Agriculture and Heavy Equipment Certificate

Length of Program:  1 YearProgram Intakes:  Fall Intake (September program start)Fall 2020

COVID-19 Updates: FULL DETAILS

Agricultural and Heavy Equipment Certificate

“I took this program at Olds College and was active as secretary and shop foreman of the Ag Mech Club. After graduating I moved to Calgary to begin work as a shop technician. I successfully completed my journeyman certificate and spent two and half years as a shop technician before moving into field service work. I accepted the position of lead hand back at the shop and the following year advanced to shop foreman. I have since started my own business.”

Jonas Alm, Graduate

Trades student works with wrench

What can you expect from the program?

If you want to get your hands on the newest and largest industry equipment in service come to Olds College. This comprehensive program will give you a thorough understanding of engines, hydraulics, braking, electrical, starting, charging, fuel systems and more. Our classrooms are discipline specific (i.e. motor lab, machinery lab) with small student to instructor ratio and personal workbenches.

The class atmosphere is filled with dedication but at the same time you will find yourself relaxed and informal. We have fun! The Steak Fry & Car Bash, volunteering with STARS, and our very popular Shop Night are all Ag Mech club functions!

What will you learn?

With our experienced Journeyperson certified, industry-trained instructors you will receive an education placing you at the forefront of the technical curve. Our extensive tool room exposes students to a wide range of tooling solutions for better problem solving. Our large workshops comfortably house industry equipment for overhaul projects.

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Employ current Occupational Health and Safety and Industry safety standards and procedures in the workplace
  • Communicate to achieve desired outcomes in industry
  • Make decisions regarding the adjustment and repair of agricultural and heavy equipment systems
  • Demonstrate proficiency in adjustment and repair of selected agricultural and heavy equipment systems to meet industry and government standards
  • Diagnose common faults on agricultural and heavy equipment
  • Maintain agricultural and heavy equipment
  • Use advanced technologies on agricultural and heavy equipment

View Program Outline

Program at a glance

Credential: Certificate

Length of Program: One Year

Method of Delivery: On-Campus

Program Intakes:

  • Fall Intake – September program start

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.

Applications Open: October 1

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details.

  • Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,430 / Books & Supplies: $4,200

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

Alberta’s Apprenticeship & Industry Training

Alberta’s Apprenticeship & Industry Training - more benefits for students! When you graduate with a certificate, you can choose to write the apprenticeship exam for the first and second periods in either the Agricultural or Heavy Equipment programs. But here’s the big benefit, should you decide to stay for the second year and get your diploma either specializing in Agricultural or Heavy equipment you then have the option of writing apprenticeship exams for full technical accreditation towards your specific trade. Students must have a GPA of 2.3 or higher to be eligible to write their technical exams.

AIT (Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board) recognizes hours in the program for a portion of your on-the-job training hours apprenticeship requirements; hours are trade dependent (details). You will also be well placed to attain Alberta Journeyperson Status pending the completion of the remaining on-the-job training hours specified by Alberta Industry Trade Board. Now that’s what we call fully loaded with options! AND, our graduates are in demand by industry professionals.

Olds College also offers the Agricultural Equipment Technician Apprenticeship and Heavy Equipment Technician Apprenticeship program for prospective students who are currently employed and wish to pursue journeyman status.

What do I need to apply?

Admission Requirements:

  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

  • Applicants for the certificate must have:
    • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
    • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or Math 20-2
    • Please note: applicants who have not taken the required level of mathematics (may have completed Math 20-3 or Math 30-3), please contact us before applying (email trades@oldscollege.cato discuss your options.

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrolment and any available interim/midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants: Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students.

For More Information

Our Admissions office can help navigate you through the admissions process and answer any questions you have about your program of study.

☎ 403.556.8281
☎ 1.800.661.6537
✉ trades@oldscollege.ca

Housing and Residence

Live in residence and enjoy all that our campus has to offer including social activities organized by our Residence Services team. Living in residence is the quickest way to meet new friends. 

Learn More

I want to take the two-year program, why do I have to apply for the certificate first?

To start in the program, students first apply to the Certificate. While completing the Certificate, students can complete an Intent to Return form (no fee) to return for the Diploma program. The Certificate to Diploma pathway actually gives students MORE flexibility - as students may have the opportunity to work for an employer and return for apprenticeship technical training for periods three and four (rather than continuing on in the diploma), and after successfully completing one year they would also receive a credential.

