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.

People in these occupations work for:
  • Automotive service repair facilities
  • Motor vehicle dealers
  • Truck and trailer dealers
  • Fleet maintenance companies
  • Fleet rental providers 
  • 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 and ensure the vehicle works well and meets the manufacturer’s specifications 
  • 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 scheduled and preventative maintenance services, such as oil changes and chassis lubrications
  • Speak with customers to explain the work that was done and 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, including:
    • 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:
  • Electric vehicles
  • Alternate fuel conversions and maintenance
  • 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
  • Vehicle networking and computer systems

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.

Workers with this career may work on a flat rate which means that they will be paid for the work done as outlined in the rates, not by the hour. For those who can work quickly and do a good job, they may be able to earn more this way than by being paid hourly.

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.

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics, and mechanical repairers must work well on their own and as part of a team. They should be able to troubleshoot, solve problems and have good communication and customer service 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 involves a lot of bending, reaching, kneeling and lifting. Workers should know how to safely handle and use tools, equipment and chemicals. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, respirators, safety glasses and safety footwear must be worn.

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, a supervisor 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