Automotive Service Technicians (NOC 7321) may also be called:
- car mechanic
- brake systems mechanic
- motor vehicle mechanic
- tune up specialist
What Would I Do?
You examine, test and repair the parts and systems on cars and light trucks. You may use computerized diagnostic equipment to test, and repair parts such as engines, steering systems, brakes, vehicle suspensions and electrical systems. You also perform routine maintenance on vehicles, such as oil changes and tune-ups.
You advise customers on the work performed, general vehicle conditions and future repair requirements.
Am I Suited For This Job?
- good hand-eye coordination
- mechanical aptitude and interest
- logical thinking and decision making
- the ability to keep up to date with changing technology
The work can be physically demanding. You spend a great deal of time on your feet, and will often be required to bend, crawl, lift and reach.
Technicians usually work indoors and can expect a work environment that includes noise, fumes, odours, hazardous materials, and confined spaces. Safe work practices are essential.
Good customer service and communication skills are helpful. It is also important to have driving skills and a valid driver’s licence.
Sources: Career Cruising database (Profile for Automotive Service Technician), WorkBC Career Profile
What Are The Wages And Benefits?
In British Columbia, the average median salary is $58,397. Your wages are affected by your experience and area of expertise.
In BC’s regions, you can expect to make:
Table from Job Bank Wage Report
Full-time automotive service technicians may receive benefits. Common benefits include dental coverage, paid sick days, and paid vacation.
Sources: WorkBC Career Profile, Career Cruising database
What Is The Job Outlook In BC?
There are currently about 15,800 automotive service technicians in British Columbia.
Chart from WorkBC
Source: WorkBC Career Profiles
How Do I Become an Automotive Service Technician?
Automotive Service Technician is an Inter-provincially recognized Red Seal trade. With a Red Seal, you can work in this trade anywhere in Canada.
In BC you can become certified as an Automotive Service Technician by completing an Apprenticeship Program. The program is comprised of Levels 1-to-4 of progressive technical training. Each level takes approximately 6-7 weeks to complete and certification can be achieved at any level. You require an employer to sponsor you in order to enrol in the Apprenticeship Program.
If you have extensive experience working as an automotive service technician but have never been certified in Canada you may apply to challenge the certification.
Foundation programs, where available, provide those who don’t have work experience or employer sponsorship with the opportunity to gain the required skills to enter the occupation. Register directly with a training provider to enrol in a Foundation program.
- Immigrants in Trades Training Initiative (ITTI)
This project, which is funded by the Industry Training Authority, provides financial and other support to help you gain your certification.
How Do I Find A Job?
Where would I work?
Automotive service technicians work for:
- automotive repair shops
- car dealerships
- large organizations that own a fleet of vehicles
- motor vehicle body repair companies
Finding Advertised Jobs
Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.
You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and, in The Province on Sundays.
Online Job Postings
Finding “Hidden Jobs”
Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.
Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers
You can use company directories to produce lists of employers who employ automotive service technicians in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
- Reference Canada
Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
In the top search box enter “automobile repair” and click LOOKUP.
Select the appropriate headings.
Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).
Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies
Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.
Networking and the Hidden Job Market:
When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.
For additional tips see:
Applying for a Job
In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
For more information see:
Where Can This Job Lead?
With experience you may move up to shop supervisor or service manager. Some technicians open their own garage or automotive specialty shop.
With additional training it is also possible to move into occupations such as automotive instructor, truck and transport mechanic or heavy duty equipment technician.
Where Can I Find More Information?