What will my schedule look like?

Classes are scheduled Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM and are delivered in blocks (few classes over a shorter time). All students are automatically scheduled in their classes and the schedule is available one month before your program starts. Our program has a lot of hands-on time, with approximately 420 lecture hours and 275 laboratory/shop hours in the first year of the program. The lecture portion also includes time in our component classrooms - which include hands-on work benches.

Is this program eligible for student loans?

This program is approved by Alberta Education (PAPRS approved), which makes it eligible for student loans.

What are the advantages to taking the Agricultural & Heavy Equipment Certificate & Diploma pathway versus the Apprenticeship pathway?

There are so many factors that may influence your decision to select a certain pathway. Please take the benefits below into consideration to help find the best fit for you.

Benefits of taking the Agricultural & Heavy Equipment Diploma:

  • Ideal for students who have little experience and don't know where to start to get involved in the industry.

  • Ideal for students who are not sure if they want to specialize in Agricultural Equipment or Heavy Equipment (they don’t have to declare their major until the end of the first year).

  • Ideal for students who want to pursue a "traditional" post-secondary experience (two fifteen week terms from September to April each of the two years).

  • Students are not required to have an employer to start the program.

  • ​Students come out with more training in two years time than an apprentice (an apprenticeship is completed over four years).

  • Students have an opportunity to complete a double major and return the second semester of their third year to take the remaining two classes to complete a double major. (Recall apprenticeship equivalencies between the two trades: AET Period 2 is equivalent to HET Period 2 and AET Period 4 is equivalent to HET Period 4.) Double major students are not able to write their technical training exams but once they find an employer we recommend they look at challenging technical training exams. So in two years plus one semester, students can obtain the technical training equivalents for two trades as compared to an AET/HET dual apprentice that may take six years.

Benefits of taking the AET or HET Apprenticeship:

  • Students pay less in tuition and fees as apprenticeship tuition and fees are partially subsidized by industry.
  • Ideal for students who want to spend less time in a traditional classroom setting.
  • Students earn while they learn. Apprentices are paid a percentage of the starting journeyperson wage rates within their workplace (Period 1 60%, Period 2 70%, Period 3 80%, Period 4 90%) for their on-the-job training hours and are able to apply for EI during technical training.
What will my schedule look like?

Classes are scheduled Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM and are delivered in blocks (few classes over a shorter time). All students are automatically scheduled in their classes and the schedule is available one month before your program starts. Our program has a lot of hands-on time, with approximately 420 lecture hours and 275 laboratory/shop hours in the first year of the program. The lecture portion also includes time in our component classrooms - which include hands-on work benches.



Admitted Students

Admitted Student Information

Program Dates: Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration: You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation: It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A device capable of running Microsoft Office, preferably a laptop

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to portal.office.com
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.


Materials & Supplies:

The materials on our tool kit list are to be purchased before starting the program in September. There are several local businesses in Olds that supply the requirements. Please adhere to the maximum tool box size listed on the tool list. (Don't bring a tool box that is larger than this)

View the Tool List

You will be required to purchase "tool chips" at a cost of $50. These tool chips allow you to use specialized tools out of the tool room and also include the cost of shop towels and supplies that will be used in the lab classes. At the end of the year, $20 will be refunded if you return all of your tool chips.

Information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.


Other Important Information:

  • Safety Regulations: Wearing safety equipment and abiding by industry safety standards is mandatory within our program.

  • Student Clubs: Ag Mech Club

  • Apprenticeship ILMs: Our program is accredited with Alberta's Apprenticeship & Industry Training Board (AIT) for the Heavy Equipment Technician and Agricultural Equipment Technician trades, therefore we use the Apprenticeship ILMs (Individual Learning Modules) as our reference material for the Agricultural and Heavy Equipment program. Students will also be required to purchase additional textbooks, which they will be told more about on their first day of classes. These modules and textbooks are available at the Olds College Campus Store at 1.800.661.6537 or 403.556.4630.

  • AIT Technical Training Exams: Students who meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.3 will be permitted to challenge their technical training exam(s). The exam challenge fee is $150.00 CAD and payable directly to AIT.