If you’re interested in working with cars, a career as an automotive service technician is for you.
An Automotive Service Technician performs preventative maintenance, diagnoses problems and repairs
vehicle systems in cars and light trucks. Specifically, an Automotive Service Technician diagnoses and
repairs: engines, transmissions, clutches, rear ends, differentials, brakes, drive shafts, axles and other
assemblies; alignment of wheels, axles, frames and steering mechanisms; suspension systems, including
shock absorbers and spring assemblies; ignition, charging and starting systems, panel instruments, wiring
and other electrical/electronic systems and equipment; fuel and engine management and emission control
systems; air-conditioning, refrigeration and heating systems.
The trade is regulated provincially by governing bodies to ensure that consumers can have confidence the
service they are receiving is conducted by qualified individuals. The below specifics are for programs in
Ontario; other provinces have similar structures in place.
In Ontario, the trade regulated by the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009. Qualified
individuals may obtain a Certificate of Qualification, which confirms its holder has the skills, knowledge
and experience that meet industry standards of practice for the trade. In order to complete an apprenticeship
training program in the trade, individuals must become members of the Ontario College of Trades (the
College), and apprentices must remain active members for the duration of their apprenticeship. Upon
completing an apprenticeship, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) will issue an
individual a Certificate of Apprenticeship.
Upon passing the trade’s certification examination and meeting the College’s registration requirements, the
individual may apply to become certified and registered as a journeyperson in the trade.
Automotive Service Technician is classified as a compulsory trade, which means that individuals working
in the trade are required by law to be members of the College. In Ontario, the trade is part of the
Interprovincial Red Seal Program—the national standard for the trade across Canada: www.red-seal.ca.
An apprenticeship training program consists of on-the- job and in-school training. Generally, the time-frame
to become competent in the trade of Automotive Service Technician is 7,220 hours (approximately four
years) consisting of 6,500 hours of on-the- job work experience and 720 hours of in-school training. For
detailed information about this program, see the apprenticeship training standard:
On-The- Job Training
An apprenticeship involves practical training provided on-the- job by a skilled worker, or trainer. The skills
or competencies to be developed are set out by the trade’s Apprenticeship Training Standard and are
recognized by the industry as being essential to the practice of the trade. As these essential skills are
developed, the apprentice’s sponsor or trainer signs the relevant sections of the training standard to indicate
that the apprentice has met the individual training objectives by demonstrating the skills required of a
skilled worker, or journeyperson, in the trade.
An Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship includes three levels of theoretical training, which
includes but is not limited to instruction in:
electrical/electronic and emissions systems
drive train systems
suspension, steering and brake systems
air conditioning systems
Depending on the training delivery agency, in-school training may be available in one of the following
block release (full-time, for a set number of weeks)
day release (one day per week from September to June)
part-time (night-school programs) alternative delivery (online, correspondence, etc.)
MTCU is responsible for reviewing and scheduling classroom training for apprenticeship programs
established by the College.
For more information about in-class training, contact a local MTCU Apprenticeship Office: