Maintenance & Repair


Maintenance and Repair people make sure the vehicles that get goods and passengers from A to B keep moving and are safe to operate. All machines wear out and suffer damage through their useful life, road transport vehicles are no different regardless of whether they’re a local delivery van, a tow truck, or a massive quad road train. If the vehicles aren’t on the road, they’re not making money for their owner so it’s vital for every road transport business to maximise the amount of time a vehicle can be used. Through planned maintenance and timely repairs, Maintenance and Repair people keep the wheels of the industry keep turning.

Summary of Occupation


Maintenance and Repair covers a range of roles that normally require formal qualifications in a technical area. The most obvious of these are the mechanics, whether it’s a diesel mechanic working on larger vehicles or the motor mechanics specialising in petrol powered light vehicles. Both are trades requiring completing an apprenticeship or having skills assessed as being equivalent to a trade. There are of course other careers available in the Maintenance and Repairs field depending on the size and type of business.

Maintenance and Repair roles exist in a range of different businesses. Road transport businesses can have their own in-house maintenance workshops to service their own fleet of vehicles. Sometimes they also provide maintenance services to other road transport operators as well. In these cases, the Maintenance and Repair functions aren’t usually the main focus of the business but exist to support the main business activity of providing road transport. Vehicle dealers will also usually have a maintenance service available for their customers. However, there are also businesses that have their sole activity as providing maintenance for road transport operators. The type of business will affect the number, type, and range of Maintenance and Repair jobs. In-house maintenance functions and those connected to a vehicle dealer tend to be focused on specific types or brands of vehicles. Whilst businesses that are solely maintenance oriented tend either have a wider range of work, or go the other way and specialise on a particular type of maintenance activity.

Maintenance and Repair knowledge and skills are very portable and what you learn in other industries can be valuable in a road transport career.

Examples of maintenance and repairs roles are:

  • Diesel Mechanic
  • Motor Mechanic
  • Tyre Fitter
  • Trades Assistant
  • Automotive Electrician
  • Panelbeater
  • Vehicle Detailer

Knowledge, Skills and Attributes


Many of the jobs in Maintenance and Repair are trades and completing a recognised apprenticeship or traineeship is required. If you have many years of experience working in a trade area, it can be possible to have your skills officially recognized and be accredited as a tradesperson.

Some of the more common Maintenance and Repair jobs and the qualifications they might need are:

Diesel Mechanic

Diesel Motor Mechanics maintain, test and repair diesel motors and the mechanical parts of trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles such as transmissions, suspension, steering and brakes. You will usually be required to have completed an apprenticeship or had your skills recognised as being at a trade level. You may also need to be licenced as a vehicle repairer and/or certified depending on which state or territory you live in. Typical tasks include:

  • Detecting and diagnosing faults in engines and parts.
  • Dismantling and removing engine assemblies, transmissions, steering mechanisms and other components, and checking parts.
  • Repairing and replacing worn and defective parts and reassembling mechanical components.
  • Reassembling engines and parts after being repaired.
  • Testing and adjusting mechanical parts after being repaired for proper performance, diagnosing and testing parts with the assistance of computers.
  • May inspect vehicles and issue roadworthiness certificates or detail work required to achieve roadworthiness.

Tyre Fitter

Tyre fitters ensure the tyres on vehicles are roadworthy and safe to use. Being a Tyre Fitter doesn’t require formal qualifications with many people receive on the job training alone. However formal qualifications could be useful; and sought after by some employers. Tyre fitting could be a career in itself, or a way to start a career in vehicle Maintenance and Repair, branching out into other occupations. Typical tasks include:

  • Inspecting tyres to determine which repair action to implement and repairs punctures in tubes and tubeless tyres.
  • Operating air driven equipment to remove and refit tyres and tubes on vehicles.
  • Balancing wheels and tyres using static and electronic equipment.

Mechanical Trades Assistant

Mechanical Trades Assistants help Diesel or Motor Mechanics to replace and repair worn and defective parts, re-assemble mechanical components, change oil and filters, and perform other routine mechanical tasks. Formal qualifications are not required to be a Trades Assistant but completing a level of vocational training could increase your employability. You can pursue a career as a Trades Assistant or use a Trades Assistant role as an entry point to other Maintenance and Repair careers Typical tasks include:

  • Assisting mechanics to detect and diagnose faults in engines and parts.
  • Dismantling and removing engine assemblies, transmissions, steering mechanisms and other components, and check parts.
  • Repairing and replacing worn and defective parts and reassembling mechanical components.
  • Performing scheduled maintenance services such as oil changes, lubrications and engine tune-ups to achieve smoother running of vehicles and ensure compliance with pollution regulations.
  • Reassembling engines and parts after being repaired.
  • Testing and adjusting mechanical parts after being repaired for proper performance, diagnose and testing parts with the assistance of computers.

