What Does an Automotive Service Technician Do?

Automotive Service Technicians (310S), sometimes referred to as Motor Vehicle Mechanics inspect, diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and components for cars, buses and trucks. They also perform major repair and replacement of mechanical units on newly assembled motor vehicles. Technicians may choose to specialize in engine and fuel systems, brakes, drive lines, suspension, electrical and electronic systems or diagnostic services.


Learn about the business case for training apprentices in the automotive service field

Essential Skills for Success as an Automotive Service Technician       NOC Code:7321

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • Reviewing work orders and discussing with co-workers or supervisors
  • Inspecting motors in operation, road testing vehicles and testing automotive systems and components using electronic/computer or other testing devices to diagnose problems and isolate faults
  • Adjusting, repairing or replacing parts and components of automotive systems including fuel, brake, steering and suspension systems
  • Performing scheduled maintenance service such as oil changes, lubrications and tune ups
  • Testing and adjusting repaired systems to manufacturer's specifications
  • Advising customers on work performed, general vehicle conditions and future repair requirements

You may find additional information about this trade and applicable standards at the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website – Motive Power 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 Math, Science and English; high school courses in Automotive Mechanics would be an asset. Entry and successful completion of an Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship (7,220 hours) is compulsory and must be followed by successfully passing an OCoT written examination to obtain a Certificate of Qualification. The apprenticeship is comprised of 6500 hours of on-the-job training as well as three 8-week blocks of in-school training.  If you are currently attending high school, you may benefit from enrolling in a Transportation Specialist High Skills Major Program. For additional information, please click the following link:


Community Colleges in Ontario often offer full time Automotive Service Technician programs, and many provide Modified Apprenticeship Programs or MAP courses tied directly to specific car/truck manufacturers. Check out the Centennial College School of Transportation at www.centennialcollege.ca for additional information on full time and MAP programs.

What’s Your Future as an Automotive Service Technician?

You may decide to specialize in fuel and electrical systems, transmission, alignment and brakes or become a truck and coach technician if you work in a large shop that encourages you to specialize in one specific area. You could be employed by a small shop and be required to work in all areas. Most people who work in this field work year-round, full-time mostly indoors with exposure to noise, vibration, liquids, fumes and odours covered by workplace regulations. Employers who might hire you include:

  • Automobile dealers
  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturers
  • Automotive parts and accessories stores
  • Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers

Wage Rate

  • apprentices are generally paid less than journeypersons
  • As your work performance, skills and expertise improve, your wages generally increase
  • Hourly wage rates vary from in the range of $11.00 to $29.00 per hour depending on the geographic area where they work, and sometimes provide benefits and the opportunities for overtime


Ask Yourself: Is Working as an Automotive Service Technician/ Motor Vehicle Mechanic for You?

Do you have a strong mechanical aptitude and like to 'tinker' with machinery?

Yes      No

Do you like to keep up with advances in technology?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy working with your hands using a variety of hand and power tools?

Yes      No

Can you stand, crouch, kneel, bend and lift up to 25 kilograms?

Yes      No

Do you have the physical stamina to work for 10-12 hours per day?

Yes      No

Do you mind working in a dirty, cold or hot environment?

Yes      No

Do you like diagnosing problems and finding solutions?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as an Automotive Service Technician/ Motor Vehicle Mechanic may be for you!

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

  • Heavy Equipment Mechanic
  • Auto Body Repairer
  • Automotive Painter
  • Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic


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