What Aarron Barnett, a journeyman heavy duty mechanic and CNC graduate, enjoys most about his job is making customers happy.
“I still get a silly smile on my face when I fix something,” he said.
Aarron graduated from the College of New Caledonia in 2014 and feels fortunate and happy with his career choice. But he acknowledges that the field can be tough sometimes, particularly for people just starting out.
“This field can be especially hard when you’re first looking for a job,” he said. “Dealerships view you as more of an expense than an asset. Then when you do find a job, you often have to do grunt work to start.”
It is at this point Aarron has noticed many students tend to get discouraged and drop out.
But he wants current and future hopefuls in CNC’s Heavy Duty Mechanics program to know that these challenges are all part of the learning process, and that it takes time, tenacity and hard work to succeed as a mechanic.
Often, students want to get their tickets as fast as they can, which Aarron discourages.
“You don’t want to rush through your training,” he said. “The more time you take, the more you learn, and the more experience you get applying theory you learned in school.”
His advice to students feeling this way is find the motivation to stick it out.
“If you do, there’s lots of jobs out there,” Aarron said. “Mechanics in general are hard to come by. Good mechanics are really hard to come by.”
This was the message he wanted to share with first year heavy mechanical students when he returned to CNC to speak with classes at the end of 2018.
He believes students benefit from hearing about the common day-to-day challenges and ups and downs of the industry. That way any misconceptions about what a career as a heavy duty mechanic is really like is addressed.
“There’s an old saying, ‘You can fix 100 things and everyone will like you. Make one mistake and everyone will hate you’” he said. “The biggest thing is to learn from your mistakes.”