Heavy-duty Equipment Technicians

(NOC 7312)

in All Trades and Transportation

Heavy-duty equipment technicians repair and maintain heavy construction and off-highway vehicles, whether wheeled or tracked. Agricultural equipment technicians repair and service machines typically used in the farming industry. They work for companies that own and operate heavy equipment, and by heavy equipment dealers, rental and service companies, and railway transport companies and urban transit systems.

Job Outlook

Good

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  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 200 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

Hourly Pay

$17.00

Minimum

$25.00

Median

$39.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$18,034

Minimum

$58,259

Median

$114,867

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Heavy-duty equipment technicians repair and maintain heavy construction and off-highway vehicles, whether wheeled or tracked. Agricultural equipment technicians repair and service machines typically used in the farming industry. They work for companies that own and operate heavy equipment, and by heavy equipment dealers, rental and service companies, and railway transport companies and urban transit systems.

Job duties

Heavy-duty equipment mechanics:

  • Check bulldozers, cranes, graders, and other heavy construction, agricultural, logging and mining equipment for proper performance and inspect equipment to detect faults and malfunctions.
  • Diagnose faults or malfunctions using computerized and other testing equipment to determine extent of repair required.
  • Adjust equipment and repair or replace defective parts, components, or systems, using hand and power tools.
  • Test repaired equipment for proper performance and to ensure that work meets manufacturers' specifications.
  • Clean, lubricate and perform other routine maintenance work on equipment.
  • Service attachments and working tools like harvesting and tillage equipment, blades, ploughs, winches, and side booms.
  • May perform repair work on heavy trucks.
  • May attach components and adjust new farm equipment.

Sample job titles

  • agricultural equipment technician
  • construction equipment mechanic
  • crane service technician
  • farm equipment mechanic
  • farm machinery mechanic
  • heavy diesel engine mechanic
  • heavy equipment inspector-repairer
  • heavy-duty equipment mechanic
  • heavy-duty equipment technician

Skills

  • Mechanical ability
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Good vision, hearing and a sense of smell to diagnose problems
  • Strength and stamina to lift heavy machine parts and in cramped or awkward positions
  • Ability to think logically
  • Ability to understand technical information
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision
  • Interpersonal skills for working with others
  • Math and computer skills
  • Technicians should enjoy working with their hands, doing precision work, solving problems and diagnosing complex mechanical, hydraulic and electrical problems.

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Training through a 7,200-hour apprenticeship program with four apprenticeship levels: to become an apprentice you first need to have a job - enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson who signs off on skills in a logbook.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 10,800 hours and other criteria.
  • Certification for agricultural equipment technicians is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Certification for heavy-duty equipment technicians is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for agricultural equipment technicians or heavy-duty equipment technicians.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Agricultural equipment technician working conditions: fully equipped service centres or may travel to farms to make service calls. Hours of work vary from regular hours during winter to long and essential hours during planting and harvesting seasons.
  • Agricultural equipment technicians regularly handle heavy machine parts.
  • Experienced agricultural equipment technicians may advance to supervisory positions or move into sales positions or become manufacturer’s service representatives. Others may purchase their own agricultural equipment dealership.
  • Heavy-duty equipment technician working conditions: varies from one job to another. Some work in modern shops. Others work at construction or industrial sites. Sometimes outdoors in all weather conditions. Travel requirements and work hours vary.
  • Risks: there is some risk of injury when working with heavy equipment and power tools.
  • Experienced technicians may advance to supervisor or service manager positions or start their own business.
  • Heavy-duty mechanics may specialize in machinery like combines or tracked vehicles, or in engine overhaul, power shift transmissions, fuel injection, hydraulics, or electronics.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

885

employed in 2016

93.3%

employed full-time

5.1%

self employed

1.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
98.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

31.5%

North Shore

$62,384 median annual income
23.6%

Halifax

$69,262 median annual income
20.2%

Annapolis Valley

$53,617 median annual income
12.9%

Cape Breton

$59,789 median annual income
11.8%

Southern

$45,454 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

20.7%

Wholesale trade

16.6%

Other services (except public administration)

13.6%

Construction

9.5%

Public administration

8.3%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

55-64

23.0%

45-54

20.0%

25-34

20.0%

35-44

9.0%

15-24

4.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

46.1%

Trade Certification

$66,200 median annual income
34.8%

College Diploma

$58,013 median annual income
11.2%

High school

$38,055 median annual income
5.1%

Less than high school

$42,061 median annual income
1.7%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Apprenticeship - Agricultural Equipment Technician

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship is a structured training program leading to certification in the skilled trades. An apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training and experience with theoretical technical training. You find a job in your trade first and then enter into an apprenticeship agreement. You work 7,200 hours mentored by a certified journeyperson and gain the required skills and knowledge. You also take some technical courses. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency administers the trades training and certification system. An agricultural equipment technician apprenticeship prepares apprentices to maintain and repair farm, ranch, and agribusiness power equipment and vehicles.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Apprenticeship - Heavy-duty Equipment Technician

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship is a structured training program leading to certification in the skilled trades. An apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training and experience with theoretical technical training. You find a job in your trade first and then enter into an apprenticeship agreement. You work 7,200 hours mentored by a certified journeyperson and gain the required skills and knowledge. You also take some technical courses. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency administers the trades training and certification system. A heavy-duty equipment apprenticeship prepares apprentices to maintain and repair heavy equipment, and in the general maintenance and overhaul of such equipment.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to operate and maintain a variety of heavy equipment like crawler tractors, motor graders and scrapers, shovels, rigging devices, hoists, and jacks. They include courses in digging, ditching, sloping, stripping, grading, and backfilling, clearing and excavating.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Environmental Training Institute

Sydney, NS

Commercial Safety College

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Operating Engineers Training Institute of Nova Scotia

Falmouth, NS

Dexter Institute

Bedford, NS

Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills in the field maintenance and repair of heavy equipment, and in the general maintenance and overhaul of such equipment. They include courses in inspection, maintenance, and repair of tracks, wheels, brakes, operating controls, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, electrical circuitry, engines and in techniques of welding and brazing.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Trade Qualifier

Trades Program

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency also offers a path to trades certification outside of a formal apprenticeship agreement with a qualified journeyperson. This option includes a set amount of required hours of related experience in the trade, passing a certification exam, and other criteria. Contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency for more details.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Agricultural Equipment Technician

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture
East Mountain, NS
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS