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.
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
Source: 2016 Census
A secondary school diploma is generally needed to work as an automotive service technician, truck and bus mechanic or mechanical repairer. A person typically needs to have a driver’s licence to be hired. Some positions may require a specific class of licence.
Certification is not required to work as an automotive service technician in B.C. Those who wish to be certified must complete a four-year apprenticeship program. The B.C. government is introducing skilled trades certification beginning with a total of 10 trades, including automotive service technicians. Certification will be implemented in phases between 2022 and 2024. Learn more about skilled trades certification.
Work experience and in-class instruction are part of apprenticeship programs. Some part-time and online programs may be available. To apprentice, workers must be sponsored by an employer. A person who successfully completes an apprenticeship program and the final certification exam earns a Certificate of Qualification. Workers with significant experience in the trade may be able to challenge the certification exam in order to earn the Certificate of Qualification without completing a formal apprenticeship. For more information on earning a Certificate of Qualification, visit SkilledTradesBC.
To work in other provinces
Automotive service technicians may need Red Seal certification. This can be earned by passing an exam and proving significant work experience.
Workers coming to B.C.
Automotive service technicians who are certified 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 a criminal record check.
Workers who trained outside of Canada
Automotive service technicians who trained outside of Canada and have never received certification from a Canadian jurisdiction will likely need a full assessment. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants. Contact SkilledTradesBC 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.
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, 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.