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.
People in these occupations work for:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 6,620
Automotive service technicians:
Truck and bus mechanics:
Mechanical repairers (motor vehicle manufacturing):
People in this career may specialize in the following areas:
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.
Source: 2016 Census
A secondary school diploma is generally needed to work as an automotive service technician, truck and bus mechanic, or mechanical repairer. Certification is not necessary in B.C., but it may make it easier to find a job.
To qualify for certification, people in these careers must find an employer that is willing to sponsor them. They must also complete a three- to four-year apprenticeship program or have several years of work experience in the trade, and have taken some high school, college or industry courses.
People in these jobs typically go through two to three years of on-the-job training. Apprenticeships may begin in secondary school, through entry-level training programs at colleges and technical institutes, or by direct entry into the workplace.
In B.C., the Industry Training Authority manages the Red Seal Program. It sets the standards across Canada for measuring the skills of tradespeople. On this career path, only journeypersons who are automotive service technicians (not the other jobs) can get a Red Seal endorsement on their certificate, allowing them to work anywhere in Canada. Workers with several years of documented, directly related work experience may be able to take the interprovincial Red Seal examination. This means that those who meet the standards for a trade do not have to go through the full program. Instead, they are allowed to become certified by writing and passing the final exam(s). For more information, visit the Industry Training Authority website.
Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers who are certified for that occupation by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information such as a letter of good standing, references, or criminal record check.
For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is likely needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.
Contact the Industry Training Authority for details on how to apply for certification in B.C.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Visit our trades training page at www.workbc.ca/trades to learn about apprenticeship and trades training in B.C.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
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.
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.