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

Pre-employment Heavy Equipment Technician

Location(s): In Person (Main Campus)

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The 15-week Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician program is designed for those seeking to enter the thriving transport and heavy equipment industry, repairing, maintaining and overhauling transport vehicles and heavy machinery.

With courses developed in collaboration with industry, your training will be relevant and up-to-date.

In this program, you will:

  • learn safety practices and proper use of industry-standard tools
  • gain entry-level proficiency in hydraulics, pneumatic braking systems, electrical circuits, mechanical skills, and suspension systems
  • get hands-on experience in a shop environment supported by theory.

As a graduate, you will be prepared for entry-level roles such as heavy-duty mechanic (off-road), truck and transport mechanic and transport-trailer technician. 

Your skills will apply to numerous vehicles and equipment, including, but not limited to, transport trucks and trailers, construction heavy equipment, stationary equipment and off-road vehicles. You’ll also have the foundational skills to seek employment and register as an apprentice.

Apply today and propel yourself into an industry that is the backbone of construction and transportation. 

Traits, skills and aptitudes

Those working as heavy equipment technicians need: 

  • good vision, hearing and sense of smell to diagnose problems 
  • strength and stamina for working with heavy equipment and in cramped or awkward positions 
  • mechanical ability 
  • the ability to work alone or as part of a team 
  • the ability to think logically 
  • an interest in all types of machinery and engines, electronics and precision equipment. 

You should enjoy doing precision work, solving problems, and working with your hands. 

Academic path

This program aligns with the first period of Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training’s (AIT) Heavy Equipment 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 Heavy Equipment Technician apprenticeship program beginning in period two.

Graduates may also receive course credit towards classes in our two-year Transport and Heavy Equipment Technology diploma program.


After successfully completing this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Pre-employment Heavy Equipment Technician certificate.

Program length

15 weeks

Not open to international applicants

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

Not eligible for CAJG

This program is not 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):

  • Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (22312)
  • Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades (72020)
  • Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews (72021)
  • Heavy-duty equipment mechanics (72401)
  • Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers (72410)
  • Electrical mechanics (72422)
  • Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics (72423)
  • 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 Math 20-1 or Math 20-2, or 60% in Math 20-3, and
  • at least 50% in English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2, and
  • at least 50% in one Grade 11 Science.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside of 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 Heavy Equipment Technology certificate requires 15 credits (five 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 - $1,500 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.

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

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  • apply industry workplace safety and quality standards required by SAIT and industry when performing assigned tasks
  • communicate using trade terminology when interacting with customers and others in the trade
  • read and interpret work orders and relevant technical manuals
  • demonstrate skills in diagnosing, installing, and repairing the basic systems and components used in the transport and heavy equipment industry
  • demonstrate skills in identifying and correctly operating the tools used in the transport and heavy equipment industry.

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