Automotive Service Technician
If you love working on vehicles, the Automotive Service Technician program could be the route for you. We can provide you with more hands-on, realistic work than what you would find in other institutions, making lab assignments more enjoyable and interesting. The following trade information is drawn from www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca.
The term of apprenticeship for an automotive service technician is 4 years (four 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year.
Automotive Service Technicians perform preventative maintenance, diagnose faulty operations, and conduct repairs to automotive vehicles and light trucks.
Automotive service technicians adjust, test and repair engines, transmissions, steering systems, brake systems, drive trains, vehicle suspensions, electrical systems and air conditioning systems, and do wheel alignments. In large shops, they sometimes specialize in repairing, rebuilding and servicing specific parts (e.g., transmissions, engines, electrical components). In smaller shops, automotive service technicians may work on a wider variety of repair jobs.
Automotive service technicians begin by reading the work order and examining the vehicle. To locate the cause of faulty operation and repair it, they:
- use testing equipment, take the vehicle for a test drive, and/or refer to manufacturer's specifications and manuals.
- dismantle faulty assemblies, repair or replace worn or damaged parts; and
- reassemble, adjust and test the repaired mechanism.
Automotive service technicians also may:
- perform scheduled maintenance services such as oil changes, lubrications and tune ups; and advise customers on work performed, general vehicle conditions and future repair requirements.
The first step to becoming an apprentice is finding a job in the trade you would like to study. This is like any other job search, except you are looking for an employer who is willing to hire you as an apprentice in a trade. Once you have found employment, you can complete the Apprenticeship Application and Contract. This will allow you to be accepted as an apprentice tradesperson. Access the form at www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca.
After your application has been accepted, you will begin training with your employer and are now eligible to register for training at Medicine Hat College. You will then be sent an information package from the college on how to proceed with your registration.
You and your employer will sign a contract. Before signing the contract, read it carefully to know your obligations and responsibilities and those of your employer. Once signed, the contract must be delivered to Apprenticeship and Industry Training. An identification card, course outline booklet and, for most trades, an apprenticeship record book are issued to you. At this point, your apprenticeship training begins.
Attending Technical Training Classes
A notice to attend technical training will be sent about two months before classes begin. Class schedules are posted at www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca. Registration for your technical training must be arranged through Medicine Hat College in the appropriate trades program.
You will be awarded an Alberta Completion of Apprenticeship Certificate when you successfully complete all requirements of your apprenticeship contract. In addition to and depending on the trade, you will receive a Journeyperson certification.
Trades eligible for an Interprovincial Red Seal Certificate have an additional exam to write and upon successful completion of the exam, the seal is affixed to the Journeyperson certificate when issued.
In the province of Alberta, there are two kinds of regulated trades.
- Compulsory Certification Must be either a journeyperson or apprentice to work in the trade as legislated under the Alberta Industry and Training Act.
- Optional Certification Trades training is offered but optional.
You must write an Apprenticeship and Trade Certification exam at the end of each technical training class. The passing mark is 70%. If you do not pass, you may be offered an apprenticeship supplemental exam. You must take the course again if you do not pass the supplemental exam.
To progress from one training period to the next and get a wage increase, you must
- pass the apprenticeship exam.
- receive an acceptable mark in the course.
- obtain the required number of hours of work experience.
- receive a satisfactory report from your employer.
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