May 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog

Pre-Employment Auto Body

Location(s): In Person (Main Campus)

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Want to work in an auto body repair shop? If you’re looking for an alternative pathway into the auto body industry, our 12-week Pre-employment Auto Body program offers an excellent opportunity to kickstart your career.

This program will give you the fundamental skills needed for auto body repair. You will:

  • learn the essential steps and techniques to prepare a vehicle for repair, including removing the paint finish, taping, sanding and masking
  • discover how to prepare the surface of a vehicle properly
  • gain expertise in applying fillers and undercoats, which are used to smooth out imperfections in the vehicle’s surface
  • get trained in component removal and installation, as well as detailing techniques to ensure the finished repair looks impeccable
  • learn how to use tools and equipment safely and effectively.

As part of the program, you’ll work in an operational auto body shop. This hands-on experience will allow you to apply your newly acquired skills in a real-world setting and gain practical knowledge that can set you apart in the job market.

Once you graduate, you’ll be well-prepared to enter the auto body repair industry in an entry-level position. As you progress, you can become an apprentice and complete the required 3,400 work hours to earn your Alberta journeyperson certification as an auto body prepper. You can then choose to specialize further as an auto body refinisher or repairer or combine all three areas for certification as an auto body technician.

Whether you’re seeking a new career path or looking to gain essential skills quickly, this program is designed to provide you with a strong foundation and practical knowledge to start your journey toward becoming a skilled auto body professional.

Traits, skills and aptitudes

Those in the autobody field are objective, methodical and innovative.

You need:

  • the strength and stamina required to handle heavy tools and parts 
  • manual dexterity 
  • creativity, patience and an eye for detail 
  • good colour vision 
  • computer skills 
  • customer services skills 
  • a commitment to safe work habits. 

You should enjoy creative decision-making and performing tasks that require precision. You should be prepared to stay updated with the annual changes manufacturers make in plastics, electronics, metals, finishes and paints.

Academic path

This program aligns with the first period of Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training’s (AIT) Auto Body Technician curriculum.

Graduates are eligible to register as apprentices and challenge the first-period exam.

Once you pass the exam and complete the necessary training hours with an employer, you may register for SAIT’s Auto Body Technician apprenticeship program beginning in period two.

Practicum, co-op and work integrated learning opportunities

You’ll have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge learned in class with two weeks of work in an auto body mechanic shop.


After successfully completing this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Pre-Employment Auto Body certificate. 

Program length

12 weeks

Not open to international applicants

This program is not available to international applicants at this time. 


This program is eligible for the Canada Alberta Job Grant

Related careers

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Potential careers (NOC):

  • Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades (72020)
  • Auto body collision, refinishing and glass technicians and damage repair estimators (72411)
  • Automotive and heavy truck and equipment parts installers and servicers (74203)

Admission requirements - Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and completion of the following courses or equivalents:

  • at least 50% in English Language Arts 10-2, and
  • at least 50% in Math 10-3, and
  • at least 50% in one Grade 10 Science.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

Admission requirements - Applicants educated outside of Canada

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find accepted educational documents and assessment options

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

Program outline

The Pre-Employment Auto Body certificate program requires 12 credits (5 courses) to complete.


You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure > 

Books and supplies

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore’s website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn’t receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you’re in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

Steel-toe boots and safety glasses are recommended.

Transportation program advising

For any questions or to set up an advising appointment, please contact our School of Transportation.

Phone: 403.284.8471

Program outcomes

Graduates of the Auto Body Pre-Employment program should be able to:

  • demonstrate proficiency in all phases of auto-body prepping
  • use hand tools and powered equipment competently as per the manufacturer’s specifications
  • communicate verbally, read and understand work orders, and relate to the work of other tradespeople in the automotive industry
  • apply primers, primer surfacers, and corrosion-proofing materials.

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