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Vehicle Technician

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time

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As a member of the military, 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

Work 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.

If you chose a career in the Regular Force, upon completion of all required training, you will be assigned to your first base. While there is some flexibility with regards to postings (relocations), accommodations can’t always be made, and therefore, you can likely expect to move at some point in your career. However, if you decide to join the Primary Reserve Force, you will do so through a specific Reserve unit. Outside of training, your chosen Reserve unit will be your workplace on a part time basis, and you will not be obligated to relocate to a different base. As part of the Primary Reserve Force, you typically work one night per week and some weekends as a minimum with possibilities of full-time employment.

Career Overview


Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Videos




Reviewed – 23 Mar 23 


CORPORAL EMILY BARNARD: I'm Corporal Emily Barnard from Bedford, Nova Scotia, a Vehicle Technician posted to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt.


NARRATOR: Vehicle Technicians maintain and repair the complete range of military vehicles from the G-wagon up to complex armoured fighting vehicles like the Leopard main battle tank. 


CORPORAL EMILY BARNARD: The role of Vehicle Technician is to maintain and repair a fleet of vehicles for the unit, the base, wherever you're posted. We actually play an incredibly important part in supporting the combat arms. Without vehicles, most of the trades can't do their jobs. So when their vehicles break down or when things go wrong, they rely very heavily on us to make sure that they can still do their job.


NARRATOR: These soldier technicians also inspect, repair, overhaul and modify other powered equipment like electrical generators and fuel-fired heating devices.  


CORPORAL EMILY BARNARD: The variety of equipment that I've worked on has ranged from, you know, chainsaws, armoured vehicles, anything that you'd see civilian side. We have snow and ice removal, we have a lot of heavy equipment, dozers, we have outboards here for assault boats. So there really is a huge variety. 


NARRATOR: In garrison, Vehicle Techs work in well-equipped garages, but they 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. 


Vehicle Techs aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty anywhere the Forces operate. 


CORPORAL EMILY BARNARD: To be a good technician in the Canadian Armed Forces, it takes problem-solving, I think would be the number one. You never know what the issue is, what's going to come in, what's broken down. And it's up to us to fix it effectively and efficiently so that whichever unit we're supporting can keep doing their job. 


CORPORAL EMILY BARNARD: Personally, for me, I love going on field exercises. I think it is the best chance that we get to do our job. I love recovery – you never know what's going to happen, what's going to break down, what time it’s going to break down. But when it does, we're always there to support.


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 and with the guidance of their more experienced colleagues, they maintain and repair their unit’s fleet of vehicles.


CORPORAL EMILY BARNARD: Each unit is very different so they kind of show you the ropes. But really – not quite that you're thrown into the hot seat, but you're qualified, you're now here to do your job and support your unit. But you do have such a good support system of techs that have been trained and qualified longer that you can always go to ask questions. And there's a lot of support.


NARRATOR: Vehicle Technicians are a critical part of the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and they work closely with Electronic-Optronic Technicians, Materials Technicians and Weapons Technicians to keep the Army’s equipment in top shape.


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 specialized training such as parachuting, combat first aid, winter warfare, and driving armoured vehicles.


CORPORAL EMILY BARNARD: Driving a light armoured vehicle is such a unique opportunity. I don't know, there really is no way to explain why it's so much fun, but it just is. You see them all the time in like TV and movies and then you think, “Oh, I get to do that now.”


CORPORAL EMILY BARNARD: Being a woman in a non-traditional role, there has been a few challenges, but I have been very lucky. The guys that I worked with have always been supportive, have always had my back. They're always looking out for me. And it's really actually been a great experience. I'm definitely proud of what I've accomplished so far. When I joined as a Vehicle Tech, I looked at it as a challenge. It was an opportunity to learn a completely new set of skills that I actually ended up loving.


Related Civilian Occupations

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


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.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Vehicle Technicians attend the Canadian Forces Logistic Training Centre 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

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.

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

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

Entry plans

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondary 4 in Quebec, including Grade 10 Applied Math or Math 416 / CST 4 in Quebec, and Grade 10 Science or equivalent.

The ideal candidate will 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 any required on-the-job training program following basic training.

Foreign education may be accepted.

Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Program (NCM-STEP)

Because this position requires specialty training, the CAF will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM STEP 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.

Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.

Part time options

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 a military unit 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.

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.

Find a Recruiting Centre

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.

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 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.