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Job Roles and

Responsibilities
in Canada

Automotive Service
Technicians

Acknowledgments
Winnipeg Technical College and the Department of Labour and Immigration
of Manitoba wish to express sincere appreciation to all contributors.
Special acknowledgments are extended to the following individuals:
Manola Barlow, Independent Contractor
Sarah McDowell, Independent Contractor
Recognition of Prior Learning Coordinator, Winnipeg Technical College
Don Chadney, Motor Vehicle/Mechanical Repair Instructor, Winnipeg Technical
College
Funding for this project has been provided by The Citizenship and
Multicultural Division, Manitoba Department of Labour and Immigration.

Disclaimer
Statements and opinions in this document do not reflect those of Winnipeg Technical
College or the project funder, Citizenship and Multicultural Division, Manitoba
Department of Labour and Immigration. The information is gathered from a variety of
sources and is current and accurate as of the revision date noted. This information is
subject to change and will not be further updated. It is the responsibility of the reader to
seek current statistics and information.
Please contact the Winnipeg Technical College at 989-6500 or www.wtc.mb.ca if you
have questions about the contents of this document

Table of Contents
Introduction -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4
Description -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4
Where They Find Work ----------------------------------------------------------------- 5
Language Requirements --------------------------------------------------------------- 5
Skills----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6
Main Duties -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7
The Importance of Safety in Canada------------------------------------------------ 8
Terms & Conditions --------------------------------------------------------------------- 8
Earnings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 9
Education/Training---------------------------------------------------------------------- 10
Employment Requirements----------------------------------------------------------- 13
Career Paths ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13
Employment Opportunities ----------------------------------------------------------- 14
Professional Associations ------------------------------------------------------------ 14
References ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14

Introduction
Automotive service technicians work in a variety of settings in Manitoba. Knowledge
and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an automotive service technician
is necessary when thinking about enrolling in technical training.
The information provided in this booklet will assist you in your studies and will increase
your awareness of the roles and responsibilities of automotive service technicians. A
detailed description of job duties, employment requirements, skills, education and
training are all included in this package.

Description
Automotive service technicians inspect, find problems, repair and service mechanical,
electrical and electronic systems and components of cars, buses and trucks. They are
employed by motor vehicle dealers (e.g., Hyundai, Honda, Ford, etc.), garages and
service stations, automotive specialty shops and retail establishments, which have
automotive service shops. Automotive service technicians are classified under the
National Occupation Classification (NOC) #7321
Examples of titles:

Automobile mechanic

Automotive service technician

Motor repairer - motor vehicle


manufacturing

apprentice

Motor vehicle mechanic

Automotive service technician

Transmission mechanic

Bus mechanic

Truck and transport mechanic

Bar mechanic

Truck-trailer repairer

Mechanical upgrader - motor vehicle manufacturing


Tune-up specialist, motor
vehicle

Where They Find Work1


Other than motor vehicle dealers, garages and service stations work can be found in
the automotive retail and wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, motor
vehicle parts manufacturing and rental and leasing businesses. The highest
concentration of employment is in Alberta and Prince Edward Island.

Language Requirements
It is important as an automotive service technician to be able to speak, listen, read and
write English. It is very important to employers that you can communicate well orally,
with them and with your customers. A high level of reading is also required.
It is important to note that language entrance requirements and test requirements
vary in different colleges. Contact the colleges to see what is required.
Recommended Canadian Language Benchmark Levels for Motor Vehicle Mechanics 2
Listening

Speaking

Reading

Writing

Recommended TOEFL scores3


Paper Based

Computer Based

Internet Based

550

213

80

For those individuals where English is an Additional Language (EAL), it is


recommended that you take a Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test to
determine your level of English, and to see which English classes are available to you.

www.jobfutures.ca
www.gov.mb.ca
Note: This occupation/training has not been formally benchmarked.
3
These are the current TOEFL entrance requirements at some colleges.
2

Contact the Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre for an
appointment:
Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre
400 - 275 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2B3
Phone: 204-943-5387

Skills
Automotive service technicians need the following skills and abilities:

Interest in mechanical/electronic systems and in motor vehicles

Good problem-solving skills

Good vision, hearing and sense of smell

Manual dexterity and mechanical aptitude

Ability to communicate well in English

Ability to get along well with co-workers and customers

Ability to read technical diagrams and instructions

Good calculating skills

Ability to understand and use computerized systems

Ability to drive a range of vehicles

Ability to keep working area tidy

Concern for safety and a responsible work attitude

Interest in keeping up-to-date with technology

Physical fitness and strength

Do you have many of these skills?