Automotive Electrician

Automotive Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical wiring and electronic components in motor vehicles. To be an Automotive Electrician you will need to complete an apprenticeship and may need to be licenced as a vehicle repairer and/or certified depending on which state or territory you live in. Typical tasks include:

  • Using test equipment to locate electrical and electronic malfunctions
  • Dismantling and removing electrical and electronic assemblies and components
  • Installing electrical equipment and electronic components in motor vehicles
  • Connecting power-operated vehicle equipment and accessories to power supply
  • Adjusting engine control systems and timing
  • Testing and replacing defective alternators, generators, voltage regulators and starter motors
  • Repairing and replacing faulty ignition and electrical wiring
  • Replacing defective parts such as fuses, lamps and switches

Panelbeater

Panelbeaters repair damage to metal, fibreglass and plastic body work on vehicles, and form replacement vehicle panels, removing damaged panels and parts, and removing upholstery and accessories to gain access. Panelbeaters may have extensive experience or have completed an apprenticeship received for qualifications. Typical tasks include:

  • Removing dents by hammering panels
  • Straightening damaged vehicles and parts using mechanical and hydraulic equipment
  • Replacing badly damaged sections with new or second-hand panels
  • Filling depressions with plastic filler, and filing, grinding and sanding repaired surfaces
  • Cutting and joining replacement sections using welding equipment
  • Fitting repaired or replacement panels on vehicles and refitting body hardware such as door locks and trims
  • May assist vehicle body builders in constructing and restoring custom-designed, vintage and other specialty vehicles
  • May spray-paint vehicles

Vehicle Detailer

Vehicle Detailers wash and clean exteriors and interiors of vehicles, and touch up paint work, glass and upholstery so the vehicle has a professional presentation. Vehicle Detailers don’t need formal qualifications and may be a great way for those with less experience to enter the industry and gain access to other roles, training and experience. Typical tasks include:

  • Washing, drying, polishing and waxing vehicle exteriors
  • Vacuuming vehicle interiors, and drycleaning carpets and upholstery
  • Applying cleaning agents to remove stains from vehicle interiors
  • Washing tyres and wheel arches, and blackening tyres
  • Washing and polishing vehicle windows
  • Emptying and cleaning compartments in vehicles
  • May make minor repairs and touch up finishes to remove scratches

Formal qualifications relevant to Maintenance and Repair are:

  • Certificate I in Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Steering and Suspension System Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning
  • Certificate II in Automotive Administration
  • Certificate II in Outdoor Power Equipment Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • Certificate II in Automotive Braking System Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Driveline System Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Cooling System Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology
  • Certificate II in Automotive Exhaust System Technology
  • Certificate III in Agricultural Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Elevating Work Platform Technology
  • Certificate III in Marine Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Forklift Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology
  • Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Administration
  • Certificate III in Automotive Alternative Fuel Technology
  • Certificate III in Outdoor Power Equipment Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive and Marine Trimming Technology
  • Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Fuel Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Body Repair Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Glazing Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Tyre Management
  • Certificate III in Automotive Underbody Technology
  • Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Drivetrain Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Engine Technology
  • Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Trailer Technology
  • Certificate III in Automotive Engine Reconditioning
  • Certificate III in Automotive Sales
  • Certificate IV in Automotive Performance Enhancement
  • Certificate IV in Vehicle Loss Assessing
  • Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Overhauling
  • Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis
  • Certificate IV in Automotive Electrical Technology
  • Certificate IV in Automotive Management
  • Certificate IV in Automotive Body Repair Technology
  • Diploma of Automotive Technology
  • Diploma of Automotive Management

For information about having your skills gained in Australia or overseas assessed and be recognised as trade qualified go to: Trades Recognition Australia

For licencing and certification information go to:

State/Territory Motor Repairer Business Licencing Tradesperson Certification
Australian Capital Territory Trader Licence
New South Wales Motor Vehicle Repairer Motor Vehicle Tradesperson
Western Australia Motor Vehicle Repair Business Licence Motor Vehicle Repairer’s Certificate

More information about licensing requirements can be found at ABLIS.

You can check out the course requirements and find a training provider using the Road Transport Careers Training Search.

In addition to their qualifications and experience, all warehousing and logistics roles require:

  • English and numeracy proficiency
  • Proficiency in using digital data and technology
  • Time management
  • Self-motivation
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Work effectively in a team
  • High level of customer service focus
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work quickly and accurately
  • A safety-first approach

Working Conditions


Maintenance and Repair roles working hours very much depend on the business you work in. Some vehicle maintenance and repair operations have standard hours working Monday to Friday, or Monday to Saturday. Others offer extended hours so vehicles can be serviced and repaired at times that reduce the amount the vehicle is off the road.

Conditions of employment for all employees include at least the 10 National Employment Standards, with non-managerial and non-supervisory roles being covered by a Modern Award such as the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010 the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010, or an enterprise agreement that provides other conditions of employment. Some people might also receive above award wages or conditions of employment negotiated with their employer.

Income Details


Wages will be at least the amount provided in the award that applies to your job. Many employers pay above the award to attract and retain good workers and some business have enterprise agreements that provide wages and conditions of employment.

Examples of wages (including overtime and other penalties) are:

  • Diesel Mechanic $1 436 per week
  • Motor Mechanic $1 436 per week
  • Tyre Fitter $1 014 per week
  • Trades Assistant $1 224 per week
  • Automotive Electrician $1 392 per week
  • Panelbeater $1 280 per week
  • Vehicle Detailer $868 per week