Q: I don’t necessarily want to build aircraft. Can I still benefit from this program?
A: Absolutely. Not all of our graduates have wanted to work on aircraft either. In fact, some don’t even look for jobs in the aerospace industry. The great thing about this program is that because the standards for aerospace manufacturing are so high, you will come out of the college with the skills to succeed in virtually any manufacturing sector.
Q: Will I find a job when I finish the program?
A: The odds are definitely in your favour. Many of our graduates already have jobs lined up before they graduate. There is a very high demand for our manufacturing grads; so much so that aerospace companies from across the country often come to the college to conduct interviews with our students weeks before classes finish. Imagine not having to go looking for a job after you finish school!
Q: What are the starting salaries like for graduates? How much can I make after a few years?
A: Graduates from our program typically find themselves among the highest paid of any of the programs offered by the college. There is no fixed amount you should expect to earn, as each workplace and setting are different. As a ballpark figure, many students will start out at about the $35,000-40,000 salary range. As far as what you can make in the near future, the possibilities vary depending on the company or location you work. We have had a couple recent graduates making over $100,000 per year!
Q: What are the requirements to get into the program?
A: We generally want students to have a solid background in mathematics. We typically accept students with a grade 12 college/university preparations math course, or a grade 11 functions course with possibly some upgrading required. A secondary school graduate or a mature student may be accepted. If you are lacking the required math courses, don’t panic! There are options available to still get into the program. Confederation College offers a one year Pre-Technology course that would give students the required skills to do well in this program. In addition, you can contact program coordinator Rod Kotanen for more upgrading options.
Q: I’ve never built anything in my life. Can I still succeed in the Aerospace Manufacturing program?
A: There is a common misconception about our program. It is not all “hands-on” building things with tools. Prior experience is not a necessity. Much of the program revolves around a process that starts with an idea and ends with a finished product. Students learn from our instructors to succeed in every aspect of this process, from initial drawings on a computer to the finished product. As long as you have the desire to succeed, we will teach you the rest.
Q: What do I get to learn to do?
A: Good Question. Students will have the opportunity to experience every step of the manufacturing process; from that idea floating around in your head, to the finished product. You will design tools, components, and other projects using CATIA three-dimensional computer aided drawing software. You will learn to program and operate Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines and use them to build the projects you design. Students will learn about metals and composite materials used in the modern manufacturing industry, and will get to do both destructive and non-destructive testing on these various materials. As this is an aerospace related program, learning will also include aircraft structures and assembly, as well as tool design.
Q: Isn’t manufacturing a dirty job?
A: Some manufacturing environments rival or exceed medical operating rooms in terms of cleanliness. Most aerospace and other high technology manufacturing operations are exceptionally clean and well organized; and they have to be. The movie & television industry tends to illustrate most manufacturing as a large smokestack belching out toxic fumes. This is not the modern reality.
Q: What if I am not interested in shop-floor work.
A: Although we use a hands-on learning environment, we are training students to be knowledgeable problem-solvers, not shop floor workers. Although some students choose to pursue a shop type position, most work in an office or laboratory environment.
Q: What if I haven’t taken shop or tech courses in high-school?
A: Although any technical background is beneficial, we provide complete coverage of the technical aspects within our program. Many come to our program with no technical background and do just fine.
Q: I have a question that isn’t answered here. Who can I contact for information?
A: Rod Kotanen, the Program Coordinator of Aerospace Manufacturing would be happy to answer any questions you have. You can reach him by telephone at (807) 475-6450, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.