WACO, TX — Texas State Technical College had a record 117 students signed up for the Electrical Construction And Solar Installation Technology program this semester.
Former Marine Wayne Hill was one of those students. He moved from West Palm Beach, Florida to Waco just for this program.
"I called my friend and said 'hey man what school should I go to?' and he said to go to TSTC," Hill said.
Hill spent ten years as a diesel mechanic in the Marine Corps, now he's studying to be a master electrician.
"Having that hands on experience and moving to something that's also hands on is kind of comfortable," he said.
Hill and the other students are learning everything from residential homes up to industrial level power companies.
The need for people in these fields is growing rapidly, as more people and places are making the switch to the greener power source.
"With federal rebates, right now there's still 30 percent tax credit available from the federal government for any system you install," Solar and Electrical Instructor Department Chair Hugh Whitted said.
"So with that going on lots of people are looking to cut their electric bill and at the same time get a nice little tax break."
The growing demand almost guarantees students a well-paid and high demand job once they leave.
"Typically an entry level solar installer can make anywhere from $15 to $20 an hour and they are very readily available positions," Whitted said. "There are lots of both commercial and residential installation companies across the state that are in desperate need of installers."
Interest in the program doesn't seem to be slowing down, as spring semester is also quickly filling up.