What Does a Small Engine Technician Do?

Small Engine Technicians (435A) service and repair small gasoline and diesel-powered equipment such as garden tractors, outboard motors, chain saws and lawn mowers.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • reading and interpreting performance codes and standards such as manufacturer's service manuals, parts bulletins, technical updates etc.
  • reviewing work orders and discussing work to be performed with supervisors or customers
  • determining estimates of repair costs
  • setting up and operating small power equipment
  • inspecting and testing small engines using various diagnostic and testing devices
  • performing scheduled maintenance on equipment
  • advising customers on the work performed and general condition of the equipment
  • documenting work activities as well as writing operational reports

You may find additional information about this trade and applicable standards at the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website – follow this sector link:http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/membership/resources/training-standards

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

Grade 12 or the equivalent (GED or ACE) is required under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). It would be beneficial to have credits in mathematics, English and Science. To achieve success in this trade, you should have good manual dexterity. Apprenticeship training includes  5,000 hours via on-the-job training and in-school instruction.  Upon successful completion of a written examination, the candidate will be recognized by the OCoT Program Development and Standards Unit with a Certificate of Qualification. 

However, a Small Engine Technician is an unrestricted trade which means that you do not need a Certificate of Qualification to work in this trade. Your in-school component is comprised of 2 eight week blocks of training and could take place at a community college such as Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology, Georgian College, Centennial College, Conestoga College (Guelph campus)or at Niagara College .

Apprenticeship Subject Pathways provides additional information for students/parents/educators:



If you are currently attending high school, you may benefit from enroling in a Transportation Specialist High Skills Major Program. For more information, please click the following link:


What’s Your Future as a Small Engine Technician?

As a Small Engine Technician, you may be employed by dealer service shops, garages, and by independent business establishment. Many Small Engine Technicians own their own businesses.

Small Engine Technicians may do a lot of heavy lifting, bending and standing. They generally work a 40 hour work week but work may be seasonal depending on the type of engine (lawnmower, snow-blower, golf carts etc.) As a fully qualified journeyperson you may:

  • Work as a Small Engine Technician
  • Progress to a supervisory position
  • Start your own business
  • Work in related occupations (see below)

Wage Rate

  • Apprentices will generally earn less than people with more experience, however as your skill and expertise increase, so does your wage in line with company wage rates
  • Fully qualified Small Engine Technicians generally earn in the $10 - $20 per hour range excluding overtime, with an average rate of $16.50 per hour


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Small Engine Technician For You?

Are you physically fit with good finger/manual dexterity and mechanical abilities?

Yes      No

Can you work indoors or outdoors in different types of weather, noise and fumes, evenings or weekends during peak season?

Yes      No

Do you like to study and keep up with changing technology?

Yes      No

Do you like performing a variety of tasks, working with computerized equipment and small engines?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy figuring out what's wrong with something, then fixing it?

Yes      No

Do you mind making a significant investment in tools?

Yes      No

Do you have the physical stamina to be on your feet for long periods of time, and bend down or crouch frequently?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Small Engine Technician may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Marine Engine Mechanic
  • Ski Lift Mechanic
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Motorcycle Mechanic


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