Alabama Community College System (ACCS) chose to highlight Taylor Kendrick, 20-year-old graduate of Reid State Community College as he shares his experience of becoming an Electronic Technician. Having graduated high school from Sparta Academy in Evergreen, Alabama, Taylor sought out education close to home in Atmore. He studied in the Industrial Electronics/Maintenance program at Reid State Technical College.
When asked what sparked his interest in the field, he shared, “I have always wired up lights and speakers for my friends, and I wanted to learn more about electronics and make a career with my hands.” Attending a technical college allowed him to do just that and provided him with great opportunities in his field.
Attending Technical School
As a junior or senior in high school, everyone wants to know what your plans are after graduation. Often, they are expecting you to answer with the name of a 4-year university and a particular career path. Taylor addressed a few of his favorite aspects of attending a technical college and claimed that he valued “having people around you that have the same goal and having instructors push you to make you better.” His experience in the Industrial Maintenance program taught him a significant amount of useful knowledge and skills to apply hands-on. There was an alternate option in the program that offered a different career route. “The course in residential wiring was a bonus in case you weren’t cut out for the long vigorous hours of industry work, you could have a career in residential wiring.” He identifies the difference between technical school and a traditional university as, “The people—the instructors understand what it is like working in the industry and they do their best to get you ready for work and life after school.”
Landing the Job
Taylor secured a position at Schlumberger. Schlumberger is the world’s leading provider of Oilfield services such as technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry. Working in more than 85 countries, Schlumberger supplies the industry’s most comprehensive range of products and services. Through his studies at Reid State, he was able to obtain his current position. Schlumberger came to Reid state, and they were searching for new employees, so he flew out to Dallas Texas and went through the interview process. He currently serves as an Electronic Technician and wears many different hats every day at work—anything from electrical to mechanical. Most days, he works 14-hour shifts and works for weeks at a time. He has worked for Schlumberger for 10 months. He started in Oklahoma, working on land Rigs, and is now working in Louisiana on Offshore Rigs.
Advice to Seniors
He offers this advice to high school seniors, “They need to understand when you accept a job in the industrial industry, the hours are long. The work is dirty and you are exposed to all conditions. Some people are built for it but some are not. There are many different paths you can take with an electronic degree—it doesn’t have to just be for industry work.”
Did you know? The dropout rate for a traditional 4-year college is 40% but the drop out rate for trade/technical schools is only 1.6%.