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Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics

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NOC:7312
Occupation:Heavy-duty Equipment Technicians
Category:Trades and Transportation

About the job

Nature of work:

Heavy-duty equipment technicians repair, troubleshoot, adjust, overhaul and maintain mobile heavy-duty equipment used in construction, transportation, forestry, mining, oil and gas, material handling, landscaping, land clearing, farming and similar activities. Agricultural equipment technicians repair and service machines typically used in the farming industry. Heavy duty equipment technicians repair and maintain heavy-duty equipment such as bulldozers, cranes, and graders. They are employed by companies which own and operate heavy equipment, and by heavy equipment dealers, rental and service establishments, and railway transport companies and urban transit systems.

Job duties:
Heavy-duty equipment mechanics perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Check bulldozers, cranes, graders and other heavy construction, agricultural, logging and mining equipment for proper performance and inspect equipment to detect faults and malfunctions.
  • Diagnose faults or malfunctions using computerized and other testing equipment to determine extent of repair required.
  • Adjust equipment and repair or replace defective parts, components or systems, using hand and power tools.
  • Test repaired equipment for proper performance and to ensure that work meets manufacturers' specifications.
  • Clean, lubricate and perform other routine maintenance work on equipment.
  • Service attachments and working tools such as harvesting and tillage equipment, blades, ploughs, winches, and side booms.
  • May perform repair work on heavy trucks.
  • May attach components and adjust new farm equipment.

Heavy-duty mechanics may specialize in specific types of machinery such as combines or tracked vehicles, or in engine overhaul, power shift transmissions, fuel injection, hydraulics or electronics.

Sample job titles:
  • agricultural equipment technician
  • construction equipment mechanic
  • crane service technician
  • farm equipment mechanic
  • farm machinery mechanic
  • heavy diesel engine mechanic
  • heavy equipment inspector-repairer
  • heavy-duty equipment mechanic
  • heavy-duty equipment technician
Skills:

To work in this occupation, you should have an interest in electronics and mechanical operations. A strong background in mathematics and the sciences is important. You must be able to cooperate with others and perform routine tasks. Agility, physical strength, and hand-eye coordination are needed. You must also have good vision and hearing, and an inclination to work with tools.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three- to five-year apprenticeship program or a combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in heavy equipment repair is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Heavy-duty equipment technician trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Agricultural equipment technician trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified heavy duty equipment technicians and agricultural equipment technicians upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
Other considerations:

The wage rate for apprentices is usually a percentage of the journeyperson rate, increasing upon completion of each stage of the apprenticeship program. The skills learned in this trade are transferable to other motive power trades. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Heavy-duty Equipment Mechanics most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 70% of Heavy-duty Equipment Mechanics who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $59,172. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics815Weak growth120Moderate
Minimum: $17.00
Median: $23.00
Maximum: $36.00
Minimum: $18,034
Median: $58,259
Maximum: $114,867
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
Heavy-Duty Equipment MechanicsCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time94%89%
Percent self-employed12%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentHeavy-Duty Equipment MechanicsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern12%$49,55812%$30,581
Northern32%$52,20716%$33,660
Cape Breton13%$49,10513%$32,974
Halifax24%$58,58347%$41,209
Annapolis Valley20%$49,53613%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeHeavy-Duty Equipment MechanicsCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
15-244%x
25-3426%13%
35-4424%33%
45-5423%34%
55-6420%19%
65+3%x
Median Age4647
GenderHeavy-Duty Equipment MechanicsCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Female1%5%
Male99%95%
EducationHeavy-Duty Equipment MechanicsCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school5.1%$39,00018.2%$25,753
High school11.3%$54,97025.5%$28,089
Trades certificate46.3%$64,98629.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma33.9%$68,80922.6%$39,023
University certificate or diploma1.1%$32,9781.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degree1.1%$68,5992.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx0.2%$41,705
Master's degreexx0.3%x
Doctoratexx0.0%$36,029
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.0%$3,714
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Agricultural Equipment Technician
Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary):This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary):This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
info@nscsc.ca
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Agricultural mechanics and equipment/machine technology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to maintain and repair specialized farm, ranch, and agribusiness power equipment and vehicles. These programs include courses in the principles of diesel, combustion, electrical, steam, hydraulic, and mechanical systems and their application to the maintenance of terrestrial and airborne crop spraying equipment; tractors and hauling equipment; planting and harvesting equipment; cutting equipment; power sources and systems for silos; irrigation and pumping equipment; dairy, feeding and shearing operations; and processing systems.
See all institutions providing this program+
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Program Name:Construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to operate and maintain a variety of heavy equipment, such as crawler tractors, motor graders and scrapers, shovels, rigging devices, hoists, and jacks. These programs include courses in digging, ditching, sloping, stripping, grading, and backfilling, clearing and excavating.
See all institutions providing this program+
McKenzie College
74 Townsend Street
Sydney, NS B1P 5C8
(902) 562-8549
registrar@mckenziecollege.com
Maritime Environmental Training Institute
301 Alexandra Street
Sydney, NS B1S 2E8
(902) 539-9766
training@metiatlantic.com
Commercial Safety College
Highway #2, Masstown PO Box 848
Truro, NS B2N 5G6
(902) 662-2190
csc@safetycollege.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Operating Engineers Investment Limited
251 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS B3B 2A9
(902) 865-8844
iuoel721@ns.aliantzinc.ca
South Shore Training Centre
320 Logan Road
Bridgewater, NS B4V 5J8
(902) 521-2443
registrar@mckenziecollege.com
Dexter Institute
927 Rocky Lake Dr, Po Box 48100
Bedford, NS B4A 3Z2
(902) 832-6391
Program Name:Diesel mechanics technology/technician
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, service, and maintain diesel engines in vehicles such as automobiles, buses, ships, trucks, railroad locomotives, and construction equipment; as well as stationary diesel engines in electrical generators and related equipment.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Heavy equipment maintenance technology/technician
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills in the field maintenance and repair of heavy equipment, and in the general maintenance and overhaul of such equipment. These programs include courses in inspection, maintenance, and repair of tracks, wheels, brakes, operating controls, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, electrical circuitry, engines and in techniques of welding and brazing.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Program Name:Medium/heavy vehicle and truck technology/technician
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to the specialized maintenance and repair of trucks, buses, and other commercial and industrial vehicles. These programs include courses in diesel engine mechanics, suspension and steering, brake systems, electrical and electronic systems, preventive maintenance inspections, drive trains, gasoline engine mechanics, HVAC systems, and auxiliary equipment installation and repair.
See all institutions providing this program+
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Additional resources:

Work Occupation Video(s)

Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic