Red Seal Occupational Standard - Parts Technician

Table of contents


The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) recognizes this Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS) as the Red Seal standard for the Parts Technician trade.

Occupational Analyses Series

Disponible en français sous le titre : Technicien/technicienne au service des pièces

NOC: 1472

Designation Year: 1991

RSOS Products

The Parts Technician Red Seal Occupational Standard is developed by Canadian trade representatives. It collects information about the trade as it is practiced across Canada.

This RSOS information is combined in several ways to generate several RSOS Products, each of these is based on information contained in the complete RSOS, and is geared to user needs:

General Information

Description of the Parts Technician trade

“Parts Technician” is this trade’s official Red Seal occupational title. The CCDA approved this occupational title in 2019; the previous name was "Partsperson".

Parts technicians perform ordering, warehousing, inventory control and sales of parts. Their duties also include identifying parts and equipment, searching for parts, shipping and receiving parts, providing customer service and advice, expediting emergency materials, operating material handling equipment, scheduling pick-up and deliveries and maintaining records.

The parts technician trade services a range of industries including motive power, appliance, heavy duty equipment and natural resources. For example, parts technicians work in areas such as automotive service, commercial transport, recreational vehicle (RV) service, small engine repair, aeronautics, agricultural equipment, marine equipment, mining, manufacturing, electrical warehousing, plumbing and heating warehousing, refrigeration, storeage facilities, tool cribs and parts recycling. They may work at either wholesale or retail levels or with end users. They may work with a broad range of aftermarket parts or on a narrower scale, supplying parts for a particular make of vehicle or product. The work environment for parts technicians is generally indoors in a warehouse and at a service counter. Some partspeople may perform or arrange deliveries of parts to their customers. Parts technicians generally work in teams that include service staff, sales staff and service technicians.

Although the activities performed by a parts technician are similar for all industries in which they work, the product knowledge required is dramatically different. Therefore, they require an up-to-date knowledge of the industry as well as technical knowledge and the ability to describe parts and their applications to customers. It should be noted, however, that the scope of this trade does not include the ability to apply this knowledge to diagnosing or repairing mechanical, electronic or other types of problems.

The computer and parts catalogs, both written and electronic, are the most important tools for the parts technician. Databases, online catalogs, inventory control systems, and digital media are necessary for ordering and organizing parts and for retrieving information. Extensive use of electronic catalogs requires parts technicians to be precise in the use of terminology within specific industry sectors in order to locate correct parts in the catalogs.

As with all trades, safety is important to parts technicians. Hazards include operating large equipment such as lift trucks and, handling, transporting and storing hazardous materials.

Key attributes for people entering this trade are: excellent interpersonal and customer service skills, computer application skills, problem solving skills, mathematical skills, manual dexterity,mechanical aptitude, organizational skills, multi-tasking skills and the ability to work independently. Physical considerations for this occupation include a considerable amount of time standing, walking, lifting and driving. This trade appeals to service-oriented people. This career offers stable employment not highly affected by seasonal employment trends.

Experienced parts technicians may move into other positions such as sales representative, purchasing representative, parts department management team member, store manager or store owner.

Essential skills summary

Essential skills are needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change.

Through extensive research, the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies have identified and validated nine essential skills. These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways.

A series of CCDA-endorsed tools have been developed to support apprentices in their training and to be better prepared for a career in the trades. The tools can be used independently or with the assistance of a tradesperson, trainer, employer, teacher or mentor to:

The tools are available online or for order at:

The application of these skills may be described throughout this document within the skills and knowledge which support each sub-task of the trade. The most important essential skills for each sub-task have also been identified. The following are summaries of the requirements in each of the essential skills, taken from the essential skills profile.

Trends in the parts technician trade

Well-developed computer skills are a necessity for parts technicians today. Technological advances continue to be made in the areas of computerized inventory control, online parts catalogs (web applications), online ordering (e-commerce) and wireless tracking devices. These applications have increased in functionality and have become more user-friendly. Technological advances in inventory management such as bar coding and GPS tracking have greatly facilitated the sharing of information to the point where it is virtually instantaneous.

The enforcement of safety regulations has become standard practice throughout the industry. Environmental regulations and zoning bylaws have become more stringent and are being enforced in the areas of storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous or dangerous goods and waste management. Parts technicians must continue to be resourceful in meeting the obligations and challenges presented by these regulations and bylaws. Parts technicians must keep current with industry changes and standards.

Training and continuous technical upgrading are necessary for parts technicians to keep up-to-date on new products and technology as well as to address legislative safety and environmental requirements. Training is offered either online, on-site or through video conferencing.

Industry expected performance

All tasks must be performed according to the applicable jurisdictional codes and standards. All health and safety standards must be respected and observed. Work should be done efficiently and at a high quality without material waste or environmental damage. All requirements of the manufacturer, client specifications, the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Acts and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regulations must be met. At a journeyperson level of performance, all tasks must be done with minimal direction and supervision. As a journeyperson progresses in their career, there is an expectation they continue to upgrade their skills and knowledge to keep pace with industry and promote continuous learning in their trade through mentoring of apprentices.

Language requirements

It is expected that journeypersons are able to understand and communicate in either English or French, which are Canada’s official languages. English or French are the common languages of business as well as languages of instruction in apprenticeship programs.


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.

Thanks are offered to the many trade representatives who greatly contributed to the review and revision of this standard across Canada.

This standard was prepared by the Apprenticeship and Sectoral Initiatives Directorate of ESDC. The coordinating, facilitating and processing of this standard were undertaken by employees of the standards development team of the Trades and Apprenticeship Division and of Saskatchewan, the host jurisdiction for this trade.