The School of Automotive Machinists & Technology topped all Houston area trade schools in a recent study (October 23, 2017) published by the Houston Chronicle. The study cited findings from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. With an average graduate salary of $51,150 per year, SAM Tech ranked Number 1 among Houston vocational schools.
Equally as impressive is SAM Tech’s Number 5 overall ranking among all Houston area four-year universities and colleges. The only colleges ranked higher than SAM Tech were Rice University—widely regarded as an Ivy-league caliber institution—and various medical schools within the University of Texas system.
In stark contrast to the four years it takes to complete a traditional bachelor’s degree, or the 8-12 years it takes to earn a medical license, SAM Tech students can graduate with a highly marketable degree in as little as 18 months. With tuition approaching nearly $45,000 per year at major universities and professional post-graduate schools, the savings in both time and money are substantial.
As the demand for skilled machinists, engine builders, CNC operators, and engine calibrators continues to grow, SAM Tech’s diverse yet highly focused curriculum gives students the skills they need to land high-paying salaries immediately upon graduation. “This is a significant achievement for any institution, and confirms SAM Tech’s continued success in providing career-focused training that leads to promising careers,” SAM Tech Executive Director Linda Massingill stated.
Although specific salary figures provide an objective metric to gauge the real-world value of a SAM Tech education, the country’s top engine shop—in racing series ranging from NASCAR to NHRA—have known about it for decades. Motorsports titans like Hendrick Motorsports, John Force Racing, Team Penske, Warren Johnson Enterprises, and Joe Gibbs Racing all rely on SAM Tech graduates to reach the finish line every race weekend.
Nevertheless, SAM Tech’s career placement opportunities aren’t just limited to race teams. You’ll find SAM Tech graduates at just about every major aftermarket manufacturer. “I chose SAM Tech over other schools because every program they offer was exactly what I was looking to learn,” said Travis Bieber, design engineer at CP-Carrillo. “The hands-on experience and level of education I received far surpassed any other school I considered. I learned all about block and cylinder head machining, CAD/CAM, and how to operate CNC machines as well as working on SAM Tech’s in-house race cars.”
Today, Bieber specializes in designing short-block components, a skill he directly attributes to his education at SAM Tech. “The school’s CNC machining program really helped me to get where I am in my career. I design pistons and connecting rods for all types of engines, from NHRA Top Fuel and Pro Stock to Supercross motorcycles to boats to planes to everyday street cars,” he added. “Every program I took at SAM Tech helped me get here. The lessons learned from the block and cylinder head programs gave me the background information I needed to really understand all different types of engines, and what I learned in the CNC program I use on a daily basis.”
Houston Chronicle Online, “Houston’s best colleges, determined by alumni salary,” October 23, 2017.