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

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics, and mechanical repairers work on cars, buses, and light and commercial transport trucks. They inspect, diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and parts of vehicles. Mechanical repairers do major repairs of, and replace, mechanical units on newly built motor vehicles.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of an automotive technician is like.

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Automotive technician


People in these occupations work for:

  • Automotive service repair facilities
  • Motor vehicle dealers
  • Truck and trailer dealers
  • Fleet maintenance companies
  • Transportation companies
  • Motor vehicle manufacturing companies
Common job titles
  • inspector, automotive engine mechanic
  • mechanic, commercial vehicles
  • mechanic, fuel systems
  • mechanic, manufacture / repair / testing
  • repairer, automotive - brakes / alignment
  • specialist, automotive - tune up

Duties

Automotive service technicians:

  • Adjust, repair or replace parts or sections of automotive systems, using hand tools and other repair equipment. Examples of automotive systems are:
    • Fuel systems
    • Brakes
    • Steering and suspension
    • Engines and drive trains
    • Emission control and exhaust
    • Cooling and climate control
    • Electrical and electronic systems
  • Inspect how well the motor works
  • Road test motor vehicles
  • Test automotive systems using computerized processes and other tools to find problems
  • Test and adjust repaired systems to meet the manufacturer’s performance standards
  • Perform regular maintenance services, such as oil changes, chassis lubrications and tune-ups
  • Speak with customers to explain the work that was done, its general condition, and to tell them about any future repairs that may be needed
  • Review work orders and discuss work with the supervisor

Truck and bus mechanics:

  • Adjust, repair or replace parts and sections of commercial transport truck systems, which include:
    • Chassis
    • Frame
    • Cab
    • Body
    • Engine and drive train
    • Air brakes
    • Steering
    • Fuel, hydraulic, electrical and electronic systems
  • Adjust, repair or replace parts and sections of truck-trailer/bus 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
  • Find problems and work with supervisors to decide whether to repair or replace units
  • Repair or replace mechanical units or sections
  • Record the problems that were found and any work done in reports

People in this career may specialize in the following areas:

  • Transmission, 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 and bus mechanics, and mechanical repairers usually work 35 to 40 hours per week. Some workers may need to be on call and available for emergency repairs since some service shops are open during evenings and weekends.

Generally, people in these jobs work in automotive repair shops or garages. Those employed in smaller shops tend to have different duties than those who work in larger shops.

People with these careers should be able to work well on their own and as part of a team. They should be able to troubleshoot, solve problems, and have good customer service and communication skills. As well, they must have a good understanding of mechanical systems, engines and electronic equipment.

Most work settings have good air flow and are well-lit, but some shops may be drafty and noisy. This type of work is often done in small spaces and can be dirty. It also involves a lot of bending, reaching, kneeling and lifting.

Insights from industry

For these career paths, job opportunities often come up as people leave the industry or retire. New job opportunities also come from the need to serve a growing population.

One growth area is with shops that service vehicles after the warranty has expired. These shops do oil changes or provide fast, low-cost maintenance on brakes and mufflers, for example.

Keeping up to date on new technology for motor vehicles and repair equipment is important in this career. Workers with specialized, up-to-date skills are in greatest demand.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Automotive service technicians and truck and bus mechanics often begin their careers as shop hands or in other entry-level positions. With more training, workers can move from being automotive service technicians to truck and bus mechanics. Experienced workers may become service writers, a shop foreperson, be in a supervisory position, or start their own business.

With experience, mechanical repairers may move into supervisory positions in motor vehicle manufacturing. Mechanical repairers who complete an apprenticeship program may become vehicle mechanics.

Additional resources