Heavy Duty Equipment Technician National Occupational Analysis (NOA)

The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) recognizes this NOA as the national standard for the occupation of Heavy Duty Equipment Technician.

Occupational Analyses Series

Disponible en français sous le titre : Mécanicien/mécanicienne d’équipement lourd

NOC: 7312

Designation Year: 1963

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Red Seal Exam Self-Assessment Guide – Heavy Duty Equipment Technician

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General Information


“Heavy Duty Equipment Technician” is this trade’s official Red Seal occupational title approved by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship. This analysis covers tasks performed by heavy duty equipment technicians whose occupational title has been identified by some provinces and territories of Canada under the following names:














Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic




Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Construction)


Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Non-Construction)


Heavy Duty Equipment Technician






Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (Off Road)


Heavy Duty Equipment Technician - Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Off Road)


Heavy Equipment Service Technician


Heavy Equipment Technician


Heavy duty equipment technicians inspect, diagnose, repair, adjust, overhaul, maintain, test and verify heavy duty equipment.

Heavy duty equipment technicians are employed by companies that own and operate heavy equipment, heavy equipment dealerships, rental and service companies, construction contractors, forestry companies, mining companies, ski hills and government departments that service and repair their own equipment. Technicians can work in the following industries: construction, forestry, mining, marine, oil and gas, material handling, landscaping and land clearing. Many heavy duty equipment technicians have experience on a wide variety of equipment types and manufacturers.

It is recognized that heavy duty equipment technicians are increasingly working with alternative prime movers such as electrical. However, the focus of this analysis is based on the internal combustion engine as the prime mover.

Heavy duty equipment technicians work in the full range of environmental conditions: from service shops to remote sites where inclement weather can affect the technician’s performance of his/her duties. Good physical condition and agility are important because the work often requires considerable standing, bending, crawling, lifting, climbing, pulling and reaching.

Due to the size and complexity of the equipment, safety is of prime importance. Technicians must be conscious of the impact on people, equipment, work area and environment when performing their work. There is risk of injury when working with heavy equipment.

Some important attributes of the heavy duty equipment technician are: mechanical and mathematical aptitude, an ability to work with computers, an ability to communicate effectively, to work with little or no supervision, to work as a team player and to plan and work sequentially.

This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps in the work of other tradespersons, such as automotive service technicians, agricultural equipment technicians, truck and transport mechanics, millwright, powerlift truck technicians and transport trailer technicians.

Occupational Observations

Some significant observations and trends emerged from the national occupational analysis of the heavy duty equipment technician occupation. These observations and trends are briefly outlined in this section.

Computer software is increasingly being used for diagnostics, function calibration, programming, service and parts information. The use of computerized equipment has raised the level of troubleshooting ability required by technicians. Onboard electronic monitroring systems are being used to increase efficiency, reliability and performance. This in turn requires a higher level of training for technicians.

Satellite monitoring and diagnosing of machinery has been introduced and is becoming more widespread. The use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and wireless technology has been introduced to improve equipment operation and repair. The use of remote control equipment is increasing in the mining and construction sectors.

Regular predictive and preventative maintenance is being emphasized to reduce downtime and costs related to major failures. Improved oils and filtering are being used to extend oil life in order to reduce the amount of environmental waste.

More emphasis is being placed on the safe handling, disposal, storage and recycling of toxic or environmentally hazardous materials. There is concern regarding diesel engine emissions produced. Changes to regulations and emission standards will have an impact on the way diesel engines are constructed and on the duties of technicians. Different issues and vehicle faults may arise because of the new designs of these engines and components.


The CCDA and ESDC wish to express sincere appreciation for the contribution of the many tradespersons, industrial establishments, professional associations, labour organizations, provincial and territorial government departments and agencies, and all others who contributed to this publication.

Special acknowledgement is extended to the following representatives from the trade who attended a national workshop to develop the previous edition of this NOA in 2009.

  • Roger Beck - Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Mitchell (Mitch) Bordeleau - Alberta
  • David Braun - Saskatchewan
  • Matthew Compton - Prince Edward Island
  • Larry Henley - Ontario
  • Joey MacDougall - Nova Scotia
  • Larry Monkman - Northwest Territories
  • Larry O'Neil - Quebec
  • D. Keith Poisson - British Columbia
  • Peter Politis - Manitoba
  • Joey Whalen - New Brunswick

This 2014 edition of the NOA was reviewed, updated and validated by industry representatives from across Canada to ensure that it continues to represent the skills and knowledge required in this trade. The coordinating, facilitating and processing of this analysis were undertaken by employees of the NOA development team of the Trades and Apprenticeship Division of ESDC. The host jurisdiction of Prince Edward Island also participated in the development of this NOA.

Comments or questions about National Occupational Analyses may be forwarded to:

Trades and Apprenticeship Division
Labour Market Integration Directorate
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV, 6th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec  K1A 0J9
Email: redseal-sceaurouge@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca