3rd year Apprentice Auto Body Technician: Kyle Steven, Reliable Auto Body
Kyle entered the collision repair industry through the “ACE IT” program. In the program Kyle had a 24 hour work experience at Reliable Auto Body. They liked his work ethic and saw his potential so they hired him into a pre-apprenticeship through ACE IT. This had a requirement for Kyle to complete 8 months of on-line training within his first year. This involved 4 hours of on-line school work in the morning (in a designated work station) where he had a chance to discuss course material with the lead technicians and in the afternoon it was “all hands on” with a dedicated technician in the shop.
Kyle managed to finish it in 4 months while working at the shop. From there he proceeded into the apprenticeship program through the ITA.
What attracted you to a career in the automotive sector?
There are endless things about automotive industry that keeps me excited, it’s always advancing and I like to learn and work my hands.
What do you feel are good traits for someone who wants to work as an auto body technician?
You need to be good with your hands and have a lot of attention to detail. You should be able to think outside the box and be very visual because sometimes the damage is so bad you have to be able to create something from nothing.
What does a typical day in your job entail?
Every morning we talk as a team to look at what has to be done and where we’d like to be at the end of day. We also have follow-up meetings two more times during the day to keep everyone in the loop or to deal with changes that sometimes happen. When I’m repairing vehicles I’m usually straightening out a panel, reassembling or taking vehicle apart, and sometimes I get to spend time on the frame rack straightening out a vehicle frame.
What kind of an environment do you work in?
It’s really clean and organized; we do a lot of planning ahead and follow checklists. Everything is labelled, our bay, our parts, it’s all about being on task.
What are some of your thoughts on the future of the automotive sector?
Everything is going towards hybrid or computerized vehicles. The industry is advancing day by day and there’s such a demand for body repair technicians.