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

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 190 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 205 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Many workers in this occupation were laid off during the first few months of the pandemic. More commuters began to work from home, and Nova Scotians were urged to stop nonessential driving and travelling. The large decrease in vehicle kilometres traveled resulted in fewer needed repairs and longer intervals between servicing. Some employers used the lull in business to train service technicians on new skills and technologies, including virtual communication with clients. Prospects in this occupation remain good for those with in-demand skills and certification. High turnover contributes to the number of vacancies at times.

In recent years, rapid advancements in electronics, safety features, and autonomous driving have resulted in a steeper learning curve and a greater need for technicians with specialized skills. As a result, red seal mechanics and those able to service recent technologies are in higher demand than those without. Some larger dealerships have responded to the skills shortage by providing in-house training to new hires.

The median employment income for the 72% of Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics, and Mechanical Repairers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $44,960. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median annual income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$22.00

Median

$32.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,960

Minimum

$40,325

Median

$70,246

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$27.25

Median

$35.50

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

You should have mechanical aptitude, as well as patience, reliability, coordination, and agility. Lightness of touch and attention to detail are important. Some physical strength may be needed. Strong skills in mathematics and computers will also be helpful.

Job requirements

Automotive service technicians

  • High school is usually required.
  • A four-year automotive service technician apprenticeship program or a combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and high school, college or industry courses in automotive technology is required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for automotive service technicians is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Automotive service technician (service station mechanic) trade certification is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified automotive service technicians upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Mechanical repairers, motor vehicle manufacturing

  • High school is usually required.
  • On-the-job training of two to three years is provided by employers.

Truck and transport and truck-trailer mechanics:

  • High school is usually required.
  • A four-year truck and transport mechanic or truck-trailer repair apprenticeship or a combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and high school, college or industry courses in truck or heavy duty equipment mechanics is required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for truck and transport mechanics is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Transport trailer technician trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified transport trailer technicians and truck and transport mechanics upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

As motor vehicles become more complex through the use of advanced electrical and electronic technology, the skills needed to repair these vehicles are changing. Therefore, individuals should be prepared to keep up to date with new developments in automotive technology. In these jobs, you may be exposed to noise and fumes.

The wage rate for apprentices is usually a percentage of the journeyperson rate, increasing upon completion of each stage of the apprenticeship program. With additional training, mobility is possible between automobile and truck and transport mechanics. With experience, mechanics and technicians in this group may progress to supervisory positions. Mechanical repairers employed in motor vehicle manufacturing may progress to motor vehicle mechanic positions through an apprenticeship program, or with experience, they may progress to supervisory positions in motor vehicle manufacturing.

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

20.4%

North Shore

19.8%

Annapolis Valley

14.0%

Cape Breton

14.0%

Southern

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%

55-64

17.0%

35-44

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

Adult High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

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 - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation

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 - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Apprenticeship Training

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 - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, 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 - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, 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 - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Amusement Device Mechanics

Right to Practice: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, Technical Safety Division
PO Box 697
Halifax, NS B3J 2T8
(844) 424-3200
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 do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Automotive Service Technician (Service Station 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 do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
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 do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Truck & 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 do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651

Contacts

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

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.