Trying to hire Truck and Coach Technicians in Canada can feel like an impossible task. If you are able to find and hire a technician you want to make sure they last. It is easy to overlook things during the hiring process but if you want to make sure your new hire sticks around, there are certain things you are going to want to look for during the hiring process.
Below is what you should be on the look out for when hiring Truck Mechanics in Canada.
A truck Technician needs a Journeyman License in order to sign off on safeties. You will also need Journeyman that are able to train your apprentices.
What can get a little confusing is that each province does things a little bit differently. The process always involves a mix of trade schools as well as hands-on experience but the specific requirements change from province to province. The name of the license also varies, not to mention the fact that the license could also be referred to as C of Q (certificate of qualification) Ticket or Journeyman.
For Truck Technicians Across the Country this is the Journeyman Certification you are looking for:
- British Columbia – Truck and Transport Mechanic (Formerly Commercial Vehicle Mechanic)
- Alberta – Heavy Equipment Technician – Truck and Transport
- Saskatchewan – Truck and Transport Mechanic
- Manitoba – Truck and Transport Mechanic
- Ontario – Truck and Coach Technician (310T)
- Quebec – Heavy Duty Road Vehicle Mechanic
- New Brunswick – Truck and Transport Service Technician
- Nova Scotia – Truck and Transport Mechanic
- Prince Edward Island – Truck and Transport Mechanic
- Newfoundland and Labrador – Truck and Transport Mechanic
What about the Red Seal?
Red Seal is a designation meaning that the Journeyman Certification is valid across the country. Technicians may still need to register and pay a fee with the College of Trades or Ministry of Training in the province/territory that they are working in.
The Red Seal has been issued differently across the country and over time. For example in Ontario for a long time when you wrote your final exam if you got a 60% then you got a Provincial License that was only good in Ontario but if you scored 70% or higher then you received the Red Seal. For this reason many employers required the Red Seal as it was seen as the higher qualification. Ontario has since changed this and there is no longer a 2 tier system but techs who got their license several years ago may have this distinction.
In Alberta there are two exams, the Provincial Exam and the Red Seal exam so it is possible to have a Provincial Ticket and not a Red Seal. Also, Military Trained Mechanics are issued Alberta provincial Journeyman Tickets not Red Seals.
What is a DEP?
DEP is a Quebec certification, it basically is the College diploma after completing schooling and apprenticeship. Similar term to Certificate of Qualification in other provinces. It should be seen as equivalent although technicians moving to a different Province or Territory with only a DEP will need to challenge for the license for that new location or obtain their Red Seal.
What about Old Licenses?
For the most part Old Certification has been grandfathered in and is seen as equivalent. In many cases technicians may need to pay a fee to the College Of Trades or Trades Registration body in their Province or Territory to get their license upgraded.
The most common Old License you will find is Class A in Ontario although these are quite old now and have mostly been phased out. In the past in Ontario the Automotive Technician and Truck Technician trade were not separated, there was one license granted called the Class A.
Truck Mechanics is an incredibly complex trade. A lot of the learning is done in the job but when hiring you want a technician that has good foundational knowledge from a reputable school. Without this foundational knowledge, you may end up with a technician that knows how to complete specific repairs but may not understand the why or the how behind why it broke. Understanding the ‘why’ is crucial for diagnostics and troubleshooting. This is why a formal education that teaches how trucks and engines work is important. Without a formal education, a technician may be limited to preventative maintenance as well as replacing parts as opposed to in-depth repairs.
There are a lot of good schools to choose from, here are some of the best ones in Canada:
- Thompson River University – Kamloops, BC
- Centennial College – Toronto, ON
- BCIT – British Columbia
- NSCC – Nova Scotia
- College of North Atlantic – Newfoundland
- Mohawk College – Hamilton, ON
- Assiniboine Community College – Manitoba
- Vancouver Community College – Vancouver, BC
- Algonquin College – Ontario
- Conestoga College – Cambridge, ON
- SAIT – Calgary, AB
- Parkland College – Saskatchewan
- NAIT – Edmonton, AB
- Sask Polytechnic – Saskatchewan
There are others, sorry if we missed your favourite.
Technicians that have completed any sort of Factory, OEM or Dealer Training should be given preference. This is very valuable training, it should not be a deal breaker if they don’t have it but is a real asset.
A Mechanic without Tools is useless. Most Technicians should have a full set of tools but make sure you ask about this during your screening process. You will find that some techs in the past had their tools supplied by the shop they worked at. If you hire them and they show up day one empty handed it will be a bad time. This happens a lot with Technicians from the Military as the Army provides tools. We have also come across situations where a tech had their tools stolen or lost in a shop fire.
Ideally, the mechanic you hire will have a Truck Driver’s license to test drive, although many Journeyman Certifications allow a tech to drive within 30km of the shop. A technician who does not have a driver’s license or a very poor driving record can be a problem. They will not be able to do fieldwork or even move trucks around the yard.
Attitude is just as important as technical ability. Bringing in a bad actor can ruin the culture of your shop and make some of your other techs want to leave. Don’t overlook their personality, make sure they are going to fit in with your shop’s culture.
Follow the above when screening technicians for your dealership, fleet or repair shop. If you need assistance finding mechanics we can help. Give us a call at 1-833-9373546, reach out via e-mail or visit https://rockstarmechanics.com