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www.tradesecrets.orgOutdoor Power Equipment Technician

Outdoor power equipment technicians repair, service and maintain small gasoline and diesel powered marine, power, recreational and turf equipment.

Also Known As:Equipment and Appliance Service Trades, Garden Equipment Technician, Gasoline Engine Technician, Lawn and Garden Equipment Technician, Marine Equipment Technician, Mechanic, Power Equipment Technician, Recreation Equipment Technician, Service Technician, Small Engine Mechanic, Turf Equipment Technician
NOC Number(s):7335
Minimum Education:Apprenticeship Trade
Employment Outlook:Job openings: turnover plus new jobs due to above average growth in occupation in Alberta 2013-2017
Interests:O M i

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Outdoor Power Equipment Technician-Recreation


Duties | Working Conditions | Personal Characteristics | Education | Employment | Salary | Other Information | Related Occupations | Related School Subjects | Related Field of Study

Duties

In general, outdoor power equipment technicians:

  • review and interpret work orders and technical manuals
  • inspect engines, motors and other mechanical components and use test devices to diagnose and isolate faults
  • adjust, repair or replace mechanical or electrical system parts and components using hand tools and equipment
  • test and adjust repaired equipment for proper performance
  • perform scheduled maintenance service on equipment
  • advise customers on work performed and general condition of equipment
  • estimate repair costs.

In Alberta, the outdoor power equipment technician trade is divided into two branches:

  • Power equipment technicians repair, service and maintain equipment such as generators, mowers, aerators, golf carts and chain saws.
  • Recreational equipment technicians repair, service and maintain equipment such as snowmobiles, recreational multi-wheeled utility vehicles, outboard motors, jet drives in boats and personal watercraft.

Working Conditions

Working conditions vary:

  • Power equipment technicians may work indoors in shops or they may travel to make service calls. Hours of work vary from regular hours to long and hectic hours during busy seasons.
  • Recreational equipment technicians usually work indoors in shops and occasionally outdoors. Most work a 40 hour, five day week. However, some evening, weekend or holiday work may be required particularly during the busier months. 

Outdoor power equipment technicians may be required to lift and move items that weigh up to about 65 kilograms. The work often is dirty and greasy, and noisy when engines are being tested. There is some risk of injury when working with hand and power tools, or with hot engines and sharp edges. Ventilation systems reduce the risk involved in working indoors near exhaust fumes.


Personal Characteristics

Outdoor power equipment technicians need the following characteristics:

  • mechanical ability and an interest in all types of machinery and engines, electronics and precision equipment
  • customer relations skills
  • a willingness to work long hours in the busy season
  • the ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • the ability to think logically and keep up to date with changes in technology
  • the ability to work in a standing position for long periods of time.
  • the ability to work in awkward, tight or confined spaces.

They should enjoy doing precise work, solving problems and working with their hands.


Educational Requirements

To work in Alberta, an outdoor power equipment technician must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate  
  • someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • self-employed.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2, Math 10-3 and Science 10, or equivalent, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. 

The term of apprenticeship for the two branches of this trade is three years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of:

  • 1,000 hours of on-the-job training and six weeks of technical training in the first year
  • 1,000 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training in the second and third year.

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

For current information about programs, admission requirements and mature student admission policies, please check post-secondary calendars or websites.

Section revised January 2014

Employment and Advancement

Outdoor power equipment technicians are employed by private and public sector employers in a number of different industries. For example, they may be employed by equipment distributors, retailers, rental companies, construction companies, landscaping companies, golf courses, parks and recreation departments, forestry companies or equipment manufacturers.

Experienced technicians may move into supervisory or service manager positions, be self-employed or start their own businesses. Alberta certified journeyperson outdoor power equipment technicians who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Outdoor power equipment technicians are part of the larger National Occupational Classification 7335: Other Small Engine and Equipment Mechanics. In Alberta, 76 per cent of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (see above)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 600 Albertans are employed in the Other Small Engine and Equipment Mechanics  occupational group which is expected to have an annual above average growth of 3.3 per cent from 2013 to 2017 in Alberta. It is forecasted that about 20 new positions will be created each year in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. (Note: Since outdoor power equipment technicians form only a part of the larger occupational group on which this forecast is based, only a portion of the new positions created will be for outdoor power equipment technicians.)

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Section revised November 2013

Salary

Journeyman wage rates vary but generally range from $18 to $24 an hour plus benefits (2011 estimate).

According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Other Small Engine and Equipment Mechanics occupational group earned on average from $18.99 to $26.34 an hour. The mean wage for this group was $23.61 an hour.

For more detailed information, see WAGEinfo.

Section revised February 2012

Other Sources of Information

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

EDinfo website: www.alis.alberta.ca/edinfo

Post-secondary institution calendars and websites (see Educational Requirements above)


Related Occupational Profiles
Appliance Service Technician
Motorcycle Mechanic

Related High School Subjects
Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation (Mechanics)

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
Trades, Industrial and Related Training

Produced July 2011
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For more information on career planning, occupations and educational programs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website at alis.alberta.ca, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

The information contained in this profile was current as of the dates shown. Salaries, employment outlook and educational programs may change. Please check the information before making any career decisions.


Government of Alberta, Human Services