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Apprenticeship

Automotive Service Technician

Automotive service technicians perform preventative maintenance, diagnose faulty operations and repair automotive vehicles and light trucks.

Also Known As

Customer Service Technician, Gasoline Engine Technician, Mechanic, Motor Vehicle Tradesperson, Service Technician, Truck Mechanic

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: Automotive Service Technicians (7321.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Automotive Service Technicians, Truck Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers (H421) 
  • 2011 NOC: Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers (7321) 
  • 2016 NOC: Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers (7321) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Automotive Service Technicians

2006 NOC: 7321.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to test and adjust repaired systems to manufacturers' performance specifications

INNOVATIVE

Interest in speaking with supervisors to discuss work and review work orders; and in repairing and replacing parts and components of automotive systems

METHODICAL

Interest in analyzing information to perform scheduled maintenance services such as oil changes, lubrication and tune-ups

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Automotive service technicians adjust, test and repair engines, steering systems, braking systems, drive trains and vehicle suspensions. They also do wheel alignments and work with electrical systems and air-conditioning systems. In large shops, they may specialize in repairing, rebuilding and servicing specific parts (for example, transmissions, engines, electrical components). In smaller shops, they may find themselves working on a wider variety of repair jobs.

Automotive service technicians begin by reading the work order and examining the vehicle. To locate the cause of faulty operation and repair it, they use testing equipment and:

  • Take the vehicle for a test drive or refer to manufacturers’ specifications and manuals
  • Dismantle faulty assemblies and repair or replace worn or damaged parts
  • Reassemble, adjust and test the repaired mechanism

Automotive service technicians also may:

  • Provide scheduled maintenance services such as oil changes, lubrications and tune ups
  • Advise customers on work performed, general vehicle conditions and future repair requirements
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Most automotive service technicians work a 40-hour, 5-day week. Some evening, weekend or holiday work may be required. The work is sometimes noisy and dirty. There is some risk of injury when working with power tools and being exposed to gas exhaust fumes. Automotive service technicians need to wear appropriate safety gear when working.

They may be required to lift and move items that weigh up to 25 kilograms.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Automotive service technicians need:

  • Good hearing, eyesight and manual dexterity
  • Mechanical aptitude and interest
  • A working knowledge of electricity, electronics and computers
  • Customer service skills

They should enjoy performing tasks that require precision, working with their hands and working independently.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers

2011 NOC: 7321

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Sep 07, 2022 and Sep 23, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Perform scheduled maintenance service
Tasks: Adjust, repair or replace parts and components of automotive systems
Tasks: Inspect motor in operation, road test motor vehicles and test automotive systems and components
Attention to detail
Tasks: Review work orders and discuss work with supervisor
Tasks: Inspect and test mechanical units to locate faults and malfunctions
Tasks: Diagnose faults and malfunctions and confirm findings with supervisor to determine whether to repair or replace unit
Tasks: Test and adjust repaired systems to manufacturer's specifications
Tasks: Complete reports to record problems and work performed
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship

To work in Alberta, an automotive service technician must be ONE of the following:

  • A registered apprentice
  • An Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • Someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 20-2, Math 20-3, and Science 10, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

The term of apprenticeship is 4 years (four 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of classroom instruction each year.

High school students can gain credits toward automotive service technician apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time under the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Apprentices are required to provide their own tools. Also, employers expect applicants to hold a valid driver’s license.

Automotive service 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).

Classroom instruction is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.


Related Education

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Automotive Service Technician

Automotive service technicians perform preventative maintenance, diagnose faulty operations and repair automotive vehicles and light trucks. For more information, see the Designated Trades Profile on Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act [pdf], you must have a certificate that is recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training or be a registered apprentice to perform preventative maintenance, diagnose faulty operations, and repair automotive vehicles and light trucks in Alberta.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Automotive Service Technician.

Vehicle Inspection Technician

Vehicle inspection technicians determine vehicle condition, and complete inspection certificates or affix decals to vehicles.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act [pdf] and Vehicle Inspection Regulation [pdf], you must be approved by Government of Alberta to complete and sign an inspection certificate and, when applicable, affix a decal to commercially registered vehicles and privately registered vehicles.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Vehicle Inspection Technician.

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Automotive service technicians are employed by automotive repair shops, specialty repair shops, service facilities, car and truck dealerships, and large organizations that own fleets of vehicles.

Experienced automotive service technicians may advance to service manager or shop foreman positions. Some automotive service technicians open their own repair facilities.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 7321: Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers occupational group, 78.5% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 7321: Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 308 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Journeyperson automotive service technician wage rates vary but generally range from $28 to $45 an hour plus benefits (2019 estimates). Apprentices earn at least 55% 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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers

2016 NOC: 7321
Average Wage
$34.11
Per Hour
Average Salary
$71,754.00
Per Year
Average Hours
40.7
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7321 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $44.00 $26.92 $25.00
Overall $18.00 $46.22 $34.11 $34.75
Top $26.00 $62.42 $41.89 $40.70

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Agriculture
Construction
Public Administration
Oil & Gas Extraction
Wholesale Trade
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Transportation and Warehousing
Manufacturing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Retail Trade
Educational Services
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
46%
46%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
44%
44%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
9%
9%
Vacancy Rate
4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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

Motor Dealers’ Association of Alberta website: mdaalberta.com

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. 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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