Recreation Vehicle Service Technician
Recreation vehicle service technicians install, repair and maintain interior and exterior components on motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, truck campers, tent trailers and van conversions. Duties may include:
- installation of accessories,
- performing pre-delivery inspections,
- writing repair estimates and reading and writing repair orders,
- troubleshooting, repair and maintenance on propane gas and electric appliances such as furnaces, refrigerators, water heaters, ranges and air conditioners,
- repairs to fibreglass, body and structural components, and
- the ability to install, repair, replace and maintain roofs, siding, windows, doors, vents, awnings, floor coverings, cabinets, counters, plumbing systems, electrical systems, propane gas systems, batteries and charging systems.
While they do not repair engines or drive train components of motorized vehicles, they may install trailer and fifth wheel hitches, wire tow vehicles and perform maintenance and repairs on trailer frames, undercarriage and suspension.
In general, recreation vehicle service technicians:
- examine, troubleshoot and diagnose units needing repairs and/or maintenance
- use testing equipment, troubleshooting techniques, manufacturers' specifications, and Internet websites to assist at locating faults and performing repairs
- use manuals, catalogues and Internet websites to order repair parts and components
- use computerized and electronic devices for testing components
- communicate with supervisors, manufacturers and consumers to ensure timely, efficient and economical repairs
- dismantle faulty assemblies, repair or replace worn and damaged parts.
For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.
Recreation vehicle service technicians enjoy a high level of job security, usually work at indoor shops and occasionally work outdoors and at RV sites. Most work a 40-hour, five-day week. However, some evening, weekend or holiday work may be required, particularly during the busy summer months. The work is most rewarding for those who enjoy a relatively clean, safe work environment that is not generally physically demanding.
This trade would appeal to those who like being challenged by a broad-based, diverse variety of tasks that are rarely repetitious in nature.
To be successful in the trade, recreation vehicle service technicians must have:
- good manual dexterity and balance while working off the ground
- the strength, stamina and ability to use proper lifting techniques to lift items in excess of 25 kilograms
- mechanical, electrical and electronics aptitude
- troubleshooting and problem-solving capabilities
- good communication, organizational and learning skills
- the desire to upgrade and learn new skills as technology advances
- the ability to work either independently or as a team member
- pride in workmanship and the desire to attain a superior level of expertise.
Recreation vehicle service technicians are employed by recreation vehicle dealerships, manufacturers and independent repair shops. Employment prospects in this trade are stable and well positioned for future growth. This industry has experienced steady growth and high demand for competent, qualified recreation vehicle service technicians.
Experienced recreation vehicle service technicians may advance to a number of supervisory or administrative positions, specialize in a particular area of repair, or open their own repair shops.
To work as a recreation vehicle service technician in Alberta, a person must be a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyperson, or hold a valid recognized credential.
Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.
The term of apprenticeship for a recreation vehicle service technician is 3 years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1600 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year.
- An applicant who previously completed courses of study or work experience related to the recreation vehicle service technician trade or holds a related journeyperson certificate and has the employer's recommendation, may qualify for credit that could reduce the term of apprenticeship. Inquiries about credit for previously completed courses of study or work experience can be directed to an apprentice representative toll-free at 1-800-248-4823.
- A person who has previous training or work experience in the trade and wants to determine their level of skill and knowledge for entry or advanced standing in an apprenticeship program may complete the online Prior Learning Assessment Application. For more information, see the online Prior Learning Assessment Guide.
- A high school student can become an apprentice and gain credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time under the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).
To learn the skills required of a recreation vehicle service technician in Alberta and be issued an Alberta Journeyman Certificate, a person must:
- satisfy the entrance requirements or pass the entrance exam (see Entrance Level Competencies, Exam Counselling Sheet, Entrance Exam Study Guide, and Entrance Exam Support Materials List)
- find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice
Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates and may select apprentices from among their current employees.
For holders of an existing trade certificate, it can serve as your entrance requirement equivalency when registering in an additional trade.
- complete the online Apprenticeship Application and Contract
- pay the non-refundable application fee as part of the application process
- complete the required on-the-job training
- during on-the-job training, apprentice recreation vehicle service technicians earn at least 55 percent of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 65 percent in the second, and 75 percent in the third year.
- complete allprogram requirements as identified in the course outline
- enroll in technical training
- select an educational institution that offers training for Recreation Vehicle Service Technician apprentices, and a time to attend training
- determine requirements for enrolling at the selected institution, and forward completed enrolment form to the selected institution
- review books and materials required for training
- successfully complete all required exams
Apprentices may attempt the Interprovincial Exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal.
When apprentices attend technical training, they are required to pay the applicable tuition fee and purchase course supplies.
Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information see Financial Assistance, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.
A recreation vehicle service technician who holds a valid trade certificate from Alberta or from another Canadian province or territory may apply to write the Interprovincial Exam and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The Red Seal is recognized throughout most of Canada.
For a Qualification Certificate based on a recognized credential or work experience in order to prepare for the exam(s) please refer to the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available resource materials.
Time spent on supervisory or foreman duties, counter work, heading the tool crib, or on training course is NOT counted as 'hands-on' work experience.
A person who holds a valid recognized credential does not require an Alberta equivalency document to work in the trade in Alberta.
However, some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the trade or that the holder's credential is recognized.
More information regarding the Equivalency Program can be found here.