Vehicle Technician

Now hiring: we are now accepting applications for this job through direct entry.

Job description

Vehicle Technicians maintain, repair, and overhaul land vehicles and related equipment to keep them in top condition. Vehicle Technicians belong to the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

A Vehicle Technician has the following responsibilities:

  • Inspect, repair, overhaul and modify all types of automotive equipment and components
  • Repair, adjust and modify automotive systems
  • Repair, adjust, overhaul and modify powered equipment such as electrical generators and fuel-fired heating devices
  • Use and maintain common and specialized tools, basic garage hydraulic, mechanical and pneumatic equipment and oxyacetylene welding equipment
  • Carry out the recovery of all types of vehicles used in the land forces, utilizing standard towing trucks and specialized tracked and wheeled recovery vehicles
  • Drive all types of vehicles ranging from small support wheel vehicles to tank transporters
  • Prepare and process maintenance documentation dealing with work orders, individual time cards and parts request forms
  • Perform in land operations, when necessary, fight as infantry

Transcript

Vehicle Technician

CORPORAL SCOTT SIMMONDS: I’m Corporal Scott Simmonds from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. I’m a Vehicle Technician at the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, posted in Petawawa, Ontario.

CORPORAL SCOTT GODBEHERE: And I’m Corporal Scott Godbehere from Kitchener, Ontario, a Vehicle Technician at 1 Canadian Field Hospital, Petawawa, Ontario.

NARRATOR: Vehicle Technicians maintain and repair land vehicles as well as powered equipment like electrical generators and fuel-fired heating devices. As part of the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, these soldier technicians inspect, repair, overhaul and modify all types of technologically advanced military equipment.

GODBEHERE: Yeah, the different kinds of platforms for the Army, definitely is a benefit for sure, you don't get that out in the civilian side at all.

SIMMONDS: Anything from a small 2K generator, it works your way up to like a G-Wagon, and you keep going, you work on tracked light armoured vehicles, 8-wheel drive LAVS, and then you keep going and you work up to the Leopard platform. NARRATOR: In garrison, they work in well-equipped garages. But Vehicle Techs need to be as mobile as the units they are supporting, working out of temporary repair facilities when they are out on exercise or on missions overseas. This job also includes the recovery of all types of vehicles used in the land forces, no matter where they break down, utilizing standard towing trucks as well as specialized tracked and wheeled recovery vehicles.

GODBEHERE: If you’re out in Wainwright and something breaks and it's a combat arms unit, they’re going to need it right away. They only have so many vehicles sometimes they bring with them, and it's very important that you keep things going constantly.

SIMMONDS: The constraint and the demand in which it needs to get fixed is either a lot more rushed in the military or in a lot different scenario, because it needs to get ready to go somewhere.

GODBEHERE: It’s not just being good with your hands, you have to be able to diagnose and be good with how things work. If you were always good with how things work, then you’d do fairly well as a Vehicle Technician.

SIMMONDS: The stuff that made me want to join the military is that I could do gym, I could work out, I could do sports like hockey and judo in the military, so I could essentially do all the things I loved and be a mechanic at the same time.

GODBEHERE: Being in the Army as a Vehicle Tech is having the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t get to do as a technician when you’re on the civilian side. For example, you could get the opportunity to jump out of planes. I got my wings last January and I find that that would be something that I would never have had done if I was in the civilian side.

NARRATOR: Once they complete their training, Vehicle Techs are posted to one of the many Canadian Armed Forces bases across the country. Working as part of a team of technicians, they maintain and repair their unit’s fleet of vehicles.

GODBEHERE: And when you get posted to a new unit, it's actually pretty friendly, nobody’s on your back. They definitely guide you in the right direction to let you learn and progress with your career as best as possible.

SIMMONDS: Working at garrison is usually a 9 to 5, you do your PT, you do your work, then you go home. Being out in the field is a whole different life. You could be doing certain training out in the field, or you could be fixing pretty much nonstop until the job gets done. It does make it interesting though, because it’s never the same thing and the scenario always lays out different and because of that, I really enjoy it.

