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Automotive Service and Repair

Learn many aspects of mechanical motor vehicle repair – from the fundamentals of automotive shops skills to an overview of basic systems used in an automobile.

Two students work under the open hood of a car in an automotive workshop.
Fadi Almouazzen (right) puts his skills to work under the guidance of Akerley Campus Automotive Service and Repair faculty Rick Long.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year (varies for part-time studies)

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This program prepares you to be an Automotive Service Technician who ensures vehicles are safe and operate properly.

In this program, you get the knowledge and skills related to the service and repair of the mechanical and electrical systems of automobiles and light trucks. You learn how to use electrical meters, hand tools, power tools and shop equipment. You also have the opportunity to apply your skills with a work term.

If you have a strong mechanical aptitude, problem-solving skills and strong oral and written communication skills, this program provides the training you need to succeed as a technician. You gain a working knowledge of automotive shop safety, vehicle and engine systems and basic oxygen/acetylene metal inert gas welding, along with an understanding of automotive maintenance, inspection and body adjustment.

Work experience

  • Work placement is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
    • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Study options

  • This program is available for part-time study. You complete your program through a combination of online and in-class courses (some courses are delivered 100% online). In-class courses are held at Akerley Campus. No additional campus locations are available for part-time study.
    • When applying for part-time study, you must meet all the admission requirements.
    • Once admitted, you're referred to a campus for course selection.
    • The time to complete the program through part-time study is two years.

Choose NSCC

  • This program covers many aspects of motor vehicle repair. You're trained in the fundamentals of automotive shops skills and gain a basic understanding of how vehicle systems work. There are opportunities to work on vehicles with specialized tools, plus an opportunity to gain work experience with an industry partner.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • A minimum of a Class 5 driver's licence and the ability to drive a manual transmission vehicle is required for employment.
  • If you're chemically sensitive, it's important to note that chemicals (petroleum products) and lubricants are commonly used in the Automotive Service Technician trade.
  • Industrial safety standards dictate facial hair and headwear regulations.

2023-24 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2023

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Akerley Campus Dartmouth Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available
Akerley Campus/Online Dartmouth Part time Blended Delivered through a combination of in-person and scheduled online classes. Seats available
Burridge Campus Yarmouth Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available
Kingstec Campus Kentville Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Waitlist
Lunenburg Campus Bridgewater Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available
Marconi Campus Sydney Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Waitlist
Pictou Campus Stellarton Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2022-23 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. 2023-24 tuition will be announced in the late Spring.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

Tuition for part-time study is calculated on a per-course basis and is paid at the beginning of each term.

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates work at car dealerships and independent repair facilities. They are service technicians, sales people and customer service representatives.
  • People also find employment with fleet service shops, national repair chains, the military and government organizations.
  • Learn more about labour market information. Visit Career Options

Future study options

  • You require a Certificate of Qualification issued by the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency to legally work in the Automotive Service Technician trade in Nova Scotia.
  • This program is a first step toward certification in the Automotive Service Technician trade. To become certified, you must register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. Once registered, you can transfer credit from this program toward your apprenticeship.
  • Certification with a Red Seal – Automotive Service Technician is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the provincial certification exam, receive their certification and Red Seal. The Red Seal allows certified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada – where the trade is designated – without having to write further examinations.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

ASRP 1000 - Automotive Fundamental Shop Skills
This course covers the principles of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)/WHMIS as applied to the automotive trade. Students will be provided with an overview of the various automobile systems including, engine, driveline, chassis, and electrical. This course also covers the various components and chemicals used for automotive fastening and sealing including thread restoration and repair processes. Hand and shop tools associated with automotive service and repair will be covered. The trade certification process and apprenticeship training will also be included.

ASRP 1001 - Automotive Engine Fundamentals
In this course the students will demonstrate an understanding of internal combustion engine theory and will perform minor engine diagnosis and service (compression tests, external gasket service, torquing techniques, and engine valve timing). Students will also be introduced to identifying engine type, configuration, and components.

ASRP 1003 - Electrical I
Electrical and electronic systems and components are crucial to vehicle safety and operation. This course introduces basic electrical theory in an automotive context. Students will have the opportunity to test and service electrical components and simple circuits using standard meters and testers. Course material also covers interpretation of wiring diagrams and symbols.

ASRP 1010 - Basic Automotive Welding
Students in this course will acquire the theory and practical skills necessary to perform basic welding and cutting operations used in the automotive mechanical trade. Students will perform basic oxy-fuel cutting and welding, and Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding.

ASRP 1011 - Brakes
In this course students will demonstrate an understanding of automotive brake systems. Students will service and perform preventative maintenance procedures on disc, drum, and parking brake systems. Master cylinder and basic hydraulic theory will be covered.

ASRP 1015 - Maintenance Inspections and Body Mechanical
Maintenance inspections and lubrication are key components of what automotive technicians do every day and are necessary to ensure efficient and timely service and operation of customer vehicles. Body components provide an aesthetic appeal to consumers and, more importantly, protect them in motor vehicle accidents. This course covers maintenance inspections and the operation and repair of body components and trim. Maintenance inspections and oil change will be carried out in the shop.

ASRP 1016 - Suspension
The suspension system interacts with the steering system to keep the car supported, promoting control and stability. This course introduces suspension systems and their operation. System components and procedures used to inspect and repair them are addressed. Material also introduces the relationship between the wheels and the frame to absorb any ‘shock’ energy during vehicle operation.

ASRP 1017 - Steering
The steering system is crucial to the driver's ability to control the vehicle, and maintenance of the steering system affects the performance and life of other components. In this course you will discover the components of conventional steering systems and how they operate together to ensure safe driving. Course material presents potential problems and their solutions, along with procedures for servicing and maintenance of the steering system.

ASRP 1018 - Electrical II
Most systems in modern vehicles rely on electrical and/or electronic inputs and controls in order to function properly. In this course you will learn to test and service automotive batteries and wiring systems. You will be introduced to wiring repair techniques such as soldering and splicing, and to the procedures used to replace basic lighting components.

ASRP 1100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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