SPC student finds passion in electrician field

LEVELLAND – After her first semester at South Plains College in Fall 2022, Brianna Jaime decided to pursue a program she had no experience in. Unbeknownst to her at the time, she would later find excitement in the Electrician and Power Transmission Technology program.

“When I enrolled for my first semester, I was actually in general studies,” the Carrizo Springs native said. “I looked into programs around November [2022] to see if I could find something different, and ELPT caught my eye.”

Jaime, who is a second-year student at SPC, said she did not know anything about the electrician field, but the program sounded interesting. She later learned there was more to the program than she expected.

“It’s a good path to go down because you learn a lot, get to meet a whole bunch of new people and get good opportunities,” she said.

Brianna Jaime

Before attending SPC, Jaime said she moved in with her sister in Morton and was thinking about going back to school. Her sister told her to consider SPC in Levelland, which prompted Jaime to take a campus tour.

“The student life is what really got me interested because SPC does a lot of really cool activities for the students,” she said. “You can be involved in so many things and not feel left out because they will try to include anybody.”

Jaime, who now lives in Levelland, said she loves hands-on work, which is one reason why the program continues to appeal to her. However, when starting the program, she said she was intimidated by the idea of going into a male-dominated field but later realized she could take on the challenges as well as any other student.

Diana Malone, instructor in electrical and power transmission at SPC, is one professor who Jaime said helped her a lot early in the program.

Malone’s encouragement made Jaime determined to continue her studies.

Paul Harbin, assistant professor of electrical and power transmission tech at SPC, is another faculty member who Jaime said saw a lot of potential in her when she was questioning if she should continue the program.

“I’m not going to stray from this,” she said regarding the mindset she chose to stick with at the time. “This will be good for me and teach me a lot. I just had to get around the mathematics of it.”

Because of the free time she dedicated to practicing the course material along with the help she got from her professors, Jaime overcame the difficulties she faced in her studies and is now working toward journeyman status.

When a student starts the program, they can get an apprenticeship and accumulate hours with every class they attend to attain journeyman status. Jaime said she wants to reach journeyman status, pursue a master’s program in the electrician field and potentially open a company someday.

“I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities since I’ve gotten into the program,” she said regarding her hopes for the future.

Jaime said there is a high demand for electricians in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. She wants prospective electricians, especially women pursuing the field, to know that getting these positions is possible with hard work.

“It does take a lot of brain,” she said regarding the field. “But I feel like women can do it just as good as men when it comes to using the tools, when it comes to pulling wires and when it comes to figuring out blueprints.”

Some women will not consider the electrician field and other trades for various reasons, but Jaime said there is hope for those who are interested in the work and are willing to put in the effort.

“You got to be tough, mind and body-wise,” she said. “But if they enjoy using tools and working hands-on, I feel like the electrical program is a really good program.”

Electrician and Power Transmission Technology

SPC’s program in Electrician and Power Transmission Technology provides the skills needed for this ever-changing field. The two-year technical program is designed to prepare qualified graduates for entry-level job positions with electrical utility or commercial electrical companies. For people currently employed in the field, the program also provides opportunities to update skills in the discipline.

Qualified graduates may receive an associate of applied science degree or an optional certificate of proficiency. The program provides excellent hands-on training in modern facilities. Instructors have extensive firsthand experience and knowledge of the electrical industry. An advisory committee of experts from the industry meets regularly to review the program and keep it aligned with industry and employment trends.