It’s amazing how some things can go so fast without actually going anywhere at all.
Cars, along with people on treadmills, just happen to be one of these things. That’s part of the reason why being a mechanic can be such a great career choice. Cars aren’t going anywhere for a long, long time.
“I’m not worried about my job (in this economy),” says automotive technician Justin Gullison.
“There’s always going to be cars to fix. Cars aren’t going anywhere. It’s an amazing trade to get in to.”
Gullison, 22, is a mechanic at Colombo Chrysler in Woodbridge. He apprenticed there during his schooling in Centennial College’s Automotive program. Immediately upon graduation, he was hired to a full-time position.
In fact, Centennial offers a Chrysler-specific program for students where they learn exclusively about Chrysler models and work on Chrysler cars. The manufacturer even donates cars to the college for students to hone their craft.
Peter Woodall, the chairperson of Centennial’s Automotive and Motorcycle program, says that since the program’s inception in 2005 nearly every graduate has landed a full-time job in the field.
“Career wise, history has shown that good technicians always find employment,” says Woodall. “Likely, this will continue.”
The Chrysler program is rather exclusive. With hundreds of applicants each year, only 22 are accepted. This year, however, a new program took flight in conjunction with the Toronto Auto Dealers Association. This program, explains Woodall, will teach students to learn on a variety of automobiles that are members of the dealers’ association. They will then be given the opportunity to apprentice at any one of a number of participating dealerships.
“We have high hopes for this program, in terms of employment opportunities,” he said. “The dealers have absolutely no reservations about accommodating students.”
“It’s very fulfilling when you fix a car,” says Gullison. “You feel good inside.”
He says it’s very satisfying when a person comes in with a car problem and he has to use his skills and training to figure out what it is, and fix it. It lets him use his brain to produce results, while giving the customer comfort that the problem can be fixed. He says he loves the challenge of the job, and is always curios to learn new things.
Aside from the two programs mentioned here, Centennial College offers a wide range of specialized automotive programs. To learn more about each one, view descriptions at centennialcollege.ca/transportation/automotive.