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Apprenticeship

Automotive Service Technician

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

  • Avg. Salary $65,282.00
  • Avg. Wage $30.29
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 16,400
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

60%
60%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Automotive Service Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Automotive Service Technicians
NOC code: 7321.1
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

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 Dec 20, 2016

Automotive service technicians adjust, test and repair engines, steering systems, braking systems, drive trains, vehicle suspensions, electrical systems and air-conditioning systems, and do wheel alignments. In large shops, they sometimes specialize in repairing, rebuilding and servicing specific parts (for example, transmissions, engines, electrical components). In smaller shops, they may work 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, 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 Dec 20, 2016

Most automotive service technicians work a 40 hour, five 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 from exposure to exhaust gas fumes. It is important for automotive service technicians to wear appropriate safety attire when working.

Automotive service technicians may be required to lift and move items that weigh up to 25 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Automotive service technicians need the following characteristics:

  • good hearing, eyesight and manual dexterity
  • mechanical aptitude and interest
  • the ability to keep up to date with changing technology.

They should enjoy performing tasks that require precision and working independently.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016

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:

  • 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. A working knowledge of electricity, electronics and computers is an asset.

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.

Apprentices are required to provide their own tools.

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).

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

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

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

Automotive Training Centre

Grande Prairie Regional College

Lethbridge College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

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

To find out more information on the certification process see Automotive Service Technician Qualification Certificate Program Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Automotive Service Technician

Automotive service technicians perform preventative maintenance, diagnose faulty operations, and repair automotive vehicles and light trucks. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta's Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and Automotive Service Technician Trade Regulation, 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.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship for apprentice automotive service 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 each year. Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete four industry-approved examinations.

Working in Alberta

Automotive service technicians from other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

To find out more information on the certification process for internationally educated automotive service technicians, see Automotive Service Technician Qualification Certificate Program Process on the AlbertaCanada.com 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).

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 and Vehicle Inspection Regulation, you must be approved by Alberta Transportation to complete and sign an inspection certificate and, when applicable, affix a decal to commercially registered vehicles and privately registered vehicles.

What You Need

Applicants for approval must: (1) be a journeyman Automotive Service Technician or journeyman Heavy Equipment Technician (Truck and Transport Mechanic or Heavy Equipment Technician branch), or have equivalent qualifications from another jurisdiction, (2) submit a copy of a current criminal record check, and (3) pay the applicable fees. For official, detailed information, contact Alberta Transportation or visit the Vehicle Inspection Facilities and Technicians webpage on the Department website.

Working in Alberta

Vehicle inspection technicians who are licensed and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for approval in Alberta if licensed technicians in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Licensing Analyst
Alberta Transportation
4999 - 98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6B 2X3
Phone number: 780-427-8901
Toll-free phone number (within Alberta): 310-0000, then 780-427-8901
Website: www.transportation.alberta.ca/vipinfo.htm 

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

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. Alberta certified journeyperson automotive service 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. 

Automotive service technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7321: Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers. In Alberta, 77% 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 17,000 Albertans are employed in the Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 306 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As automotive service technicians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for automotive service technicians.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $28 to $45 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates). Apprentice automotive service technicians 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. 

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
NOC code: 7321

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 $15.00 $40.00 $25.77 $25.00
Overall $18.23 $42.00 $30.29 $31.50
Top $18.23 $52.88 $35.29 $36.00

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
Oil & Gas Extraction
Construction
Public Administration
Transportation and Warehousing
Educational Services
Retail Trade
Manufacturing
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Business, Building and Other Support Services (aka Management, Administrative, and other Services)
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Wholesale Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

60%
60%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

57%
57%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

13%
13%

2015 Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • Science
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Mechanics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 20, 2016

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

Motor Dealers' Association of Alberta website: www.mdaalberta.com

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, 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.

Updated Mar 29, 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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