service technicians perform preventative maintenance, diagnose faulty
operation and repair automotive vehicles and light trucks. Automotive
service technicians adjust, test and repair engines, steering systems,
braking systems, drive trains, vehicle suspensions, electrical systems
and air-conditioning systems, and do wheel alignments.
In large shops,
they sometimes specialize in repairing, rebuilding and servicing
specific parts (e.g. braking systems, suspension and steering systems).
In smaller shops, automotive service technicians may work on a wider
variety of repair jobs. Automotive service technicians begin by
reading the work order and examining the vehicle.
To locate the
cause of faulty operation and repair it, they:
- use testing
equipment, take the vehicle for a test drive, and/or refer to
manufacturers specifications and manuals,
- repair or
replace worn or damaged parts,
adjust and test the repaired mechanism.
technicians also may:
- perform scheduled
maintenance services such as oil changes,
and tune ups, or advise customers on work performed, general vehicle
conditions and future repair requirements.
service technicians work a 40-hour, five-day week. Some evening,
weekend or holiday work may be required. The work is sometimes noisy
and dirty, and there is some risk of injury involved in working
with power tools and near exhaust gases. Technicians may be required
to lift between 11 and 25 kilograms.
successful in their trade, automotive service technicians need:
good hearing, eyesight and manual dexterity mechanical aptitude
and interest the ability to keep up to date with changing technology.
A working knowledge of electricity, electronics and computers is
an asset. The work is most rewarding for those who enjoy doing precise
work that is varied and challenging. Also, they usually like on-the-job
security and a feeling of independence.
the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act requires that anyone
working in this trade must be a certified journeyman or a registered
apprentice. To enter the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship
program, applicants must have at least Grade 10 with Mathematics
10 or 13 and English 10 or 13 or equivalent (or pass an entrance
exam), and find an employer who is willing to hire and train an
apprentice. Employers generally prefer to hire high school or post
secondary program graduates and may select apprentices from among
their current employees.
technicians provide their own hand tools so apprentices should begin
purchasing tools as soon as they start in the trade.
The term of
apprenticeship is four years (four 12-month periods with a minimum
of 1500 hours of employment each year). In addition to the on the-job
training, the term also requires eight weeks of classroom training
for each year. An applicant who has successfully completed related
courses of study or work experience, and has the employer's recommendation,
can apply for credit toward the apprenticeship.
attend training, they are required to pay the applicable tuition
fee and purchase course supplies. Human Resources Development Canada
may provide income support for apprentices attending classroom training.
Apprentice automotive service technicians earn at least 55 percent
of the journeyman wage rate in their place of employment in the
first year, 70 percent in the second, 80 percent in the third and
90 percent in the fourth year. Journeyman wage rates vary, but generally
range from $17 to $22 an hour plus benefits. In many shops journeyman
mechanics are paid a flat rate for each job they complete, usually
a percentage of the labour charge. Earnings may therefore vary considerably
depending on how much work is assigned and how quickly it is completed.