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Heavy-duty equipment mechanics repair and maintain big machines and heavy-duty equipment. Your day-to-day duties would include adjusting, repairing and replacing worn and damaged mechanical, hydraulic and electrical parts on tractors, steam shovels, trucks and other heavy equipment.
You need the skills to diagnose electrical, mechanical and hydraulic troubles. Working as a heavy-duty mechanic means taking equipment apart and reassembling equipment like engines, transmissions, and fuel and exhaust systems. Heavy-duty mechanics rely on hand and power tools and specialized equipment.
As a heavy-duty mechanic, you may specialize in specific types of machinery like tracked vehicles, fuel injection systems, power shift transmissions, hydraulics or electronics. A day in the life of a heavy-duty mechanic might include repairing a massive logging truck in tome for a driver to deliver his load.
You should earn a high-school diploma before applying to become a heavy-duty mechanic. Then you will need to complete a three- to five-year apprenticeship program or a combination of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses over five years.
Heavy-duty equipment technician trade certification is compulsory in Quebec and Alberta and available, but voluntary, in all other provinces and the territories. An interprovincial Red Seal endorsement is also available to allow your skills to be officially recognized across Canada.
Apprentices can receive up to $4,000 in grants to pay tuition, travel, tools, or other expenses.
If you are considering an apprenticeship, visit the Red Seal program for information on how to get started.
Millwright and Industrial Mechanic
A millwright, or industrial mechanic, is a tradesperson who installs, maintains and repairs stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. They interpret drawings, follow layouts and assemble parts until they are in perfect working order. Millwrights and industrial mechanics work in a variety of industries, and can pursue complementary training and develop extra skills in steel fabrication, welding, machining, electronics, hydraulics or pneumatics.
Construction millwrights are mostly engaged in the initial installation of industrial plant machinery and equipment. Industrial mechanics are more concerned with the post-installation maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment.
Industrial mechanics and millwrights may be cross-trained in a second trade such as pipefitting, welding, machining or electrical maintenance. A day in the life of a millwright might involve installing a giant turbine for an industrial mechanic to maintain and keep humming.