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Updated / Apprenticeship

Automotive Service Technician

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

  • Avg. Salary $71,754.00
  • Avg. Wage $34.11
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 17,200
  • In Demand High
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

46%
46%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Automotive Service Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Automotive Service Technicians
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 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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
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.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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 technical training 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).

Technical training 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.

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.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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 [pdf] and Automotive Service Technician Trade Regulation [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.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship for apprentice automotive service technicians in Alberta is 4 years (four 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year.

Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete 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.

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 [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.

What You Need

Applicants for approval must:

  • Be a journeyman in an eligible trade (examples: Auto Body Technician, Automotive Service Technician, Heavy Equipment Technician, Heavy Equipment Technician - Transport Trailer Mechanic, Heavy Equipment Technician - Truck and Transport Mechanic, Motorcycle Mechanic), or have equivalent qualifications from another jurisdiction
  • Submit a copy of a current criminal record check
  • Pay the applicable fees.

For official, detailed information, see the Vehicle Inspection Program.

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 in Canada? and the Government of Alberta website.

Contact Details

Vehicle Inspection Program
Government of Alberta
Room 109, Main Floor, Twin Atria Building
4999 - 98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X3
Canada

Call: 780-427-8901
Toll-free within Alberta: 310-0000, then 780-427-8901
Website: alberta.ca/vehicle-inspection-program-for-facilities-and-technicians.aspx

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.

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 [pdf] in this occupation is 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the H421: Automotive Service Technicians, Truck Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 306 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

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.

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers

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 $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.

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
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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