Heavy Duty Mechanic (Apprentice)
Vince works at the Kemess Mine, a remote site one hour by air from Prince George. He works on a two-week in, two-week out rotation. While on the job, he works 12-16 hours in a shift, for 14 straight days. The schedule is intense, but also has benefits. For example, in his two weeks off, Vince is free to pursue hobbies like snowboarding!
Vince is a heavy duty mechanic apprentice and part of the mine’s shovel and drill crew. He services and repairs this huge equipment; a specialized mining shovel can be larger than most houses. Maintenance work can be time consuming and quite complex. As Vince notes, “Recently, we finished a large service job. We had taken one of our shovels in half. We lifted the house (the main part of the shovel), walked the car body out from underneath it, then replaced the ring gear, rollers, and roller paths. The whole job took about a month to complete.” As well, if a shovel breaks down on the job, Vince’s team must get it repaired immediately.
People who like working in the outdoors, are good with their hands and like problem-solving would do well in this career. Vince believes that it also takes individuals with a certain attitude. “You have to be able to give and receive a bit of joking here and there. You come to work, we have some fun.”
Vince likes where he lives and wants to stay in BC. He has been able to advance in his career and plans to continue working in the mining industry.