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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.
Steamfitter / Pipefitter
Steamfitters and pipefitters plan and lay out piping systems. These systems carrying water, steam, chemicals and fuel for heating, cooling and lubricating. As a steam fitter or pipe fitter you will also be responsible for maintaining, troubleshooting and repairing piping systems. These piping systems operate under extremely high pressure and temperature. This means you need to have a thorough knowledge of scientific principles to do this job.
Steamfitters and pipefitters typically work in maintenance departments of mills and other kinds of factories and plants.
A day in the life of a steam fitter or pipe fitter might include moving a 40-tonne boiler and installing it in a small confined space. To do this you would need to choose the right tools for the move and come up with a plan to coordinate a team to do the install.