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Main Duties
Automotive service technicians perform some or all of the following duties:

Review work orders (what needs to be fixed on the vehicle) and discuss work
with supervisor

Check motors that are running, road test motor vehicles, and test automotive
systems and components using testing devices to find the problem in the vehicle
(See Automotive Service Terminology package for a detailed list of automotive
systems.)

Change, repair or replace parts and components of automotive systems,


including fuel, brake, steering and suspension systems, transmissions,
differentials, drive axles and shafts, emission control and exhaust systems,
engines and electrical, cooling and climate control systems by using hand tools
and other specialized automotive repair equipment

Test and change repaired systems to the required standards

Perform scheduled maintenance service, such as oil changes, lubrications and


tune-ups

Advise customers on work performed, general vehicle conditions and future


repair requirements

Follow safety procedures

Automotive service technicians may specialize in one of the following areas:


engine and fuel systems; transmission systems; air conditioning; cooling and
heating systems; brakes; drive lines; suspension; electrical and electronic
systems, or diagnostic services.
Do you think you would enjoy doing the work described above?

The Importance of Safety in Canada


Safety in the workplace is very important in Canada. If your employer sees you are not
listening to the safety rules, you may be fired immediately.
The company is responsible for:

Training employees how to work safely

Telling employees about things that are dangerous in the workplace

Giving employees safety equipment and make sure they wear it

The employee is responsible for:

Following the companys safety rules (sometimes called policies)

Wearing safety equipment

Telling the supervisor if they see something that is dangerous

Not doing anything that they think is unsafe

It is your responsibility to ask questions when you dont understand.


For more information: www.safemanitoba.com

Terms & Conditions


The work environment for automotive service technicians is normally indoors in a
garage (service bay).
They work among equipment, machinery and tools, where there is a lot of noise and
strong smells. Mechanics normally work a regular 35 to 40 hour week; sometimes they
will work overtime (more than 40 hours in one week).
Automotive service technicians are paid either an hourly rate or a flat rate. A flat rate is
based on a predetermined amount of time that the repair should take. Manitoba's
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Transport Truck regulations state that transport truck mechanic apprentices, while not
attending technical school, shall receive no less than the provincial minimum wage plus:
15% during the first year of apprenticeship
35% during the second year of apprenticeship
55% during the third year of apprenticeship
75% during the fourth year of apprenticeship
If an apprentice is working where there is a collective agreement and the wage
specified under the agreement is higher than the regulated wage, the apprentice
shall be paid at the rate specified in the collective agreement.
Automotive service technicians must have their own hand tools, so apprentices should
begin purchasing tools as soon as they start in the trade.

Earnings
In Manitoba
$20,800.00 per annum - starting (first year of apprenticeship)
$35,000.00 per annum - average
$47,000.00 per annum - high (Red Seal Certified)
Average in Canada
Hourly wage: $17.24 to $18.38

Education / Training
Apprenticeship
A formal apprenticeship program (Automotive Service Technician) is available. To
become a certified Automotive Service Technician in Manitoba, you must complete an
apprenticeship that combines on-the-job (practical) experience and in-school (technical)
training.
You must be at least 16 years of age and have a Grade 12 or equivalent high school
academic standing with credits in mathematics and science.
Network, network, network!4
Here are some tips on how to find an employer who is
participating in an apprenticeship program.

Go to where automotive service technicians are


employed

FIND AN EMPLOYER
You must find a
qualified employer who
will give you practical

Ask your career counsellor for advice. Check

training and hire you full-

with trade associations to see if they know any

time. Approach this like

employers who are looking for an apprentice.

any other job search.

(See page 14)

Remember that 80% of

Tell people you know that you are looking for a

all job openings are

job. Carry a resume with you everywhere. Ask to

never advertised. The

speak with a manager/supervisor and leave your

employer must employ a

resume with them even if they are not hiring.

certified journeyperson or a
designated trainer who will

Get the names and phone numbers of the

mentor you throughout your

employers and managers/supervisors that

on-the-job training.

youve contacted. Contact them again after a


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www.gov.mb.ca/tradecareers

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couple of weeks. This tells them that you really want the job.

Once you have found an employer to hire you, youll need to register as an
apprentice. Either you or your employer must complete an Apprenticeship
Application/Agreement, which will require information and signatures from both
of you. If you are not a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident, a work permit
and/or study permit will also be required. To confirm specific details of your
apprenticeship training, arrange to meet with the trade specific Apprenticeship
Training Coordinator who will outline:

The length of the training program

The skills that must be learned

The pay (wages)

The apprenticeship for motor vehicle mechanics is four years, or a combination


of several years of work experience in the trade and high school, college or
industry courses in automotive technology. Training and in-school instruction is a
minimum 1,800 hours per year. About 80% of your time is spent learning
practical on-the-job skills under the supervision of a journeyperson. The
remaining 20% consists of learning the theoretical and technical aspects of your
trade.

