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Apprenticeship

Heavy Equipment Technician

Heavy equipment technicians maintain, repair and overhaul heavy vehicles and industrial heavy equipment, and commercial transport devices connected to or moved by a power unit.

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

Heavy Equipment Mechanic (Off Road), Industrial Mechanic, Mechanic, Motor Vehicle Trades, Service Technician, Trailer Mechanic, Truck Mechanic

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

62%
62%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Heavy Equipment Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
NOC code: 7312
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

Transport Truck and Trailer Mechanics
NOC code: 7321.3
OBJECTIVE

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

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to diagnose faults and malfunctions and to inspect and test mechanical units

METHODICAL

Interest in speaking with supervisors to confirm findings on faults and malfunctions to determine whether to repair or replace units

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 16, 2016

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

  • interpret work orders and technical manuals
  • keep equipment cleaned, lubricated and maintained
  • diagnose faults or malfunctions
  • adjust equipment and repair or replace defective parts, components or systems
  • test repaired equipment for proper performance and ensure that the work done meets manufacturers' specifications and legislated regulations
  • write service reports.

In Alberta, there are four branches in the heavy equipment technician trade:

  • transport trailer mechanic
  • truck and transport mechanic
  • heavy duty equipment mechanic (off-road)
  • heavy equipment technician.

Transport trailer mechanics maintain, repair and overhaul commercial transport devices connected to or moved by a power unit such as flat decks, dry freight vans, refrigerated vans, tankers, converters, boosters, pole trailers, jeeps, steering dollies, dump trailers and other commercial pull type devices.

Truck and transport mechanics maintain, repair and overhaul on-highway vehicles such as:

  • stationary or mobile internal combustion engines and components
  • on-highway vehicles such as trucks and buses
  • towed on-highway and off-highway vehicles (trailers).

Heavy duty equipment mechanics (off-road) maintain, repair and overhaul heavy vehicles and industrial heavy equipment such as:

  • stationary and mobile internal combustion engines and components
  • tracked equipment (crawler tractors)
  • ground-engaging equipment and components
  • earth-moving equipment
  • off-highway motor vehicles (trucks)
  • towed off-highway vehicles (trailers).

Heavy equipment technicians maintain, repair and overhaul heavy vehicles and industrial equipment such as:

  • stationary and mobile internal combustion engines and components 
  • tracked equipment (crawler tractors)
  • ground engaging equipment and components
  • earth moving equipment
  • rubber tired equipment (tractors)
  • on-highway and off-highway motor vehicles (trucks)
  • towed on-highway and off-highway vehicles (trailers).
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 16, 2016

The working environment for heavy equipment technicians varies considerably from one job to another. Some heavy equipment technicians work in modern laboratories. Others work at construction or industrial sites, sometimes outdoors in all types of weather conditions. Travel requirements and hours of work also vary. 

There is some risk of injury when working with heavy equipment and power tools.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Heavy equipment technicians need the following characteristics:

  • good vision, hearing and sense of smell to diagnose problems
  • the strength and stamina required to work with heavy equipment and work in cramped or awkward positions
  • the ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • mechanical ability and an interest in all types of machinery and engines, electronics and precision equipment
  • the ability to think logically and keep up to date with changes in technology.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

To work in Alberta, a heavy equipment 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. 

Terms of apprenticeship are different for each branch of this trade:

  • Transport trailer mechanic: two years (two 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training in the first year and a minimum of 1,800 hours of on-the-job training in the second year.
  • Truck and transport mechanic: three years (three 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.
  • Heavy duty equipment mechanic (off-road): three years (three 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.
  • Heavy equipment technician: 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 generally are required to provide their own basic hand tools.

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

Heavy duty equipment mechanic (off-road) and truck and transport mechanic 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

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

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

Places of employment may vary from one branch of the trade to another:

  • Transport trailer mechanics are employed in transportation company fleet repair shops, trailer dealerships, general mechanical repair shops, manufacturers' repair shops and specialized repair shops.
  • Truck and transport mechanics are employed in small repair shops, large fleet maintenance companies, transportation companies and construction companies.
  • Heavy duty equipment mechanics (off road) are employed in specialized repair shops, large fleet maintenance companies, transportation companies and construction companies.
  • Heavy equipment technicians are employed by specialized repair shops and organizations that own or lease the heavy equipment used in the construction, mining, forestry, material handling, landscaping, land clearing, agriculture and transportation industries.

In industries that are sensitive to economic changes, transport trailer mechanics and heavy duty equipment mechanics (off road) may experience periods of unemployment.

Experienced technicians may advance to supervisor or service manager positions. Alberta certified journeypersons 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.

Heavy 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 heavy equipment technicians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for heavy equipment technicians.

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 heavy equipment technicians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for heavy equipment technicians.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

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

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
NOC code: 7312

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 $45.02 $31.43 $30.95
Overall $22.25 $48.15 $38.34 $40.00
Top $29.00 $57.35 $45.04 $45.00

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
Forestry, Logging, Fishing and Hunting
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Construction
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration
Wholesale Trade
Manufacturing
Transportation and Warehousing
Business, Building and Other Support Services (aka Management, Administrative, and other Services)
Mining
Agriculture
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

62%
62%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

67%
67%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

14%
14%

2015 Vacancy Rate

4%
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 16, 2016

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

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Calgary Construction Association website: www.cca.cc

 

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 30, 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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