Friday, January 25, 2013

Heavy Duty Equipment Courses Teach Theory and Practical Application

“I decided to take the Heavy Duty Equipment Technician courses because I thought there was good demand,” says student Kelsey of the Heavy Duty Equipment Technician Co-op Apprenticeship program at Centennial College. “[Even] if the economy gets worse, there’s always going to be construction jobs, there’s good pay and I like working with my hands. It’s a really good trade to get into.”

Although all students have their own reasons for applying to the Heavy Duty Equipment Technician program, Kelsey is right in that it is an in-demand industry. As such, after attending this two-year program, students may find careers in forestry, construction, mining, transportation, landscaping, land cleaning, farming and more. Additionally, just by attending this one offering, they may work in a number of positions, including: heavy-duty equipment technician, service manager, service writer or coordinator, equipment company representative, or college or industry teacher.

But how do the heavy equipment courses get students from novices to professionals by the time they graduate? First and foremost, students spend eight months in school, followed by eight months during a co-op term actually working for an employer on a full-time basis and a final eight months back in the program. As such, students obtain basic knowledge, and then apply what they have learned and gain new knowledge in the real world that will allow them to master more advanced topics once they return to school.

Among the specific topics covered within the heavy equipment courses are: applied mechanics, vehicle dynamics as well as component design and repair, as it applies to the apprenticeship curriculum. Additionally, students partake in courses that are only available at Centennial College and cover advanced electrical/ electronics, logistics, plus hoisting and rigging. Lastly, students take courses that offer them a business perspective of the industry. Among the specific Heavy Duty Equipment Technician courses are: Trade Practices, Fixed Operations Management, Engine Systems, Fluid Power Systems, Occupational Health and Safety, Electrical Systems, Brake Systems and more.

The in-school component of this Heavy Duty Equipment Technician offering is conducted from Ashtonbee Campus. Known for being Centennial College’s transportation training hub and housing the province’s largest transportation centre, it offers students an advantage as they have access to tools of the trade and the opportunity to practice fixing actual heavy duty equipment vehicles. Additionally, the campus prides itself on fostering an atmosphere of real-life mechanic shops.

To apply for the Heavy Duty Equipment Technician program, students are required to posses at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or General Educational Development (GED) or equivalent. Applicants must also obtain satisfactory results in a program admission session; and demonstrate experience, mechanical aptitude and English proficiency. They may also be asked to present a resumé. Successful applicants must be eligible to work in Ontario and have an Ontario driver’s license.

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