Some people who want to become automotive service technicians may be limited in obtaining an education because they cannot afford to take time off work from their current automotive position to advance their education. At Centennial College, students don’t have to choose. With the post-secondary’s automotive service technician training, there is an earn-while-you-learn approach. That makes it possible to learn while still making a living. How? First, during the three eight-week in-school sessions of the automotive service technician apprenticeship, students may qualify for income support through Employment Insurance Canada benefits or training allowance. Meanwhile, there are also five periods of 1,800 hours with an employer during which students are fully compensated for their work. In addition, if that time period doesn’t fit their schedule, students can complete the program by attending one day a week for three years or two evenings a week for three years.
To apply for this automotive service technician training, students have completed an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent and be employed as an apprentice. However, they cannot apply directly to the college or ontariocolleges.ca for admission. For general information about apprenticeship registration, students are asked to contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Once they have gone through the application process and been accepted, students will discover a program that puts the emphasis on ensuring they obtain a good working knowledge of all of a vehicle’s systems: engines, electrical/electronics, fuels, transmissions and drivelines, steering, suspension and brakes. This occurs through the provinces largest transportation training centre, Ashtobee Campus. This facility houses workshop labs that simulate a real life environment and include tools of the trade and entire cars and car parts that have been donated to the school, on which students practice. Leading the students are professionals from the field who can offer one-on-one instruction as well as share their own experiences. More specifically, during their in-school sessions students learn car systems by attending the following automotive service technician training courses: Drive Train Systems, Electrical/Electronic & Emission Systems, Engine Systems, Work Practices and Procedures, and Suspension/Steering and Brake Systems.
After learning about a certain aspect of being an automotive service technician, students spend time with an employer showcasing their skills, encountering customers and practicing in a real-life setting. Upon graduation from Centennial College, students have the potential to be hired by their apprenticeship employers, full-time. In fact, more than other industry, the automotive service technician field looks for apprentices and workers who enter the sector having already experienced hands-on situations. Positions for those with automotive service technician training can be found in: vehicle and parts manufacturers, dealers, garages and service stations, retailers, governments, corporations with their own fleets as well as in self-employment.