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Automotive Service Technicians (NOC 7321) may also be called:

  • car mechanic
  • brake systems mechanic
  • motor vehicle mechanic
  • tune up specialist

What Would I Do?

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.

Automotive Service Technicians’ duties include:

  • adjust, repair or replace parts or components of automotive systems (i.e., fuel systems, brakes, steering and suspension, engines and drive trains, emission control and exhaust, cooling and climate control, and electrical and electronic systems), using hand tools and other specialized automotive repair equipment
  • inspect motor operation, road test motor vehicles, and test systems using computerized and other testing devices to diagnose faults

Truck and transport and truck-trailer mechanics’ duties include:

  • 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.

Mechanical repairers’ (motor vehicle manufacturing) duties include:

  • inspect and test mechanical units, such as engines, transmissions, axles and brake systems to locate faults and malfunctions
  • diagnose malfunctions and determine with supervisors whether to repair or replace units
  • test and adjust units to performance specifications, repair or replace mechanical units or components, and complete reports to record the work done and any problems that occurred

More information:

Am I Suited For This Job?

Important skills:

  • good hand-eye coordination
  • mechanical aptitude and interest
  • logical thinking and decision making
  • able to keep up to date with changing technology
  • physically fit
  • communication skills

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.

Sources: Career Cruising database (Profile for Automotive Service Technician),  WorkBC Career Profile for Automotive Service Technicians

What Are The Wages And Benefits?

In British Columbia, the average median salary is $56,895. Your wages are affected by your experience and area of expertise.

In BC’s regions, you can expect to make:

Hourly wages by BC region for automotive service technicians

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: Career Cruising database (Profile for ‘Automotive Service Technician’), WorkBC Career Profile for Automotive Service Technicians

What Is The Job Outlook In BC?

Due to the large size of this occupational group, many job opportunities will arise from worker turnover. As well, more than three-quarters of future job openings will come from retirements.

Low interest rates, dealer incentives and population growth previously resulted in strong motor vehicle sales, which resulted in more cars that require servicing. Also, after-warranty specialty shops that provide fast, low-cost maintenance for such items as oil changes, brakes and mufflers represent a particular growth area.

BC Labour market outlook for 2015-2025

Chart from WorkBC

JobBank Canada reports that for the 2016-2018 period, the employment outlook is expected to be good for Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers (NOC 7321) in British Columbia and employment growth is expected to be strong.

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for Automotive Service Technicians, JobBank Canada, Career Profile for Automotive Service Technicians

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 certification as an automotive service technician is not mandatory. However certification is required by many employers and will likely increase your employment opportunities.  You can become a certified technician by completing an Apprenticeship Program. The program is comprised of Levels 1-to-4 of progressive technical training. Each level takes approximately 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.  See: Trades Training BC: Automotive Service Technician: Foundation Schedules

More information:

How Do I Find A Job?

Where would I work?

  • motor vehicle dealers
  • garages
  • truck and trailer dealerships
  • fleet maintenance companies
  • service stations
  • automotive specialty shops
  • transportation companies
  • retail establishments that have automotive service shops
  • motor vehicle manufacturing companies

Finding Advertised Jobs

Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.

Local Newspapers

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.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    Access at VPL locations only

Online Job Postings

  • BC JobConnect **must have permanent resident number**
    newcomers can post their skills, education and work experience to BC employers looking for workers

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 foreperson, shop supervisor, service advisor 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?