Student Characteristics

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Recommended student characteristics and physical activities 
to be expected in Trades and Apprenticeship training at Okanagan College


There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. If you have a disability and have any concerns regarding this please contact an Accessibility Service Coordinator to discuss your program choice and appropriate accommodations that may be available.

Residential Construction Program

Residential Construction Program Activity Overview

Carpenters construct, erect, install, and repair structures and fixtures made from wood and other materials.  The Residential Construction program will introduce students to all aspects of the trade including the use of hand tools, portable power tools and other equipment used by carpenters. Through the construction of a residential wood frame project, students will be working with a variety of materials used by carpenters including lumber, panel products, and concrete. Students will be using a large number of hand tools including hammers, chisels, tape measures, shovels, sledge hammers and pry bars.  Some of the power tools students will be using include table saws, circular saws, drills, compressors, air-powered nailers and spikers. The focus of the program is on developing practical skills for the residential construction workplace, while following safe work procedures.

NOTE:  The following recommendations are to let students be aware of the challenges involved in training for a skilled trade.  There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. If you have a disability and have any concerns regarding this please contact an Accessibility Service Coordinator to discuss your program choice and appropriate accommodations that may be available.

Physical Activities of the Residential Construction Program

  • Lift and carry tools, equipment, supplies and materials weighing up to approximately 50 lbs. 
  • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand, air and power tools from below grade to above shoulders
  • Stand on concrete, dirt, rock, asphalt, wood, etc. for extended periods of time
  • Bend, stoop, kneel, crawl to perform carpentry tasks
  • Learn and work in all weather conditions including prolonged periods of rain or heat
  • Push/pull and carry lumber and construction materials
  • Climb extension ladders, and work on scaffolding at heights

Recommended Student Characteristics

  • Good general health and respiratory condition
  • Capable of doing physical work
  • Physical strength and stamina compatible with the handling of heavy equipment and materials
  • Ability to tolerate noise and vibration
  • Balance and coordination to walk on uneven ground for up to 8 hours per day.
  • Good manual dexterity
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Satisfactory eyesight, line, form and depth perception

Plumbing and Piping Trades

Plumbing Program Activity Overview

Piping trades workers construct, repair, install, replace and maintain piping systems, fixtures and appliances in all types of buildings and structures.  This program will introduce students to all aspects of the piping trades including the use of hand tools, portable power tools and other equipment used in industry. Students will be working with a variety of materials including wood, steel, plastic, copper and concrete. Students will be using a large variety of hand tools including hammers, wrenches, tape measures, shovels, levels, screwdrivers and pipe/tubing cutters.  Some of the power tools students will be using include circular saws, drills, compressors, threaders and torches. The focus of the program is on developing practical skills for the residential and commercial piping industry workplace, while following safe work procedures.

NOTE:  The following recommendations are to let students be aware of the challenges involved in training for a skilled trade.  There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. If you have a disability and have any concerns regarding this please contact an Accessibility Service Coordinator to discuss your program choice and appropriate accommodations that may be available.

Physical Activities of the Plumbing and Piping Program include

    • Lift and carry tools, equipment, supplies and materials weighing up to approximately 30 lbs.
    • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand, air and power tools from below grade to above shoulders
    • Stand on concrete, dirt, rock, asphalt, wood, etc. for extended periods of time
    • Bend, stoop, kneel, crawl to perform piping tasks
    • Learn and work in both indoor and outdoor venues, through all seasonal challenges
    • Push/pull and carry pipe, tubing and construction materials
    • Climb extension ladders, and work on scaffolding at heights
    • Work in open trenches and other confining environments 
              

Recommended Student Characteristics

  • Good general health and respiratory condition
  • Capable of doing physical work
  • Physical strength and stamina compatible with the handling of heavy equipment and materials
  • Ability to tolerate noise and vibration
  • Good balance and coordination to walk on uneven ground for up to 8 hours per day.
  • Good manual dexterity
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Satisfactory eyesight, line, form and depth perception
  • Able to work in confining spaces such as under kitchen sinks

Electrician Pre-Apprenticeship Program      

Electrical Trades Overview:

An Electrician's work involves assembling, installing, commissioning, testing, maintaining, servicing and operating electrical systems and equipment. All work is performed within guidelines offered by building codes, the electrical safety code and installation specifications.   

The three main settings in which electricians typically work are:

Construction - electricians work either as employees who are part of a contractor's team, on both residential and commercial construction projects, or as independent electrical contractors on such projects.                            