GODBEHERE: Not everyone can fix everything. Not everyone can know everything, but having your peers there to help you, especially in the field when you don't have the right tools, or something just isn’t going right, you can pick their brains or they can pick yours and that’s the best way to get something done.

NARRATOR: Arte et Marte – “By Skill and by Fighting” – is the motto of the RCEME Corps. Vehicle Technicians are soldiers first and foremost, and they receive the same basic combat training as all other Army soldiers. They also have the opportunity to pursue further combat training such as parachuting, combat first aid, winter warfare, and driving armoured vehicles.

SIMMONDS: In the military, we’re always changing, we’re working in the field, we’re working in the garrison, you move from shop to shop, working on different fleets. We also move around a lot all over the country and all over the world fixing, so nothing is ever actually the same.

GODBEHERE: The 9 to 5 that you would get to do in the army compared to civvy street… The jobs, they pay you to get fit. I, myself, really enjoy going to the range and firing weapons.

SIMMONDS: In 2015, I was deployed with DART, to Nepal when they had the earthquakes. It was amazing to see people that were hurt get aid quickly and in a timely manner. So it was really nice to see the Canadian military helping people that, if we wouldn’t have went in, probably or possibly, would not have any help at all. It was really rewarding to me personally.

Overview

Working environment

Vehicle Technicians experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with working in different environments. Vehicle Technicians are employed at bases and stations across Canada and on deployed operations around the world. While on a base, they may be working in small spaces, like a workshop. In the field or on deployment they may work outdoors most of the time or in temporary accommodations.

Pay and career development

The starting salary for a fully trained Vehicle Technician is $60,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Vehicle Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.

Related civilian occupations

  • Industrial Truck Mechanic
  • Automotive Brake and Front-end Mechanic
  • Truck-Trailer Repair Specialist
  • Tune-up Specialist

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Training

Basic military qualification

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Basic military qualification – land course

After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Basic Military Qualification – Land Course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:

  • Army physical fitness
  • Dismounted offensive and defensive operations
  • Reconnaissance patrolling
  • Individual field craft

Basic occupational qualification training

Vehicle Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario for four weeks of driver training. Driver training for Vehicle Technicians covers a wide range of commercial and military-pattern vehicles up to a three-ton capacity.

Following driver training, they attend the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers School. Over approximately 30 weeks to receive a combination of theory instruction, demonstrations and practical work, on the following subjects:

  • Principles and operating characteristics of internal combustion engines
  • Repair and overhaul of typical engines and vehicle components
  • Common and special tools and electronic test equipment
  • Basic garage equipment
  • Oxyacetylene welding equipment
  • Automotive systems
  • Operating light tracked vehicles

Specialty training

Vehicle Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including further technical training. Supervisor and manager level training is also available.

Advanced training

As they progress in their career, Vehicle Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Instructional techniques
  • Northern terrain vehicle maintenance
  • Engineering and ground support equipment maintenance
  • Armoured vehicle launched bridge/armoured engineering vehicle maintenance
  • Recovery vehicle maintenance
  • Leopard C1/A2 main battle tank
  • Leopard armoured recovery vehicle maintenance and recovery

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Entry plans

Now hiring: we are now accepting applications for this job through direct entry.

Required education

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec as well as grade 10 applied Math or Math 426 in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.

Direct entry

If you already have a college diploma, the CAF will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the any required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.

Paid education

Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Education Program (NCM-SEP)

Because this position requires specialty training, the CAF will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM SEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the appropriate college. For more information, see Paid education

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Part-time option

This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Army

Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Part-time employment

Vehicle Technicians serve with the Canadian Army. They are employed maintaining, repairing, and overhauling land vehicles and related equipment for CAF training and operations. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis, they usually serve at a military location within Canada.

Reserve Force training

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training and Soldier qualification, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Vehicle Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario for four weeks of Driver Training on commercial and military-pattern vehicles up to a three-ton capacity. After this, they attend the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers School for approximately 30 weeks to achieve their skills qualification.

Working environment

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.

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