Heavy-duty equipment mechanics (NOC 7312)

About this job

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics repair, troubleshoot, adjust, overhaul and maintain mobile heavy-duty equipment used in transportation, construction, forestry, manufacturing, farming, mining, oil, gas, material handling, landscaping, land clearing and similar activities.

See what a day in the life of this job is like—watch WorkBC’s Career Trek video about this occupation.

Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

People in this occupation:

  • work for companies that own and operate heavy equipment, and for heavy equipment dealers, rental and service establishments, railway transport companies and urban transit systems
  • must be comfortable working with delicate electronics as well as heavy, cumbersome mechanical linkages (i.e., bulldozer tracks), since heavy equipment also involves the use of micro-processor controls and high pressure hydraulics
  • have troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
  • have mechanical ability and pay close attention to detail
Common job titles
  • farm machinery wheelwright
  • mechanic, back hoe / excavating
  • mechanic, combination - heavy equipment
  • repairer, construction equipment / crane
  • repairer, diesel engine
  • servicer, fuel injection unit (diesel)
  • farm machinery wheelwright
  • mechanic, back hoe / excavating
  • mechanic, combination - heavy equipment
  • mechanic, construction
  • mechanic, felling equipment
  • mechanic, heavy-duty equipment

Earnings

Annual provincial median salary

$64,654

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
  • Low

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report

Duties

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics:

  • check bulldozers, cranes, graders and other heavy construction, agricultural, logging and mining equipment for proper performance and inspect equipment for faults and malfunctions
  • diagnose faults or malfunctions using computerized and other testing equipment
  • adjust equipment and repair or replace defective parts, components or systems using hand and power tools
  • test repaired equipment for proper performance and make sure that work meets manufacturer specifications
  • clean, lubricate and perform other routine maintenance work on equipment
  • service attachments such as harvesting and tillage equipment, blades, ploughs, winches and side booms
  • may perform repair work on heavy trucks
  • may attach components and adjust new equipment

Special duties

Heavy-duty and farm equipment mechanics may specialize in:

  • specific types of machinery such as combines or tracked vehicles
  • engine overhaul, power shift transmissions, fuel injection, hydraulics or electronics

Work environment

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics generally work a regular work week. However, overtime and extended hours are common when working to a deadline or if repairs to a critical piece of equipment are required. Some jobs require temporary relocation to remote work sites.

Some mechanics work outdoors at construction, mining and logging sites, where they are exposed to weather, and others work indoors in workshops and production plants. Work sites can be dirty, dusty and noisy, and weather conditions may vary.

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics are required to lift heavy parts and tools, handle greasy, dirty parts and stand and lie in awkward positions. Working around heavy machinery poses a hazard and mechanics take safety precautions to protect themselves from injury.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

Completion of secondary school is generally required to work as a heavy-duty equipment mechanic. While not mandatory in B.C., certification or apprenticeship can offer more well-rounded training and will increase employment opportunities, as few employers will hire a heavy-duty equipment mechanic without certification. To be eligible for certification by the Industry Training Authority:

  • mechanics must complete a four-year apprenticeship program (or a combination of more than four years work experience in the trade and some college or industry courses)
  • workers must find a sponsor employer who is willing to participate in the program

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics are eligible for Interprovincial Standard Endorsement (Red Seal) qualification through the Industry Training Authority. This allows holders to work in any province or territory. Once individuals pass the final examination of their accredited training program, they will achieve certification and will automatically receive Red Seal qualification.

Workers with 9,000 hours of documented, directly related work experience can challenge the Interprovincial Red Seal examination. For more information, please see the Industry Training Authority website at www.itabc.ca.

As of July 1, 2017 when the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) came into force, you will not need significant additional training, experience, testing or assessment if your qualifications or certificates are recognized by a Canadian regulatory authority. This applies whether you were trained in Canada or internationally. Learn about labour mobility at www.workersmobility.ca. For information about labour mobility and foreign qualifications recognition, contact the B.C. regulator for your occupation.

Skills

  • Object-Oriented
  • Clerical Ability
  • Methodical
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Verbal & Written Comprehension
  • Detail-Oriented
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Diesel Engine Mechanic

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Trades training resources

Visit our trades training page at www.workbc.ca/trades to learn about apprenticeship and trades training in B.C.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
Cariboo
Employment in 2016:
1,050
Average annual employment growth:
-0.1%
Expected number of job openings:
330
Kootenay
Employment in 2016:
980
Average annual employment growth:
1.2%
Expected number of job openings:
430
Mainland / Southwest
Employment in 2016:
2,260
Average annual employment growth:
0.6%
Expected number of job openings:
820
North Coast & Nechako
Employment in 2016:
430
Average annual employment growth:
-1.6%
Expected number of job openings:
50
Northeast
Employment in 2016:
490
Average annual employment growth:
0.9%
Expected number of job openings:
210
Thompson-Okanagan
Employment in 2016:
1,100
Average annual employment growth:
0.5%
Expected number of job openings:
390
Vancouver Island / Coast
Employment in 2016:
1,200
Average annual employment growth:
0.7%
Expected number of job openings:
520

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Insights from industry

Due to the large size of this occupational group, a significant number of jobs will become available due to worker turnover. Demand for heavy-duty equipment mechanics is driven by activity in a wide variety of industries, such as Transportation, Mining, Oil and Gas Extraction, and Construction. This broad employment base helps to vary the work opportunities for these workers.

Technological advances, such as the growing use of diagnostic computers, are making heavy-duty mechanics more efficient and reducing the number of workers required to do the same volume of work. As equipment becomes increasingly sophisticated, heavy-duty equipment mechanics with up-to-date electronics training are expected to be in greatest demand.

With the trucking industry increasingly moving towards new technology to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of diesel engines, heavy-duty equipment mechanics with skill in this area should have an advantage in finding work.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics may choose to specialize in specific types of machinery such as combines or tracked vehicles, or in diesel engines, power shift transmissions, fuel injection, hydraulics or electronics.

With experience, these workers may advance to senior positions, such as supervisor or service manager, or they may open their own businesses.

Additional resources