Tuesday, October 8, 2013

College-trained workers make up most of the Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians

The purpose of this article is to garner attention to Centennial College’s success on training graduates of the Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (Co-op Apprenticeship) (8205) program.

Forestry, agriculture, and mining industries are viable areas of employment, contrary to contemporary perceptions. In fact, an area of professional occupations working in these industries is a Heavy Duty Equipment Technician. These highly-skilled tradespersons work in other segments that involve machinery, including construction, municipalities, manufacturing, transportation, and wholesale trade. Demand varies and is dependent upon the industry, but it is generally increasing as governments invest on long-term infrastructure and sustainability. About 42% of the workers in this field is in the 45-64 years age bracket which means that heavy duty equipment technicians will be further in need as a huge wave of workers retire. The attractive area of heavy duty equipment employs mainly full-time workers, with over 40% of those working full-time, full-year are earning $50,000 per annum and higher.

One of the important factors for employment in heavy-duty equipment mechanics is the practical training provided in colleges. A two-year program plus an 8-month co-op apprenticeship proves valuable to professionals who gain real-life experiences during school while working towards a college diploma. Such program was brought to reality by Centennial College through its School of Transportation. The Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (Co-op Apprenticeship) (8205) program at Ashtonbee campus allows students to learn, practice, and hone highly-sought after skills in engaging classroom activities with up-to-date industry-standard equipment and valued transportation training centres. Here are some fact on the proven success of the program and the college, based on the 2012 Graduate Employment Report:

  • Seven out of the eight 2012 graduates in the labour pool are employed.
  • They are all working in full-time positions in a field related with their program.
  • The reported average salary is nearly $50,000 which is a good compensation for starting positions, with $95,000 as the highest paid annual salary.

A success story from one of the Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (Co-op Apprenticeship graduates) comes from Mike Rice. Centennial College was on top of his mind, because of its blend of theory and hands-on training. He was proven correct as he learned about the tools of the trade, while practicing on equipment on site at the school. He was inspired by the faculty, whom he admires and commends for their care and commitment to their students.

How the program works:

  • Meet the eligibility and academic requirements: a secondary diploma, mature students status, or equivalent; and a college or university grade 12 English or completion of the English Skills Assessment.
  • First year on campus with eight courses in the first semester and nine courses in the second courses, including a co-op preparation course to help students in the application process
  • The next two semesters will be spent in paid co-op work placements in company employers, where students can apply their skills and gain real life experiences, all while being mentored by industry professionals.
  • The program will wrap up with two more semesters of schooling with a line of advanced courses
  • Students graduate with an Ontario College Diploma with a co-op apprenticeship designation and a positive career outlook with education and training on hand

The Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (Co-op Apprenticeship) program at Centennial College equips students with the theories and techniques to become successful in the trade. The program’s heavy equipment courses provided as much academic training as hands-on experience. Upon graduation, learners can pursue industry certification with the Red Seal Program, confirming their competencies and allowing them to work anywhere across Canada.

Author details: The author of this article is Jason White. He researched industry outlook for heavy duty equipment mechanics and connected it to Centennial’s Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (Co-op Apprenticeship) program.

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