A young man in glasses working under a car on a lift.

Program Details, Costs, and Admission Requirements

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

Dynamic automotive training

You like to know how things work, and you want variety in your career. As an automotive technician you can expect a satisfying career with a diverse and challenging work week. The automotive industry is one of the fastest changing industries, with new technologies introduced all the time. 

In this program you work on cars in a live shop using the latest technology. You work with real customers and you get the kind of experience that sets you up for success. 

Gain real-world experience

At VIU, you get more hands-on training than anywhere else. Six hours of your eight-hour school day will be spent in the workshop. You learn valuable skills like vehicle inspection and on-the-job problem solving.
The program features three weeks of work experience. You work in the industry gaining real-world experience and making industry connections. You enter the workforce ready for the demands of the job.

Automotive career options

As one of the fastest growing sectors in BC, anyone with automotive skills will be in- hig demand. In addition to working as an automotive technician, you do many other jobs in a auto service shop

As you work through your apprentice levels, you’ll learn hybrid and electric vehicle repair, further increasing the demand for your skills. Once you have a Red Seal endorsement you can be your own boss. 

Program Overview

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.

SkilledTradesBC 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 SkilledTradesBC, phone 1.866.660.6011, or contact Vancouver Island University at 250.740.6227 or Apprentice@viu.ca. Learn more about VIU's Trades and Applied Technology Apprenticeships.

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
Automotive Service Technician
Essential Skills
AUTO 101T - (Auto Shop Safety)
AUTO 109T - (Welding)
AUTO 105T - (Electrical Systems and Components)
AUTO 106T - (Steering, Suspension, and Braking)
AUTO 110T - (Engines)
AUTO 104T - (Driveline Systems)
AUTO 102T - (Tools, Equipment, and Documentation)
AUTO 103T - (Communication and Mentoring)
AUTO 107T - (Restraint Systems and Body Components)
AUTO 108T - (Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) 
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.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

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 Amount
Tuition (10 months x $499.20 per month) 4,992.00
Supply fee 179.27
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition and supply fee) 206.85
Student Services fee (10 months x $22.05 per month) 220.50
VIU Students' Union fee (10 months x $27.60 per month) 276.00
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Books, CSA approved steel-toed boots, CSA approved safety glasses, seat/fender covers, and uniform (approximate costs) 1,000.00

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options

Al Babuin, Automotive Service Technician Foundation Program

“The instructors went above and beyond to ensure that the students understood the material that was presented to them. During practical hours the instructors were always available to assist the students while they were working on the vehicles. The shop facilities are top notch. Students have all the latest tools and diagnostic equipment available to them. They are given step by step instruction on how to use the equipment.”