Industrial - electricians are typically employed on staff at large-scale industrial facilities such as pulp mills, hydroelectric dams, oil and gas facilities and mining and smelting operations.  

Institutional - most large institutions such as hospitals, school boards, universities and other public facilities have at least one electrician working as part of their maintenance department.  

NOTE:  The following recommendations are to let students be aware of the challenges involved in training for a skilled trade.  There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. If you have a disability and have any concerns regarding this please contact an Accessibility Service Coordinator to discuss your program choice and appropriate accommodations that may be available.

Physical Activities of the Electrical Program include:

  • Lift and carry tools, equipment, supplies and materials weighing up to approximately 30 lbs.
  • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand and power tools from below grade to above shoulders.
  • Stand on concrete, dirt, rock, asphalt, wood, etc. for extended periods of time.
  • Bend, stoop, kneel or crawl to perform electrical tasks.
  • Work in confined spaces and trenches.
  • Work in both indoor and outdoor venues, through all seasonal challenges.
  • Push/pull and carry electrical construction materials and troubleshooting equipment.
  • Climb extension ladders, and work on scaffolding at heights.

Recommended Student Characteristics

    • Good general health and respiratory condition
    • Capable of doing physical work
    • Physical strength and stamina compatible with the handling of heavy equipment and materials
    • Ability to tolerate noise and vibration
    • Good balance and coordination to walk on uneven ground for up to 8 hours per day.
    • Good manual dexterity
    • Good hand-eye coordination
    • Satisfactory eyesight, line, form and depth perception
    • Willing to work in team and individual environments
                     

Welding and Metal Fabricator

Welding and Metal Fabrication Activity Overview

Students will be using a large variety of hand tools including hammers, wrenches, tape measures, levels, screwdrivers and a variety of shop equipment.  Some of the power tools students will be using include circular saws, drills, compressors, and torches. The focus of the program is to follow safe work procedures and develop theoretical and practical skills for both shop and field applications in industry. Students will have the opportunity to use and apply almost every current welding and cutting process currently used in industry. A large variety of repair projects will give students real world, hands-on welding experience.

NOTE:  The following recommendations are to let students be aware of the challenges involved in training for a skilled trade.  There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. If you have a disability and have any concerns regarding this please contact an Accessibility Service Coordinator to discuss your program choice and appropriate accommodations that may be available.

Physical Activities of the Welding and Fabrication Programs include:
  • Lift and carry tools, equipment, supplies and materials weighing up to approximately 30 lbs.
  • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand, air and power tools from below grade to above shoulders
  • Stand on concrete, dirt, rock, asphalt, wood, etc. for extended periods of time
  • Bend, stoop, lift and kneel, to perform physical tasks
  • Learn and work in both indoor and outdoor venues, through all seasonal challenges
  • Push/pull and carry pipe, plates, and structural steel and construction materials
Recommended Student Characteristics
  • Good general health and respiratory condition
  • Capable of doing physical work
  • Physical strength and stamina compatible with the handling of heavy equipment and materials
  • Ability to tolerate noise and vibration
  • Good balance and coordination to walk on uneven ground for up to 8 hours per day.
  • Good manual dexterity
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Satisfactory eyesight, line, form and depth perception
                                                                      

Automotive Repair Technician

Automotive Repair Technician Activity Overview

Automotive Repair Technicians diagnose and repair all systems related to automobiles and light trucks with the exception of exterior refinishing. They are required to use a variety of tools including hand tools, computer systems, scan tools, pneumatic tools, oxy/fuel torches, welding equipment and power hand tools. Materials that a technician would work with include plastics, rubber, glass, steel and other alloys. The complexity of the task will vary with the system being serviced.

NOTE:  The following recommendations are to let students be aware of the challenges involved in training for a skilled trade.  There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. If you have a disability and have any concerns regarding this please contact an Accessibility Service Coordinator to discuss your program choice and appropriate accommodations that may be available.