When you successfully complete all the practical and technical requirements of
apprenticeship training and score 70% or better on your final examination, you
receive a Certificate of Qualification, confirming your status as a journeyperson.
You also qualify for interprovincial, or "Red Seal" standing that, subject to local
regulations, allows you to work across Canada where the "Red Seal" certificate
is recognized.

If you now work in this field and want to become a fully qualified journeyperson,
you can receive credit for previous job experience and training and qualify for
certification by passing a theory and practical Trades Qualification Exam. If you
do not meet exam requirements, upgrading courses are available.

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Advantages for Employment & Certification Options

Completion of a four-year motor vehicle mechanic 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

Automotive service technician trade certification is voluntary in Manitoba

Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also available to qualified


automobile mechanics and truck and transport mechanics

Training on electronic fuel injection engines, on-board computers and electronic


systems will increase your chance at getting a job.

The following institutions offer related training in this field:

Assiniboine Community College offers a 10-month Automotive Technician


certificate.

Red River College offers a Motor Vehicle Mechanic/Ford Automotive Student


Services Educational Training (ASSET) Apprenticeship program. The Ford
ASSET program enables highly motivated people to fast-start their career as a
Quality Care Service Technician. ASSET is a two-part program. It is divided
between four eight-week sessions of classroom instruction at Red River College,
and three ten-month sessions of paid work experience at a sponsoring
dealership. Ford ensures students use only the latest in technology and vehicles.
Potential students must contact the service manager at a local dealership to
obtain sponsorship.

Red River College offers a one-year Automotive Service Technician certificate.

Red River College offers a one-year Automotive Service Technician diploma.


The program is designed to meet the demand for training in new technology. It
supplements current Automotive Technician Certificate programs and will
prepare graduates to work in the electronic technician field.

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University College of the North offers a one-year Automotive Technician


certificate. Graduates qualify to apply for the second year of the Automotive
Technician diploma program offered by Red River College. Any individual who
successfully completes this program with a passing grade of 70% or more and
registers as an apprentice within two years of completing this program will be
granted Level 1 of the associated Apprenticeship program.

Some high schools in Manitoba offer a program in Mechanics.

Employment Requirements

Completion of secondary school is usually required

Diagnostic and problem-solving skills and knowledge of electronics and


mathematics

Ability to adapt to changing technology and repair techniques as vehicle


components and systems become increasingly sophisticated

Some employers will require new workers to have a basic set of hand tools. (See
Automotive Service Terminology package for pictures of tools.)

Career Paths
Beginners usually start as trainee technicians, mechanics' helpers, lubrication workers
or gasoline service station attendants. With additional training, automotive service
technicians can transfer their skills to related occupations, such as automotive
instructor, parts clerk, farm equipment mechanic or heavy equipment mechanic.
Experienced Technicians may advance to service manager or shop foreman positions.
Some automotive service technicians open their own garages, service stations or
automobile performance shops. Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also
available to qualified motor vehicle mechanics, truck and transport mechanics, and
transport trailer mechanics.

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Employment Opportunities
Employment prospects for automotive service technicians, truck mechanics and
mechanical repairers in the 2008 to 2012 period are expected to be good. Employment
in Manitoba in 2008 is estimated at 4,930.
Mechanics are expected to be in demand for years ahead. Employment opportunities
will be best for those with training on electronic fuel injection engines, on-board
computers and electronic systems.

Professional Associations

Automotive Trades Association (Man.) Inc., 1456 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg,


MB, R3T 2A7, (204) 475-3235

Manitoba Motor Dealers Association, 230-530 Century Street, Winnipeg, MB,


R3H 0Y4, www.mmda.mb.ca

Canadian Automotive Repair & Service Council (CARS). Phone. 613-798-0500.


www.cars-council.ca

References
Manitoba Labour and Immigration (2003). Canadian Language Benchmarks: A
Summary of Courses, Programs, Occupations and Tests that have been
Benchmarked in Manitoba. Retrieved March 2, 2006, from www.gov.mb.ca
Manitoba Advanced Education and Training (2008). Job Futures Manitoba. Retrieved
March 2, 2008, from http://mb.jobfutures.org
Manitoba Competitiveness, Training and Trade. Retrieved April11, 2008, from
www.gov.mb.ca

Updated: April 2008

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