Honda to certify technicians with OCCC program

March 25, 2016 Featured Slider, Latest, News Print Print
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Dustin Turner, automotive technician

AUTOMOTIVE TECH: Dustin Turner, automotive technician. “I worked around and I worked on cars my whole life, so I figure this is just another way to make a little bit more money,” Turner said. Melissa Sue Lopez/Pioneer

This fall OCCC students will have one more opportunity to train in a profitable career.

A new automotive program will train technicians to work on Honda and Acura cars, said Chair of Transportation Technology Brad Walker.

Walker said the program is the first in the state.

Honda will begin the program by donating 10 to 15 models.

“Honda is very generous,” Walker said. “They’re going to be donating vehicles, just like what we have from GM. So we’ll be getting several new Hondas in here that we get to play with and tear up and stuff like that.”

“They’ll try to get one or two of everything that they make so that way their students will have a good representation of what they’ll see in the dealership.”

Prospective Honda technicians will be required to work at a local Honda dealership as an intern while they study.

Students will work at one of the four local dealerships— Eskridge Honda, Battison Honda, Bob Howard Honda and Acura, and Fowler Honda in Norman.

“Not only will we be dealing with the ones in the metro area, but we’ll probably be kind of reaching out statewide,” Walker said.

He said there are 13 Honda dealerships in the  state.

“There’s room for one student at each place… We’ll probably try to work with ones in Ardmore, Ponca City, Enid, Tulsa. We’ll try to reach out a little further than just the metro.”

The internships work to get a student’s foot in the door to a profitable career after graduation.

“A technician can make a good amount of money,” Walker said.

He said that technicians are usually paid a flat rate for each job, so they determine how much their take home pay is.

“The income greatly varies on how efficient they are, how motivated they are, and how good they work,” Walker said.

He said the students in the General Motors program can take home a pretty penny after earning their certification.

“It’s not uncommon for my students to walk out of here from day one, after getting their degree, to easily make $40,000. I do have a couple of my students who are a year removed from school who are making over $60,000 right now,” Walker said.

He said to stay competitive Honda pays a similar amount.

“So you’re looking at somewhere between $40,000 and $60,000 after school, depending on how good of a worker you are.”

The program will be housed in the same areas as the other two automotive technician programs- GM and the “all makes all models program.”

Walker said that he thinks there will be a lot of demand among prospective students for the Honda technician program.

“I’ve already had a few phone calls and a few people talking about it,” Walker said. “Most of my recruiting comes from the local area career techs—Moore Norman, Francis Tuttle, Mid-America Technology Centers and places like that.”

“When I mentioned the Honda program to their instructors they said they had a lot of students that would be interested in that.”

He said with the third program enrollment should increase.

“I look for hopefully increasing enrollment by about a third,” said Walker.

More information about certificate courses offered by OCCC is available in the course catalog at www.occc.edu/catalog. For information about automotive courses contact Brad Walker at bwalker@occc.edu.

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