Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics, and Mechanical Repairers

(NOC 7321)

in All Trades and Transportation

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers inspect, diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and components of cars, buses, and light and commercial transport trucks. They work for motor vehicle dealers, garages, truck and trailer dealerships, fleet maintenance companies, and service stations, automotive specialty shops, transportation companies and retail businesses that have automotive service shops. This group also includes mechanical repairers who perform major repairs and replacement of mechanical units on newly assembled motor vehicles. They work for motor vehicle manufacturing companies. Service station mechanics complete tune-ups, safety inspections, and service and repair the brakes, clutch, and tires of cars and light trucks. A transport trailer technician repairs and services the braking, electrical, hydraulic system, and heating/cooling units of truck-trailers. A truck and transport mechanic repairs and services the various systems and engine components of buses and transport vehicles. Workers in this group may specialize in the following areas: engine and fuel systems, transmission systems, air conditioning, cooling and heating systems, steering, alignment, brakes, drive lines, suspension, electrical and electronic systems, truck-trailer repair or diagnostic services.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 445 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate 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.

Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: large, with regular job opportunities.

Demand: Approximately 210 opportunities are estimated for Halifax, and 290 outside Halifax. Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions. Some positions will become available due to employee turnover. There are a moderate number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation. A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.

Work hours: full-time, usually. Jobs are typically permanent positions.

Conditions for automotive service technicians seeking work are mixed despite high rates of turnover, a large number of vacancies expected over the next few years, and a relatively small supply of college graduates. Specifically, there is a need for highly- skilled service technicians with Red Seal certification and experience working with more technologically- advanced features common on newer vehicles. Some consolidation has been occurring among dealerships and the industry is expected to see further changes in the years ahead as vehicle technologies evolve. Some larger dealerships provide their own training to ensure an available workforce with the right skills.

Hourly Pay

$13.96

Minimum

$20.00

Median

$29.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,960

Minimum

$40,325

Median

$70,246

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

Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers inspect, diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and components of cars, buses, and light and commercial transport trucks. They work for motor vehicle dealers, garages, truck and trailer dealerships, fleet maintenance companies, and service stations, automotive specialty shops, transportation companies and retail businesses that have automotive service shops. This group also includes mechanical repairers who perform major repairs and replacement of mechanical units on newly assembled motor vehicles. They work for motor vehicle manufacturing companies.

Service station mechanics complete tune-ups, safety inspections, and service and repair the brakes, clutch, and tires of cars and light trucks. A transport trailer technician repairs and services the braking, electrical, hydraulic system, and heating/cooling units of truck-trailers. A truck and transport mechanic repairs and services the various systems and engine components of buses and transport vehicles. Workers in this group may specialize in the following areas: engine and fuel systems, transmission systems, air conditioning, cooling and heating systems, steering, alignment, brakes, drive lines, suspension, electrical and electronic systems, truck-trailer repair or diagnostic services.

Job duties

Automotive service technicians:

  • Review work orders and discuss work with supervisor.
  • Inspect motor in operation, road test motor vehicle, and test automotive systems and components using testing devices to diagnose and isolate faults.
  • Adjust, repair, or replace parts and components including fuel system, brakes, steering and suspension, engine and drive train, emission control and exhaust, cooling and climate control, and electrical and electronic systems using hand tools and other specialized repair equipment.
  • Test and adjust repaired systems to manufacturer's performance specifications.
  • Complete scheduled maintenance service like oil changes, lubrications, and tune ups.
  • Advise customers on work performed, general vehicle condition and future repair requirements.

Mechanical repairers:

  • Inspect and test mechanical units like engines, transmissions, axles, and brake systems, to locate faults and malfunctions.
  • Diagnose faults or malfunctions and confirm findings with supervisor to determine whether to repair or replace unit.
  • Repair or replace mechanical units or components using hand and power tools.
  • Test and adjust units to specifications for proper performance.
  • Complete reports to record problems and work performed.

Truck and transport and truck-trailer mechanics:

  • Adjust, repair or replace parts and components of commercial transport truck systems including chassis, frame, cab, body, engine and drive train, air brakes, steering, and fuel, hydraulic, electrical and electronic systems.
  • Adjust, repair, or replace parts and components of truck-trailer systems including structural, brake and electrical systems.

Sample job titles

  • amusement device mechanic
  • automotive mechanic
  • automotive repairer
  • automotive service technician
  • bus and truck mechanic
  • motor vehicle mechanic
  • motor vehicle technician
  • service station mechanic
  • truck and transport mechanic
  • truck and transport service technician

Skills

  • Good hearing, eyesight, and sense of smell to diagnose problems
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Manual dexterity
  • Coordination and agility
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Attention to detail
  • Strength and stamina
  • Decision-making skills
  • Time management skills
  • A working knowledge of electricity, electronics, and computers.
  • Communication skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Strong skills in mathematics and computers will also be helpful.
  • Ability to interpret technical manuals and schematics.
  • A valid driver’s licence

Job requirements

Automotive service technicians

  • 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 automotive service technicians is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for automotive service technicians.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.
  • Service centre technician is a sub-trade of automotive service technicians. It involves training through a 5,400-hour apprenticeship program with three apprenticeship levels.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 8,100 hours, and other criteria.
  • Certification for automotive service technicians (service centre technicians) is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the provincial exam for automotive service technicians (service centre technicians).

