An instructor of the Automotive Service Technician program explaining a tool to students

Automotive Service Technician

  • Program Length 
    10 Months
  • Credential 
  • Options 
  • Location Offered 
    Nanaimo, Powell River

Do you like working with your hands and fixing things? Consider a career as an auto mechanic.

VIU’s 10-month, entry-level Automotive Service Technician program gives students the skills and knowledge they need to find work as an automotive apprentice, a trainee parts person or service advisor.

What’s unique about the VIU Automotive apprenticeship is that students work in a live shop environment, applying classroom theory to real-world situations using all the latest tools and diagnostic equipment. VIU’s auto mechanic program is housed in a building that mimics a real dealership.

The Automotive Service Technician Program

The Vancouver Island University Automotive Department provides both foundation and apprenticeship training. Foundation training is designed to prepare students for a career in the automotive repair trade. Graduates of this program may find work as apprentice automotive technicians, or as automotive parts persons/service writers. Job opportunities exist on Vancouver Island, and throughout BC and Canada. Upon receiving the Interprovincial Certificate, graduates are eligible to work anywhere in Canada.

Automotive Service Technician Foundation Program

The Automotive Service Technician Foundation Program is a full–time comprehensive program taught through daily lectures, seminars and demonstrations of current servicing techniques, as well as extensive practical training in a functioning automotive shop setting. The course curriculum reflects today's technology and is relevant to the needs of industry. The instructors are all highly trained Journeyperson Automotive Technicians with at least ten years' trade experience.

This program is suited to individuals with all levels of mechanical experience. Upon successful completion of all the program courses, students receive an Automotive Service Technician Foundation Program certificate and an Essential Skills for the Workplace – Automotive Service Technician certificate. Graduates of this program may receive credit towards the technical portion of the first year of the Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship program.

ITA Automotive Apprenticeship Information

The apprentice level training provides provincially certified apprenticeship training for registered Automotive apprentices in Level 1, 2, 3, and 4. The Automotive Apprenticeship program consists of 4 years on-the-job experience combined with in-school technical training in order to become eligible to write the Interprovincial (Red Seal) examination for journeyperson certification.

For more information on apprenticeship training, please visit the Industry Training Authority (ITA) website at, contact the ITA at 1-866-660-6011, or call Tanya Reiber at Vancouver Island University toll–free at 1-888-920-2221, Ext. 6112. For more information and schedules visit VIU's Trades and Applied Technology Apprenticeship page.

Program Outline

Automotive Service Technician

AUTO 116T - (Shop Skills)

AUTO 123T - (Auto Shop Safety)

AUTO 132T - (Welding Module)

AUTO 134T - (Basic Automotive Electrical)

AUTO 135T - (Battery/Fasteners)

AUTO 137T - (Brake Systems)

AUTO 141T - (Suspension/Steering)

AUTO 147T - (Basic Engines)

AUTO 151T - (Basic Engine Performance)

AUTO 157T - (Basic Charging/Starting Systems)

AUTO 160T - (Basic Drive Trains)

Essential Skills

ESFA 100T - (Personal Management Skills)

ESFA 105T - (Automotive Service Technician Math)

ESFA 110T - (Business Operations)

ESFA 115T - (The Emerging Workplace)

ESFA 120T - (Employment Strategies)

All program courses must be successfully completed before certificates will be issued.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Admission Requirements

Notes on Admission

  • Applicants should not be allergic to solvents and/or lubricants.
  • Those with good reasoning, basic science, mathematical, study skills, and a strong mechanical aptitude will experience the most success.
  • Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Domestic Fees

Tuition Fee Schedule

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees - Nanaimo Campus


Tuition (10 months x $452.14 per month)


Supply fee


Student Activity fee (4% of tuition and supply fee)


Student Services fee (10 months x $19.98 per month)


VIU Students' Union fee (10 months x $20.32 per month)


Health and Dental Plan fee ($275 per year)


Books, CSA approved steel-toed boots, CSA approved safety glasses, seat/fender covers, and uniform (approximate costs)





The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full–time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Sep 3, 2019
Application Fee
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Tarra Tipton
Phone: 604-485-8035


No testing required if you have proof of grade 12 graduation.

Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Sep 8, 2020
Accepting International Applications
Application Fee
Accepting Late Applications
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Darlene Norby
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2594

Chair Contact

Name: Dean Cadieux
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 6148

Keith Green

“I came to Nanaimo and to Vancouver Island University originally to advance my career. I have ended up finding a home in Nanaimo and a place to hone my craft. The automotive facility allows you to grow and excel at your own pace with the help of knowledgeable and experienced instructors.”