Skip to main content Skip to site utility navigation Skip to main site navigation Skip to site search Skip to footer
NSCC's response to COVID-19: view updates

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)

Apply Now


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.

September 2023

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Akerley Campus
Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Waitlist
Akerley Campus/Online
Part time Blended Delivered through a combination of in-person and scheduled online classes. Seats available
Burridge Campus
Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available
Kingstec Campus
Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Waitlist
Lunenburg Campus
Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available
Marconi Campus
Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Waitlist
Pictou Campus
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 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 1005 - Introduction to the Trade and Safe Shop Practices
Automotive shops are full of equipment and tools that can be hazardous. This course will help students identify how and why safe work practices are used in the shops while safely completing projects. Students will also build skills identifying tools needed for specific tasks and learn about common sources of automotive information and terminology.

ASRP 1006 - Automotive Tools, Equipment, and Fasteners
This course offers further practice safely using automotive shop equipment and tools, while also applying automotive information to projects. Students will also use fasteners and measurements correctly and show safe practices for lifting and jacking vehicles under supervision.

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.

INDR 1010 - Industry Readiness
A crucial component of trade practice is the ability to share information. Explaining work, applying trade skills and meeting industry standards involves communicating effectively. This course introduces these skills with a trade focus and will help prepare students to contribute to employment and in the classroom. Course work may tie directly to projects and assignments happening elsewhere in the program and in its shops.

INDR 1020 - Working Effectively in the Trades
Almost all trades professionals will need to work well with others. Students in this course will learn to be effective team members and adapt and analyze how they share information with others. A selection of activities relevant to the particular trade will be used to practice collecting, analyzing and using trade information. Course work may tie directly to projects and assignments happening elsewhere in the program and in its shops.

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 - Safety Basics – 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 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student 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 - Safety Basics – Respiratory Protection
This course introduces students to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion topics include identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. 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.

Apply Now

Learn more about this program

Contact us

Share your details with us and we'll send you a program overview.

Required fields are marked with a red symbol (*)

Thank you for contacting us.
Your program overview is on the way. While you wait, feel free to browse our list of Programs & Courses or visit our Admissions information section.

Explore similar programs

To find other programs and career options that might be a good fit for you check out these areas of interest:

Back to top