What They Do
Motor vehicle mechanics and technicians diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and parts of cars, buses and trucks. Motor vehicle body repairers repair and restore damaged motor vehicle body parts and interior finishings.
Mechanics and technicians may do some or all of the following tasks:
- Examine vehicles to find out what needs to be fixed, often using diagnostic equipment
- Estimate repair costs
- Repair damage or perform preventative maintenance
- Inspect the completed work
- Test that the vehicle's performance meets required standards
- Communicate with and advise customers
- Work on or specialize in vehicle systems, such as fuel, brake, steering and suspension systems, transmission, emission control and exhaust systems, engines, and electrical, cooling and climate control systems
- Perform scheduled maintenance service such as oil changes, lubrications and tune-ups
- Repair and replace doors, front-end body and underbody components
- Hammer out defects, straighten bent frames, prepare and repaint surfaces, and repair or replace interiors
- Use specialty tools such as cutting torches, soldering equipment, blocks, hammers and spray guns.
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in High demand.
Most of the work in this job is in Whitehorse (85.1% of jobs). Earnings in this type of job are close to the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $45,800 in 2011.
These mechanics and technicians work for motor vehicle dealers, garages and service stations as well as automotive specialty shops and stores with automotive service shops. They may also be self-employed.
Yukon roads have a great deal of gravel and rough surfacing. People in these jobs may spend time on windshield replacement and bodywork to fix gravel chipping. Yukoners drive a lot of trucks, and few sports or luxury cars. The extremely cold winters in Yukon are hard on the moving parts of vehicles, especially flexible parts. Yukon mechanics see more work on heating systems, shocks, struts and axle boots than in southern cities.
Some automotive repairers work for large car dealerships, government services or repair shops, while many work in smaller garages or as independents. Working hours are regular, daytime hours, though overtime or evening work may be expected.
Some shops are large, bright and well ventilated, while others can be less well equipped. Some garages may be cold. All workers will likely be exposed to noise, vibration, fumes and vehicle emissions, and the work is often dirty. The trade requires good flexibility, attention to detail and some physical strength. Much of the work involves electronic equipment and auto systems. Some shops may require workers to supply their own hand tools.
How Do I Get There
In Yukon, apprenticeships are available for the following motor vehicle trades:
- automotive service technician, automotive painter, motor vehicle body prepper, motor vehicle body repairer, transport trailer technician, truck and transport mechanic, and recreation vehicle service technician trades. The prerequisite education for all of these trades is Grade 10, but employers generally prefer to see Grade 12. English, algebra, and science are the core subjects required for most of these apprenticeships.
These apprenticeships take between two and four years, and are a combination of on-the-job and classroom training. Trades training is often paid by an employer and in-class work takes place outside Yukon.
People who have qualified in one of the motor vehicle mechanic, heavy equipment mechanic, or truck and transport mechanic trades can qualify for certification in either of the other two trades by providing evidence of two years' experience in the new field.