Friday, March 25, 2011

A Chrysler Apprenticeship from Centennial College Opens Doors

Automotive service technicians have a great responsibility on their hands as they inspect, maintain, and repair automobiles that run on electricity, gasoline or alternative fuels like ethanol. They execute basic care maintenance like tire rotations and oil changes, diagnosing complex problems, and planning and executing vehicle repairs. An automotive service technician’s responsibilities have evolved from high-level technology associated work to simple basic mechanical repairs. In addition, many professionals in this field choose to work for a particular dealership or car manufacturer. One of those companies is Chrysler, which is number two in volume, slightly edging out Ford Motor company (not including their Premier Automotive Group) and holding just over 14 per cent of the market.

In fact, opportunities at dealerships such as Chrysler are increasing as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth in Automotive Service Technology to grow by 14 percent from 2006 through 2016. The professionals employed by these dealerships have a variety of tasks, including: diagnosing problems using Chrysler diagnostic equipment; performing repairs and preventive maintenance on engines, transmissions, electrical systems, brakes and tires. Chrysler technicians also conduct vehicle inspections.

In order to become a Chrysler technician, you must first attend a post-secondary apprenticeship program such as Centennial College’s two-year Automotive Service Technician Chrysler Co-op. The program begins with students spending their first eight months on the school’s campus engaging in important classes and working in a simulated on-campus shop. Courses that students take include: Workplace Practice and Procedures (five topic areas are covered: fasteners, bearing and seals, oxyacetylene operation, computer fundamentals); Engine Systems (introduction into the principles of operation and the terms related to the internal combustion engine), Drive Train Systems (introduction to the purpose and fundamentals, types, styles and application, principles of operation of push-type clutches and flywheel assemblies and basic gear theory), and many others. Theoretical courses in business (Occupational Health & Safety, Employment Pre-Placement, Organizational Behavior, Communications for Professionals in the Automotive Industry, Fixed Operations Management) balance out the hands-on applications that are facilitated out of Ashtonbee Campus, the largest automotive training centre in the province.

Once students are comfortable from their Chrysler apprenticeship training on automobile assemblies in fully equipped campus automotive labs, they move onto a co-op placement. This field experience sees them working in a Chrysler dealership, where they meet and network with professionals and encounter situations that may be common in their career. Students who successfully complete the two-year undertaking graduate with an Ontario College Diploma.

Students who wish to apply for this undertaking, must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or General Educational Development (GED) or equivalent. They may also be required to present a resume and transcript for faculty review. Please consider that English proficiency and satisfactory results in a program admission session will also be considered during the admissions process. Lastly, applicants may be required to fill out a questionnaire.

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