technicians repair, overhaul and maintain mobile heavy equipment
such as highway transport vehicles, construction and earth moving
equipment, tractors and mobile industrial equipment.
technicians employed by organizations that maintain their own heavy
duty equipment (e.g. commercial trucking lines, construction firms,
oil, mining and logging companies) usually follow a regular checklist
of inspections for preventive maintenance and make any necessary
heavy equipment technicians:
- keep equipment
cleaned, lubricated and maintained,
faults or malfunctions,
- adjust equipment
and repair or replace defective parts, components or systems,
- test repaired
equipment for proper performance and to ensure that the work done
meets manufacturers' specifications and legislated regulations.
In large or
specialized shops, heavy equipment technicians may specialize in
engine overhaul, power shift transmissions, fuel pumps and injectors,
hydraulic controls, electrical and electronic equipment, air conditioning,
or track equipment.
environment for heavy equipment technicians varies considerably
from one job to another. Some heavy equipment technicians work in
modern laboratories overhauling fuel injection pumps and delivery
systems. Others work in construction fields, sometimes in an oily
or greasy environment or in inclement weather. Travel requirements
and hours of work also vary. There is some risk of injury involved
in working with heavy equipment and power tools. Lifting may berequired
in excess of 25 kilograms.
To be successful in this trade, heavy equipment technicians need:
good vision, hearing and sense of smell to diagnose problems, the
strength and stamina required to work with heavy equipment and work
in cramped or awkward positions, the ability to work alone or as
part of a team, mechanical ability and an interest in all types
of machinery and engines, electronics and precision equipment, the
ability to think logically and keep up with changes in technology.
The work is most rewarding for those who enjoy achieving expertise
with precise work, problem-solving and working with their hands.
the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act requires that anyone
working in a certified trade be a certified journeyman or a registered
apprentice. To enter the Heavy Equipment Technician apprenticeship
program, applicants must have at least Grade 11 education or equivalent
(or pass an entrance exam), and find an appropriate employer who
is willing to hire and train an apprentice.
prefer to hire high school graduates or technical school graduates
and may select apprentices from among their current employees. Courses
in English, Mathematics and Science are particularly important.
Apprentices must also supply their own set of basic tools (costing
from $3000 to $7000).
The term of
apprenticeship is four years (four 12-month periods with a minimum
of 1500 hours of employment each year). In addition to 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 heavy equipment technicians earn at least 60 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 $16 to $28 an hour plus benefits.