Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers (NOC 7321)

About this job

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers inspect, diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and components of cars, buses and light and commercial transport trucks. This occupational group also includes mechanical repairers, who dos major repairs and replacements of mechanical units on newly assembled motor vehicles

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 motor vehicle dealers, garages, truck and trailer dealerships, fleet maintenance companies, service stations, automotive specialty shops, transportation companies and retail establishments that have automotive service shops
  • work for motor vehicle manufacturing companies
  • must have a good understanding of mechanical systems, engines and electronic equipment
  • need to be able to troubleshoot and solve problems
  • must be able to work independently or as part of a team
  • need customer service and communication skills
Common job titles
  • inspector, automotive engine mechanic
  • mechanic, commercial vehicles
  • mechanic, fuel systems
  • technician, brakes / drive train
  • technician, commercial trailer / truck
  • technician, diagnostic / electronics
  • inspector, automotive engine mechanic
  • mechanic, commercial vehicles
  • mechanic, fuel systems
  • mechanic, manufacture / repair / testing
  • repairer, automotive - brakes / alignment
  • specialist, automotive - tune up

Earnings

Annual provincial median salary

$56,895

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

Automotive service technicians:

  • adjust, repair or replace parts or components of automotive systems (i.e., fuel systems, brakes, steering and suspension, engines and drive trains, emission control and exhaust, cooling and climate control, and electrical and electronic systems), using hand tools and other specialized automotive repair equipment
  • inspect motor operation, road test motor vehicles, and test systems using computerized and other testing devices to diagnose faults
  • test and adjust repaired systems to the manufacturer's performance specifications
  • perform scheduled maintenance services, such as oil changes, lubrications and tune ups
  • advise customers on the work they performed, general vehicle conditions and future repair requirements
  • review work orders and discuss work with supervisor

Truck and transport and truck-trailer mechanics:

  • Adjust, repair or replace parts and components of commercial transport truck systems including chassis, frame, cab, body, engine and drive train, air brakes, steering, and fuel, hydraulic, electrical and electronic systems
  • Adjust, repair or replace parts and components of truck-trailer systems including structural, brake and electrical systems.

Mechanical repairers (motor vehicle manufacturing):

  • inspect and test mechanical units, such as engines, transmissions, axles and brake systems to locate faults and malfunctions
  • diagnose malfunctions and determine with supervisors whether to repair or replace units
  • test and adjust units to performance specifications, repair or replace mechanical units or components, and complete reports to record the work done and any problems that occurred

Special duties

Workers in this occupational group may specialize in the following areas:

  • transmission systems, engine and fuel systems
  • air conditioning, cooling and heating systems,
  • steering, alignment, brakes, drive lines and suspension
  • electrical and electronic systems
  • truck-trailer repair or diagnostic services

Work environment

Automotive service technicians, truck mechanics and mechanical repairers typically work a regular 35- to 40-hour workweek. Some workers may be required to be on call for emergency repairs as some service shops offer evening and weekend services.

Workers in this occupational group generally work in automotive repair shops or garages. Those employed in small shops tend to have a wider variety of duties than those in larger shops.

Most work environments are well-ventilated and well-lit, although some shops may be drafty and noisy. This type of work can be dirty and is often carried out in cramped spaces, with considerable bending, kneeling and lifting.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

Completion of secondary school is generally required to work as an automotive service technician or truck and transport mechanic. While certification is not mandatory in British Columbia, it will likely increase employment opportunities. To be eligible for certification by the Industry Training Authority:

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

These workers typically receive two to three years of on-the-job training from employers. Apprenticeships for automotive service technicians and truck and transport mechanics may begin in secondary school, through entry-level training (Foundation) programs at colleges and technical institutes, or through direct entry to the workplace.

Most automotive service technicians and truck and transport mechanics are eligible for Interprovincial Standard Endorsement (Red Seal) qualification through the Industry Training Authority, which allows holders to work in any province or territory.

Once workers pass the final examination of their accredited training program, they will achieve certification and will automatically receive Red Seal qualification.

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.

Workers with several years 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.

Skills

  • Motor Coordination
  • Finger Dexterity
  • Numerical Ability
  • Clerical Ability
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Object-Oriented
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Auto Mechanics Related

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:
830
Average annual employment growth:
0.5%
Expected number of job openings:
230
Kootenay
Employment in 2016:
790
Average annual employment growth:
0.4%
Expected number of job openings:
220
Mainland / Southwest
Employment in 2016:
9,440
Average annual employment growth:
0.8%
Expected number of job openings:
2,930
North Coast & Nechako
Employment in 2016:
510
Average annual employment growth:
0.3%
Expected number of job openings:
130
Northeast
Employment in 2016:
780
Average annual employment growth:
1.1%
Expected number of job openings:
280
Thompson-Okanagan
Employment in 2016:
2,350
Average annual employment growth:
0.9%
Expected number of job openings:
780
Vancouver Island / Coast
Employment in 2016:
2,910
Average annual employment growth:
0.5%
Expected number of job openings:
880

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Insights from industry

Due to the large size of this occupational group, many job opportunities will arise from worker turnover. As well, more than three-quarters of future job openings will come from retirements.

Low interest rates, dealer incentives and population growth previously resulted in strong motor vehicle sales, which resulted in more cars that require servicing. After-warranty specialty shops that provide fast, low-cost maintenance for such items as oil changes, brakes and mufflers represent a particular growth area.

Technological advancements in motor vehicles and other equipment are making it increasingly important for mechanics and technicians to keep up with current systems and repair procedures. Technological developments, such as engine analyzers, are making mechanics more productive and reducing the number of workers required to do the same volume of work, which may limit employment growth in this group. Motor vehicle workers with specialized, up-to-date technological knowledge will be in greatest demand.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Automotive service technicians and truck mechanics often begin their careers as entry-level employees, such as shop hands.

With additional training, movement is possible between automotive service technicians and truck mechanics. Experienced workers may progress to supervisory positions or start their own businesses.

Mechanical repairers may move into motor vehicle mechanic positions by completing an apprenticeship program, or with experience, they may progress to supervisory positions in motor vehicle manufacturing.

Additional resources