When Cody Bender was 13, he started helping his father restore a Jeep. It turned out to be a fun father-son project, and through that experience, he developed an interest in automotive technology. Growing up in Show Low, he was in the right place to get great training through NPC’s Automotive Technology program.
Bender enrolled in 2014 as a home school junior through the NAVIT program.

“It’s a great program with lots of hands-on and online learning opportunities that really teach you a lot. NPC is a great place to learn the trade,” says Bender, who earned several automotive technology certifications during his studies. 

NPC Automotive Technology instructor Sammy Harris liked what he saw in
Bender, so he hired him to serve as shop foreman at his own business, Harris Automotive.  Bender worked there for four years, and in July of this year, he began working for Perkins Cinders, an excavating company in Show Low. 

Bender and another mechanic keep Perkins’ bulldozers, graders, trucks and other heavy equipment operating so their coworkers can complete their work assignments. “I love going to work every day,” Bender says. “There’s something new every day and the work is challenging, but it’s always a good time repairing machines.” Bender says it’s actually easier to repair heavy equipment than automobiles. “Some people don’t want to work on heavy machinery. It’s dirty, dusty work, but I enjoy it. Cars have smaller parts in tighter spaces that can be hard to get to,” he says.

Auto mechanics, like computer experts, are very popular with family members and friends who like to ask them for their help or opinion about a problem they’re having. Bender laughs about that, and says he makes time for them to see if he can provide solutions to their vehicle problems.

Bender is grateful that he is able to work in a job he loves, and recommends NPC to those looking for a great education that leads to career fulfillment. He found that having “NPC Automotive Technology” on your résumé can lead to a well-paying job. In fact, he says Perkins Cinders employs several former NPC students and he knows of several other former NPC Automotive Technology students working in the field locally.

Automotive Technology is open to both high school students and adults. Technicians already working in the field can take NPC courses to expand their knowledge and skills. Those who complete the Associate of Applied Science degree are rewarded with higher pay and better job opportunities. Find out more at www.npc.edu/automotive