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Apprenticeship

Agricultural Equipment Technician

Agricultural equipment technicians repair, overhaul and maintain agricultural equipment including tractors, tillage equipment, seeding equipment and harvesting equipment.

  • Avg. Salary $77,905.00
  • Avg. Wage $37.73
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 13,000
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Agricultural Mechanic, Equipment and Appliance Service Trades, Farm Equipment Mechanic, Mechanic, Service Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics (7312) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: HeavyDuty Equipment Mechanics (H412) 
  • 2011 NOC: Heavy-duty equipment mechanics (7312) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

43%
43%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Agricultural Equipment Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with hand and power tools to adjust equipment and repair and replace defective parts, components and systems

METHODICAL

Interest in cleaning, lubricating and performing other routine maintenance work, and in servicing attachments and working tools such as harvesting and tillage equipment, blades, ploughs, winches and side booms

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing to diagnose faults and malfunctions, using computerized and other testing equipment, to determine extent of repair required

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, agricultural equipment technicians:

  • service and repair the engines, transmissions, hydraulic systems, and electrical and electronic systems of agricultural equipment  
  • pinpoint problems by discussing equipment operation with owners, visually checking and listening to machinery in operation, and using testing equipment
  • take defective units apart and repair or replace broken, worn-out or faulty parts
  • reassemble, adjust, lubricate and test repaired units
  • assemble and adjust new agricultural equipment.

Technicians may specialize in service and repair of fuel injection pumps and injectors, engine overhaul, hydraulic systems, power shift transmissions or specific types of equipment (for example, combines, forage harvesters, tractors).

Working Conditions
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Agricultural equipment technicians may work in fully equipped service centres or they may travel to farms to make service calls. Hours of work vary from regular hours during the winter to long and hectic hours during planting and harvesting seasons.

Agricultural equipment technicians routinely handle heavy machine parts, some weighing over 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Agricultural equipment technicians need the following characteristics:

  • mechanical ability
  • good hand-eye co-ordination
  • the strength required to lift heavy machine parts 
  • the ability to read and understand technical information
  • the ability to work independently with little supervision
  • good interpersonal skills for working with others.

They should enjoy working with their hands and diagnosing complex mechanical, hydraulic and electrical problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Apprentices need experience in the agriculture industry and must keep up to date with new developments in the agricultural equipment field.

To work in Alberta, an agricultural 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 20-2, Math 20-3 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 is four years (four 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each 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.

Agricultural equipment technician apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at:

  • Grande Prairie Regional College in Fairview
  • Keyano College in Fort McMurray
  • Lakeland College in Vermilion
  • Lethbridge College
  • Medicine Hat College
  • the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton
  • Olds College
  • Red Deer College
  • the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.

NAIT also offers technical training by distance delivery.

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


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades

Grande Prairie Regional College

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Agricultural implement companies sometimes provide short manufacturers' service courses to help agricultural equipment technicians develop skills for servicing particular lines of equipment.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Agricultural Equipment Technician

Agricultural equipment technicians repair, overhaul and maintain agricultural equipment including tractors, tillage equipment, seeding equipment and harvesting equipment. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta's Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and Agricultural Equipment Technician Trade Regulation, you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship for apprentice agricultural equipment technicians in Alberta is four years (four 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training in each year. Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Agricultural equipment technicians trained in other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board or have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified in Alberta. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

Contact Details

Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on "Contact Us" on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca).

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Most agricultural equipment technicians are employed by retail agricultural equipment dealerships.

Where a number of technicians are employed by one business, experienced agricultural equipment technicians may advance to supervisory positions. Alberta certified journeyperson 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.

Agricultural equipment technicians can move into sales positions or become manufacturer's service representatives. Individuals with business and administrative skills may move into management positions with a company or purchase an agricultural equipment dealership.

Agricultural equipment technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7312: Heavy-duty equipment mechanics. In Alberta, 75% 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:

  • 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 19,600 Albertans are employed in the Heavy-duty equipment mechanics occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 255 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As agricultural equipment technicians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for agricultural equipment technicians.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $30 to $45 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates) depending on the region. Apprentice agricultural equipment technicians earn at least 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 70% in the second, 80% in the third and 90% in the fourth.

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.00 $44.20 $31.60 $30.00
Overall $27.00 $46.05 $37.73 $38.00
Top $29.30 $59.61 $42.88 $42.46

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Construction
Public Administration
Manufacturing
Forestry, Logging, Fishing and Hunting
Oil & Gas Extraction
Transportation and Warehousing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Wholesale Trade
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Retail Trade
Agriculture
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Business, Building and Other Support Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

50%
50%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

43%
43%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

10%
10%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Mechanics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 10, 2017

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

Canada West Equipment Dealers Association website: www.cweda.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 23, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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