I was born/grew up in: Middle Stewiacke, Nova Scotia
I now live in: Maitland, Nova Scotia
I completed my training/education at: I completed my apprenticeship in Automobile Repair at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Akerley
What I do at work
At work, I am currently training an apprentice painter. We both fix small and minor imperfections (e.g., chips, scratches, dents, light rust), and prep panels for refinishing. We also mask (tape) vehicles, and clean the exterior of vehicles. I also maintain a spray booth, mix product, apply product, and scan colors. Our job includes using technology with our mixing system (computer and scale) and booth set up (setting correct temperatures). We also use math to calculate the ratios to mix product, tinting colors (adding or subtracting small amounts) and estimating (amount of product used).
As painters, I use spray guns, color camera, sun gun and spray out cards as specialized equipment. There is a lot of problem solving involved as a car painter. We manage most of the shop, since we know how many cars will be there in a day, how many to paint, and which ones are priority. We also have to do a lot of problem solving inside the booth. This could include such things as having to correct the wrong color. For example, we might find a different color to apply or tint the current color. Working as part of a team is a huge thing for a painter. We work alongside almost everyone one in the shop from estimators, body techs, to detailers.
My career path is
In High school I was an O2 (Options and Opportunities) student. In this program, I had to select a career to job shadow. I originally wanted to be a videogame designer. Unfortunately, there was nothing available in Nova Scotia in this area. My O2 teacher suggested that I do something along the lines of engineering, as I was in advanced math. I checked the list of careers available for job shadow and said “why don't I paint cars?” I applied in my grade 11 year, was accepted and that was that. I went to college for 2 years at NSCC and graduated with honors. I did my apprenticeship training and then wrote my red seal exam and passed in 2018.
I wouldn't say my career has taken any unusual twist or turns, but where I have competed in five Skills Canada National Competitions I have had some very fun and exciting experiences. I've gotten to travel across Canada, meet new people and made new relationships. As a result, I have a very large network! Today I am a part of another board associated with my career. When I met the other people on the board, some of them had already known who I was from my experience at Skills. I’m also involved in training apprentices. This is my first time to work with an apprentice so sometimes it is challenging as I try to share my knowledge and help them improve. It’s all part of the learning curve for both of us. Learn more about my career path in this video interview I did with Skills Canada.
I am motivated by
I love what I do. Since going to school for autobody repair, I've always wanted to exclusively paint.
How I affect peoples’ lives
Everyone will need a car fixed sometime in their life. Robots may be able to apply paint at the factory, but they cannot control things such as blending and making correct color matches as we do. Everyone likes seeing the finished product. The first thing they see is a paint job on a vehicle.
Outside of work I
Outside of work, I am on four different boards/committees. I also horseback ride and compete in many divisions.
My advice to others
Learning is always continuous. Keeping up to date and educated with new products and procedures is a huge thing in any career.