Physical Activities of the Automotive Repair Technician Program include:
  • Lift and carry tools, equipment, supplies and materials weighing up to approximately 44 lbs.
  • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand, air and power tools from below grade to above shoulders
  • Stand on concrete and asphalt for extended periods of time
  • Bend, stoop, kneel, crawl to perform various tasks
Recommended Student Characteristics
  • Good general health and respiratory condition
  • Capable of doing physical work
  • Physical strength and stamina compatible with the handling of heavy equipment and materials Ability to tolerate noise and vibration
  • Good manual dexterity
  • Satisfactory eyesight, line, form and depth perception
                                        
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer S-License (Structures License)                                                                                                                  
           Aircraft Maintenance Engineer S-License Activity Overview:

Participants of the Aviation Structural Repair Program will be expected to carry out major and minor aircraft structural repairs which would consist of appraising damage and determining the correct procedure and materials to carry out an airworthy repair. These activities could include but are not limited to the following: disassembly of the damaged area, removal of all damaged components. This could involve mechanical disassemble using varied mechanical tools such as wrenches and screw drivers requiring considerable force required to dislodge stuck and frozen bolts and fasteners. There may be requirements to use pneumatic shears as part of the disassembly process. Removal of rivets holding large sheets of aluminum to the fuselage of large aircraft is a major part of the disassembly and re-fabrication of the components, this to be accomplished with pneumatic drills and punches. These tasks often take place on ladders and scaffolding along the sides of fuselages as well as on top of fuselages and wings. Participants are required often to work in tightly enclosed areas that are difficult to gain access and egress in an easy manner.

Extremely loud noisy environments with high vibration at times are common everyday working conditions.  Learning to work with harsh and volatile chemicals is a requirement that requires special care but is taught throughout the program. There are numerous large and heavy pieces of equipment that require an operator to stand, bend over or under, to actuate heavy arms and levers to accomplish specific tasks  such as cutting large and heavy sheets of aluminum. Finishing processes require working in, over and around odd shaped components that may require participants to climb and work in high and awkward positions.
 
NOTE:  The following recommendations are to let students be aware of the challenges involved in training for a skilled trade.  There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. If you have a disability and have any concerns regarding this please contact an Accessibility Service Coordinator to discuss your program choice and appropriate accommodations that may be available.

Physical Activities of the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (S) Program include:
  • Activities require lifting and carrying tools, supplies, materials and equipment weighing up to 50 lbs.
  • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand, air and power tools from floor to above shoulders
  • Stand on concrete and asphalt for extended periods of time
  • Not limited to drilling, cutting, filing, sanding, sewing, painting, riveting, shearing, hammering, shoring, jacking, sawing, nailing, lifting, sweeping, cleaning, and towing large aircraft.
  • Learn and work in both indoor and outdoor venues, through all seasonal challenges
  • Activities may be required to work in awkward, uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time.
  • Use of solvents, cleaners, paints, adhesives
Recommended Student Characteristics
  • Good general health and respiratory condition
  • Strength and stamina to handle physical work
  • Ability to tolerate loud noise and vibration from riveting tools
  • Good manual dexterity to manipulate small nuts, bolts, fittings, and components
  • Eye sight; must be correctable to 20/20 with good line, form and depth perception.
  • Good manual dexterity.
  • Good hand-eye co-ordination.
  • Hearing; able to work in a hazardous environment and recognize the dangers of jet engines running and propeller driven aircraft dangers recognizable by sound, as well be able to communicate complicated instructions in high noise environments.
  • Demonstrate an attitude of safety in the workplace at all times

 

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer M-License (Maintenance License)

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer M-License Activity Overview

Aircraft Maintenance Engineers inspect, repair, and certify all systems related to aircraft including helicopters and airplanes. They are required to use a variety of tools including hand tools, pneumatic tools, and computer systems. Materials that a technician would work with include plastics, fiberglass, aluminum, steel , petroleum products, and paints. 

NOTE:  The following recommendations are to let students be aware of the challenges involved in training for a skilled trade.  There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. If you have a disability and have any concerns regarding this please contact an Accessibility Service Coordinator to discuss your program choice and appropriate accommodations that may be available.                                                                                              

Physical Activities of the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (M) Program include:

  • Lift and carry tools, equipment, supplies and materials weighing up to approximately 40 lbs.
  • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand, air and power tools from floor to above shoulders
  • Stand on concrete and asphalt for extended periods of time
  • Bend, stoop, kneel, climb to perform various tasks
  • Learn and work in both indoor and outdoor venues, through all seasonal challenges
  • Climb ladders and scaffolding to access parts of aircraft
  • Use of solvents, cleaners, paints, adhesives
Recommended Student Characteristics
  • Good general health and respiratory condition
  • Strength and stamina to handle physical work
  • Ability to tolerate loud noise and vibration from riveting tools
  • Good manual dexterity to manipulate small nuts, bolts, fittings, and components
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Satisfactory eyesight, line, form and depth perception
  • Good hearing to understand directions and recognize safety hazards.
  • Willing to work in team and individual environments
  • Demonstrate an attitude of safety in the workplace at all times