Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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Texas Community Colleges

High Plains Region

Created to expand Texans’ access to higher education, the state’s 50 community college districts serve a vital role in our state’s economy by developing our workforce, preparing students for further academic study and meeting the specific educational and vocational needs of the local areas they serve.

The 41 counties in the High Plains region — one of 12 economic regions defined by the Comptroller’s office — include four community college districts.

List of community college districts in the high plains region

  • Amarillo College
  • Clarendon College
  • Frank Phillips College
  • South Plains College

Regional Impact of Community Colleges’ spending, Fiscal 2019




$459.4 million


$137.3 million

Note: Figures include direct, indirect and induced economic impacts.

Sources: JobsEQ, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas community colleges.

Wages by Educational Attainment

Community colleges provide their students with a good return on their investment.

In 2018, workers in the High Plains region with some college or associate degrees and stable jobs earned an average of $3,539 more annually than high school graduates.

Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, High Plains Region, 2018

Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, High Plains Region and Texas, 2018
Educational Attainmen Number Employed, Region Average Annual Earnings, Region Number Employed, Texas Average Annual Earnings, Texas
Less than high school 62,657 $39,622 2,065,483 $42,808
High school or equivalent, no college 91,273 $45,422 2,765,759 $52,035
Some college or associate degree 101,540 $48,961 3,245,675 $60,428
Bachelor's degree or advanced degree 59,921 $65,629 2,454,975 $95,716

Average overall: $47,557

 Source: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ

Average wage Increase Over High School or Equivalent


Number of workers, Some College or Associate Degree


Total Regional additional wages

$359.4 million

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, JobsEQ and
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Certificates and Degrees

Top Certificates and Degrees, High Plains Region

Top Certificates and Degrees, High Plains Region
Certificates and Degrees Number Awarded
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences 1,157
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 781
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 566
Personal and Culinary Services 310
Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians 277

Source: JobsEQ

Regional Employment Needs

Fastest growing Occupations, High Plains Region

Fastest growing Occupations, High Plains Region
Occupation Total Employed 5-Year Employment Change
Food and Beverage Serving Workers 22,581 2,740
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners 14,502 1,366
Agricultural Workers 10,668 1,072
Cooks and Food Preparation Workers 9,035 728
Health Technologists and Technicians 9,079 641

Source: JobsEQ

The High Plains region’s community college districts awarded more than 1,100 certificates and associate degrees in health professions in the 2017-18 school year; the next most-common award areas were general studies and liberal arts and business administration.



  • In fiscal 2018, Amarillo College added $639.4 million in income to its service area economy, equal to about 3.7 percent of the region’s gross product.
  • A fiscal 2018 analysis showed students’ average annual rate of return for their investment in Amarillo College was 24.6 percent.
  • In response to local employer needs, Amarillo College built a full data science degree program and a data analytics continuing education certification.


Community colleges play a vital role for students and businesses by offering postsecondary education and job training at great value. As the High Plains region’s four community college districts work to address local skills gaps and meet the specific needs of area employers, they support nearly 2,600 jobs and add more than $259 million in economic output annually. Furthermore, the higher pay of those with some college or an associate degree helps raise total wages in the region by over $359 million per year.

Learn more about community colleges AND THE TEXAS ECONOMY.

Glenn Hegar

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material on this page, please contact the Comptroller’s Data Analysis and Transparency Division.