Mechanical repairers, motor vehicle manufacturing

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • On-the-job training of two to three years is provided by employers.

Truck and transport and truck-trailer mechanics

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Transport trailer technician: training through a 3,600-hour apprenticeship program with two 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, 5,400 hours, and other criteria.
  • Truck and transport mechanic: 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 transport trailer technicians is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Certification for truck and transport mechanics is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for transport trailer technicians or truck and transport mechanics.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Automotive service technicians service and repair the brakes, suspension, engine, and fuel systems of cars and light trucks.
  • Service centre technicians complete tune-ups, safety inspections, and service and repair the brakes, clutch, and tires of cars and light trucks.
  • Transport trailer technicians repair and service the braking, electrical, hydraulic system, and heating/cooling units of tricks-trailers.
  • Truck and transport mechanics repair and service the various systems and engine components of buses and transport vehicles.
  • Most automotive service technicians usually work indoors and can expect a work environment that includes noise, fumes, odours, hazardous compounds, drafts, vibrations, and confined spaces. The work often requires considerable standing, bending, crawling, lifting, pulling, and reaching. They typically work a 40-hour workweek. Some evening, weekend, or holiday work may be required.
  • Work environments for truck and transport mechanics and transport trailer technicians differ from one job to another. They frequently work in awkward positions and must climb, stoop, crouch, and kneel. Truck and transport mechanics are sometimes required to work in adverse weather conditions.
  • There is some risk of injury when working with power tools, heavy lifting, repetitive motion, and being exposed to gas exhaust fumes. For transport trailer technicians there are additional risks of injury from welding equipment or risks from hazardous cargo or residue contained within trailers.
  • Transport trailer technicians may need special certifications to complete some work-related tasks – for example, a propane license or refrigeration certificate.
  • Workers in this group may specialize in the following areas: engine and fuel systems, transmission systems, air conditioning, cooling and heating systems, steering, alignment, brakes, drivelines, suspension, electrical and electronic systems, truck-trailer repair, or diagnostic services.
  • With additional training, experienced automotive service technicians may advance to shop supervisor or service manager positions. Technicians can transfer their skills and knowledge to related occupations like an automotive instructor, truck and transport mechanic, agricultural equipment technician, or heavy-duty equipment technician. Some technicians may open their own garage or automotive specialty shop.
  • Experienced transport trailer technicians act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also advance to supervisory, service management, and training positions.
  • Experienced truck and transport mechanics can act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also advance to supervisory, service manager, and training positions.
  • 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

4,605

employed in 2016

92.0%

employed full-time

13.1%

self employed

2.8%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
97.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.1

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?

31.8%

Halifax

$45,887 median annual income
20.4%

North Shore

$39,955 median annual income
19.8%

Annapolis Valley

$41,459 median annual income
14.0%

Southern

$36,053 median annual income
14.0%

Cape Breton

$36,837 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

48.3%

Other services (except public administration)

27.1%

Retail trade

6.5%

Transportation and warehousing

3.6%

Public administration

3.6%

Wholesale trade

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

45-54

22.0%

25-34

17.0%

35-44

17.0%

55-64

12.0%

15-24

5.0%

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

46.4%

Trade Certification

$45,884 median annual income
33.4%

College Diploma

$41,396 median annual income
11.4%

High school

$27,523 median annual income
7.0%

Less than high school

$28,818 median annual income
1.1%

Bachelor

$41,498 median annual income

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

Automotive Mechanics Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, service, and maintain all types of automobiles. They include courses in brake systems, electrical systems, engine performance, engine repair, suspension and steering, automatic and manual transmissions and drive trains, and heating and air condition systems.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

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

Diesel Mechanics Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, service, and maintain diesel engines in vehicles like cars, buses, ships, trucks, railroad locomotives, and construction equipment as well as stationary diesel engines in electrical generators and related equipment.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, 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

Medium/Heavy Vehicle and Truck Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to the specialized maintenance and repair of trucks, buses, and other commercial and industrial vehicles. They include courses in diesel engine mechanics, suspension and steering, brake systems, electrical and electronic systems, preventive maintenance inspections, drive trains, gasoline engine mechanics, HVAC systems, and auxiliary equipment installation and repair.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Automotive Service Technician

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS
Automotive Service Technician (Service Station Technician)

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS
Transport Trailer 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
Truck and Transport Mechanic

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

CARS OnDemand
Oshawa, ON
Automotive Human Resource Sector Council of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS