May 24, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog

Pre-employment Machinist

Location(s): In Person (Main Campus)

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Embark on a fulfilling career as a machinist, playing a pivotal role in manufacturing and repairing parts and components critical to industries such as manufacturing, transportation, energy and healthcare.  

This comprehensive 12-week Pre-employment Machinist program combines hands-on shop experience with theoretical knowledge curated by industry experts to address the unique demands of manufacturing environments. 

In this program, you will:  

  • receive rigorous training in standard safety protocols 
  • master the mathematical concepts and calculations essential for precision machining 
  • learn to operate computer numerical control (CNC) machines, understand programming and execution 
  • gain proficiency in using lathes for cutting, sanding, drilling, facing and turning 
  • acquire skills in operating drill presses for producing accurate holes in metal 
  • learn milling, grinding and other machining techniques. 

Once you graduate, you’ll possess the foundational skills to gain employment and register as an apprentice, positioning you ahead in the competitive field of machining.

With this program, you’re not just learning a trade - you’re setting the stage for a career as a machinist. 

Traits, skills and aptitudes

Machinists tend to be objective, innovative and methodical.  

You need: 

  • mechanical aptitude 
  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • the ability to use your hands skillfully and quickly 
  • the ability to estimate and measure sizes and distances accurately 
  • the ability to work alone on tasks that require concentration and physical effort.

You should enjoy doing creative work with machinery that requires a high degree of skill and precision.

Academic path

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

Graduates are also eligible to receive course credit for all first-semester classes in our Machinist Technology diploma program.


Upon successful completion of this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Pre-Employment Machinist certificate. 

Program length

12 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 engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians (22302)
  • Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations (72010)
  • Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors (72100)
  • Machine fitters (72405)
  • Supervisors, other mechanical and metal products manufacturing (92023)
  • Metalworking and forging machine operators (94105)
  • Machining tool operators (94106
  • Labourers in metal fabrication (95101)


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, Math 20-2 or Math 20-3, and
  • at least 50% in English Arts 20-1 or English Arts 20-2, and 
  • at least 50% in Science 10.

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 Machinist certificate requires credits (13.5 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 - $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.

Manufacturing and Automation program advising

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

Phone: 403.284.8641

Program outcomes

  • Follow workplace safety regulations while performing machining operations.
  • Communicate effectively using trade terminology.
  • Interpret drawings and plans, and be able to lay out and develop basic projects according to specifications.
  • Demonstrate skills in identifying and correctly using trade-related tools.
  • Demonstrate basic skills in operating a computer numerical control (CNC) machine.
  • Perform basic CAD/CAM programming.

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