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A Career in Heavy Duty Mechanics

Heavy Duty Mechanics, also known as Heavy Equipment Technicians, are responsible for the repair, maintenance, and testing of mobile heavy equipment. HDM’s employ their preventative maintenance knowledge and troubleshooting skills to prevent breakdowns and diagnose and repair heavy equipment. Almost every major industry requires knowledgeable and capable Heavy Duty Mechanics, including construction, railways, forestry, marine, oil and gas, mining, transportation, construction, material handling, landscaping and land clearing. There is always demand for mechanics to keep these necessary machines functioning.
Depending on the industry and equipment, HDM’s may have a hand in power, transmission, braking, electronic and hydraulic systems. Some of the common off-road equipment, loaders, shovels, skidsteers, bull dozers, plows, haul trucks and forklifts.  On-road equipment includes such as highway trucks, cranes, trailers. No matter what the industry, safety is the number one priority.
Heavy Duty Mechanic salaries are dependent largely on the industry and the location. Jobs is popular cities such as Vancouver and Toronto can pay anywhere between $25-$42 /hour, whereas work in more remote locations can pay upwards of $50/hour. Along with the wage, employees also usually enjoy benefits, overtime, and allowances. Click here for up-to-date salary information for Heavy Duty Mechanics.
Curious as to what the day in the life of an HDM is like? Check out this video from WorkBC featuring a real-life Heavy Duty Mechanic. In the video he goes over his daily duties, and what he didn’t expect from the job—such as the focus on paperwork, computer software, and customer service.

How to become a Heavy Duty Mechanic
Across Canada, the requirements to become a Heavy Duty Mechanic vary slightly. Usually, it requires a secondary school diploma and completion of 3-5 year apprenticeship program. Upon completion of an apprenticeship program, one becomes and Journeyperson Heavy Duty Mechanic qualified to work as an HDM in their own province. However, many choose to take it a step further and sit the Red Seal exam, after which they are entitled to work in any province. Many mechanics who have been in the industry for a long while, or those immigrating to Canada and have extensive, real-life experience, can also choose to challenge the Red Seal exam.
For more information on how to become a Heavy Duty Mechanic, check out the following links for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
To see a list of our current vacancies for Heavy Duty Mechanics, check out our job board.
For more information on Heavy Duty Mechanics, click here.
Do you have questions about Heavy Duty Mechanics you’d like to put to the community? Consider leaving a question on our new Q&A site!

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. I am a certified Red Seal Heavy Equipment Mechanical Specialist, with a Diploma in Technical training Development & Learner Assessment, and over 20 years of professional experience in the industry.
    I also hold a Master Technician Certification for Scania Truck, Bus, and Industrial Marine Diesel Engines.
    Field Service Management and Workshop management are a few of the extra industry experiences I carry… Please advise on possible career opportunities you may be aware of.
    I am immediately available and flexible to work anywhere nationwide and internationally, and I have worked in the Oil & Gas industry for the past 6 years.

    Best regards and wishes.
    Thomas Needham
    +27 79 834 2909

  2. It was interesting when you talked about how heavy duty mechanics are needed in almost every major industry. My brother mentioned he wants to start a local landscaping business with a few of his friends around next spring. I’m glad I read your article so I can make sure they have a plan for servicing whatever heavy-duty equipment they end up getting for the business.

  3. Hi every body :
    I am very interested in Heavy duty mechanic , I have been looking for a company that hires me to start my apprenticeship unsuccessfully so far .Some colleges in Alberta offers a program called pre-entrance program in this trade to help beginners get started but honestly I can not offer it as I have a family and my budget is limited .So any information in this regards is very appreciated . Thanks

    1. Hi, thanks for commenting! The competition for apprentice roles is always very high, especially for entry-level roles. It is good to reach out to companies directly, but also to try networking on Linkedin or Facebook. Perhaps you could try posting your question on our HDM jobs Facebook group here.

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