An Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship is a Great Start to Your Career
It’s a beautiful summer day and you’re driving along the road to the beach in your trusty car that’s been getting you around for about 10 years. What could go wrong? You arrive at the beach, enjoy your day and hop back in the car. Turning the key, you listen for the reassuring sound of the engine, but there’s nothing except for a puttering and silence. You open the hood to examine what the problem may be and realize that what’s underneath the hood is a lot more complicated than you thought. The next step is to call an experienced Automotive Service Technician, of course.
Skilled workers in the Automotive Service Technician field have an impressive working knowledge of all of a vehicle’s systems as well as the ability to quickly and accurately diagnose the source of the problem. The systems with which these technicians are familiar include: engines, fuels, transmissions and drivelines, brakes, electrical/electronics, steering and suspension. With the evolution of cars, the job of a car service professional has also evolved to include working with electronic systems and complex computers that run today’s models.
Therefore, they must acquire high-tech skills to inspect, maintain and repair automobiles and trucks that run on gasoline, ethanol and alternative fuels such as electricity. Some common tasks performed by Automotive Service Technicians include oil changes, tire rotations, diagnosing more complex problems, testing and lubricating engines, replacing worn parts before they cause damage to the vehicle and more. These technicians also know that belts, hoses, plugs, brakes, fuel systems, and other potentially troublesome items must be watched closely.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 most service technicians worked a standard 40 hours a week. But 24 per cent worked longer hours. The same organization reports that automotive service technicians and mechanics held about 763,700 in 2008. The majority of workers are employed in maintenance shops and with automobile dealers. In addition, automotive parts, accessories and tire stores, gas stations, automotive equipment rental and leasing companies also employ service techs.
Centennial College’s Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship gets students on the road to a successful and long-lasting career. To complete the program, students spend five training periods of 1,800 hours with an employer, three eight-week college sessions or one-day-a-week for three years or two evenings a week for three years. During their time at Centennial, they encounter in-school training that is geared to on-the-job experience. Automotive Service Technician apprentices also interact with professors who have extensive experience in the industry and learn in a state-of-the-art transportation leaning centre.
To be eligible for the Automotive Service Tech program you must be currently employed as an apprentice. You cannot apply directly to the college or ontariocolleges.ca for admission to this apprenticeship program. For general information about apprenticeship registration, please contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Also required is an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent. Once accepted, you may qualify for income support while in school through Employment Insurance Canada benefits or training allowance.