New San Jacinto College center could lead to well-paying jobs

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A new San Jacinto College facility is offering students a hands-on learning experience that could land them good-paying jobs with only an associate's degree.

There are 3,000 SJC students getting a look at their newest facility. Four years in the making, the college opened the Center for Petrochemical, Energy & Technology, or CPET, last week.

It's a place that student Taylor McDonald couldn't wait to start learning.

"I love the hands-on experience, and the knowledge of all this," McDonald explained.

Students earn associate's degrees in the energy and fuel industry. San Jacinto College offers five programs, including process, instrumental and electrical.

Those are careers the college said earn the students good-paying jobs once they graduate.

"Typically, starting salaries are around $70,000 a year," explained James Griffin, senior vice president of San Jacinto College's CPET. "Once you're fully-trained at a site, we see six figures, sure."

In order to get those jobs, you could explore other parts of the country, globe or stay right in the Pasadena area.

"A lot of the jobs are local," Griffin added. "We have 132 petrochemical plants and refineries within 15 miles of our college, so we're blessed."

The college has offered these associate's programs for nearly 20 years. But with more opportunities, it partnered with businesses to build the facility and equip it with tools students will use in the real world.

Without financial assistance, a degree will cost you about $4,000. It's a wise investment to McDonald, who knows a six-figure salary could be waiting when he graduates.

"This is an ever-changing job field and there's multiple outcomes in a company that you might come into," McDonald explained.

If you're interested in these San Jacinto College programs, you don't have to wait until next fall. Students can apply this fall and start taking classes in January.

To learn more about the college, click here.

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