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Becoming an instructor

Discussion in 'Personnel' started by 92U 3406, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Field Service Tech
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    Oilsands
    I'm a heavy equipment mechanic and was wondering if anyone knows what kind of courses or degree is required to become an instructor at a tradeschool? I'm just looking to set myself up in the right direction for my next career move in a few more years. I do have my Red Seal on and off road tickets.

    I'm in Alberta if that makes any difference. Any advice would be great!
     
  2. Bumpsteer

    Bumpsteer Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Mechanical designer
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    mid Michigan
    Check with the trade school for their requirements. It's a whole different world in education after one leaves the k-12 public school system.

    Many times experience counts more than a piece of paper.

    Ed
     
  3. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Claremore, OK
    Yes often experience trumps a degree. I don't recall the terminology but you more or less get your credit from your years of work. A friend of mine teaches college accounting courses without any teaching degree due to the fact he's been a CPA for around 40 years. I bet in this industry its fairly lenient as there aren't any true degrees that teach it all. I've pondered that idea myself. I'm years away from it but even now with what I've seen come out of our local votech and what counts as a "mechanic" it's a little troubling to me. They all say I have my ASE Cert in this or that. I chuckle and proceed to evaluate in my own ways. Mostly end up disappointed in their schooling.
     
  4. 56wrench

    56wrench Active Member

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    Check each institution's website. If there are any positions available they will list the qualification requirements. A red seal and experience used to be enough, but I would suspect it is a lot more competitive now. Multiple red seals don't hurt either( on-road, off-road, welding, automotive or ag) Preference is likely given to someone with an education degree if it boils down to a short list and the rest of the qualifications are met. It helps if a person has worked on a wide variety of machines and different makes. It may be more likely to get a job at the regional colleges( Lakeland, Fairview or Olds) than Nait, Sait, Red Deer or Lethbridge. Sometimes, short temporary contract positions are a good way to get your foot in the door which could eventually lead to a more permanent position.
     
  5. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Where I went to college I took various automotive courses.

    One had a guy from the local automatic transmission shop who took Fridays off to teach. It paid less than his regular job, when asked, he said, I failed economics I guess. But that kind of assistant position might be available to get into the real deal eventually.

    All the professors/teachers had lots of experience. Sometimes a little off the particular course they taught. The auto trans prof had more general auto and air conditioning experience but he had been teaching the auto trans class so long with the assistant that he was quite good at automatic transmissions anyway. But he was also good at the lecture part, where the assistant did not show up for lecture day, only lab.
     
  6. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Teaching is an entirely different type of work and requires some special talents to be effective at it. The goal is not to overhaul or repair something but to impart enough information to someone else so that they will have an idea of what is required to do that job. Vocational teachers seem to be former trades people that don't want to do that job anymore rather than people who want to build top notch students. That's pretty much the reason you see less than qualified trade school graduates with big ideas idea of going right to the engine or transmission rebuild room and not on to the wash rack for six months.

    Check at local community colleges for adult education training. Train the trainer seems to be the titles used for that today. That will provide you with information on how to set up your curriculum, write a syllabus and set up your lesson plans. It will also give you the type of information to let you know if you might like the new career. Generally you will have to have some kind of teaching certificate to become a full time employee. I've known a few of these people and the good ones love it. You can tell by the way they talk about their students. The poor ones only whine about how bad their's are.

    The other issue is money. I don't know about Canada but in the States it don't pay jack for the time you have to put in and the peripheral crap that goes on in any type of school.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Well-Known Member

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    That's the thing. I love what I do and I really enjoy mentoring the apprentices. I've been at this 8 years now so I figure on at least another 6-10 years before I want to try this. Just figured if I needed a Bachelor of Education or something like that I could knock it out over the next couple years.
     
  8. jofc

    jofc Active Member

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    AB
    I just switched over to being an instructor for the company I work with. I'm in my late 20's but realized that changing parts gets old quick and it's really fun teaching the newer guys the RIGHT way to fix things. Don't think you need to be grey haired to teach. NAIT has an instructor program they send all their new recruits through. It's pretty fluffy but gets your head around teaching rather than talking. I'm not sure but I recall needing an 8 month B Ed equivalent program from UofA to get hired on with the colleges around here but don't quote me on it. Job postings are hard to come by though as it is essentially a retirement gig.
    Hardest part for recruiting instructors who were former tradespeople is the less money and no overtime part. It's hard to train these guys how to not always want to be working.
     
  9. Tractorguy

    Tractorguy Well-Known Member

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    I recently made the jump to teaching as well. I'm in my 20's still have been in the field for 5 years and had the 2 year degree from the college. There's another instructor who has no degree but 40 years of experience. Kinda depends on who is hiring for the position too. The right person knows who to look for. It was definitely a pay cut but working less than 30 hours a week not killing my knees back and getting nasty all day and watching my children grow is well worth it so far.
     
  10. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Oilsands
    I do remember a staff member at the school I attended mentioning in class that they generally do not hire anyone who has only worked for 1 or 2 companies in their mechanic career. I would say you are spot on there.



    Definitely appreciate the responses everyone!
     
  11. PJ The Kid

    PJ The Kid Well-Known Member

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    All my instructors were mechanics first, but they had to get degrees in teaching, from highschool to college, they had all already been in the field doing what they were teaching. One of them is back to wrenching again.
     
  12. Brodiesel

    Brodiesel Well-Known Member

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    CATs ThinkBIG program needs instructors, I'm in training in Stockton, CA in a $10,000,000 shop that needs more talented instructors. They always have a job opening and some of the older teachers retired recently. Look it up, its the ThinkBIG program at Delta College.
     
  13. catwelder

    catwelder Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    north carolina
    i know my local community college system if you have around 10 years of experience in whatever you want to teach they will give you a try
     
  14. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    There is a diesel program at the community college here in my town. And not to throw water on the great fire of ambition but 97% of students are just filling a chair.
    And those who do get a job after schooling, well most don't have what it takes. When they hit the shop floor for the first time with their new overalls their all smiles.
    Until they have to put a clutch or rear end in a septic pumper. The real world hits hard. As far as teaching-I would rather have someone apply that knows not much
    and train him myself. I end up doing it anyway on raw students.

    Truck Shop
     
  15. ship660

    ship660 Well-Known Member

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    I started teaching at a Vo-Tec 13 years ago. I did not have to have a degree in education but had to take 16 hours so they could teach me to teach the basic educational stuff, (special needs students and the laws governing them, writing good lesson plans and implementing them effectively) I also have my own mobile service business and continue to work for companies needing repairs. I have made it a practice to teach the kids the basics first (what tools are called and how to use them, use a cutting torch, use arc and mig welders, drill out broken bolts) If the kids grasp these concepts and are proficient most employers dont have issue with them Knowing it all rather they are trainable. The hardest part of the job is trying to teach soft skills to the new generation (show up to work on time and leave on time or if needed stay late, Ask questions if not sure dont just GOOGLE it)