for approximately $16-$18 per hour. Pending approval, the Downhole Tool Technician specialty certification will qualify for financial aid. Currently, Applied Engineering graduates are hired into the electrical and instrumentation side of the oil and gas industry and TSTC West Texas will continue offering that program for students.For more information on the program, call 325.235.7300 or visit www.westtexas.tstc.edu and apply today.