Transportation - Automotive Service

Automotive Service

Automotive Service

Automotive mechanics make mechanical repairs and carry out scheduled maintenance on cars, trucks and other motor vehicles using a variety of testing equipment and tools. This process customarily involves the use of computerized diagnostic equipment, such as infrared engine analyzers, spark plug testers and compression guages. An even greater variety of tools is used to complete the work, including pneumatic wrenches, lathes and grinding machines, jacks and hoists, and electronic service equipment. Besides repairing damaged and defective vehicles, mechanics also conduct routine and scheduled maintenance: balancing and rotating tires, replacing filters, performing oil changes, lubrications and tune-ups, and installing parts such as mufflers, shock absorbers, exhaust pipes, radiators and springs. These repairs and maintenance must be completed to exacting safety standards.

With all of the complex repair and maintenance machinery used and the new technology built into modern automotive components, knowledge of electronics is increasingly desirable in a mechanic. In fact, the new developments in engines, transmissions and suspension systems, and the increased use of electronic components are changing the mechanic’s job into that of a technician, with more emphasis on vehicle diagnosis.

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

  • Review work orders and discuss work with supervisor
  • Inspect motor in operation, road test motor vehicle, and test automotive systems and components using computerized diagnostic and other testing devices to diagnose and isolate faults
  • Adjust, repair or replace parts and components of automotive systems including fuel system, brakes, steering and suspension, engine and drive train, emission control and exhaust, cooling and climate control, and electrical and electronic systems using hand tools and other specialized automotive repair equipment
  • Test and adjust repaired systems to manufacturer's performance specifications
  • Perform scheduled maintenance service, such as oil changes, lubrications and tune ups
  • Advise customers on work performed, general vehicle condition and future repair requirements.

Who do they work for?

  • Repair shops
  • Car dealerships
  • Industrial/manufacturing companies
  • Self-employed

Sample titles

  • Heavy duty equipment mechanic
  • Motor vehicle assembler
  • Air conditioning mechanic
  • Automotive mechanic
  • Automotive service technician
  • Motor repairer
  • Transmission mechanic

Essential Skills

  • Document use
  • Oral communication
  • Thinking: problem solving, decision making

How to join the field

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a four-year automotive service technician 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 compulsory in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia and available, but voluntary, in all other provinces and the territories.
  • Automotive service technician (fuel, electrical and electronic systems) and automotive service technician (transmission) trade certification is compulsory in New Brunswick and Ontario and available, but voluntary, in Prince Edward Island.
  • Automotive service technician (steering, suspension and brakes) trade certification is compulsory in New Brunswick and Ontario.
  • Motor vehicle repair (service station mechanic) trade certification is compulsory in Nova Scotia and available, but voluntary, in Prince Edward Island.
  • Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also available to qualified automotive service technicians.


Minimum $13.00
Maximum $32.00
Annual salaries between $26,500 to $71,000

For more information, contact:

Skills/Compétences Canada
294 Albert Street, Suite 201
Ottawa, ON K1P 6E6
Tel: 877 754 5226
Website :