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Heavy Equipment Technician Apprenticeship

Heavy Equipment Technician

Prepare for a career in the in-demand heavy equipment industry with the Heavy Equipment Technician Apprenticeship.

Work with both on-and-off road equipment, from heavy transport haulers to excavators — Heavy Equipment Technicians repair and overhaul engines, mechanical and power shift transmissions, hydraulics and basic electrical systems on the largest and most powerful equipment.

This four year program consists of eight weeks each year of classroom instruction, and a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training per period of classroom instruction. Learn about engine and electrical fundamentals and systems for trucks and trailers and more from licensed Journeyperson faculty and industry experts. In this program you can choose to specialize in Off-Road or On-Road Heavy Equipment.

This is a designated trade with restricted activities.

There are equivalencies between the Agricultural Equipment Technician (AET) and Heavy Equipment Technician (HET) trades. AET Period 2 is equivalent to HET Period 2 and AET Period 4 is equipment to HET Period 3. Apprentices may choose to pursue their dual trade certification.

Off-Road Topics include: Advanced hydraulics; off-road steering and suspension systems and accessories; and off-road powertrains.

On-Road Topics include: On-road powertrains; steering and antilock brake systems; air conditioning; and vehicle electrical diagnosis and failure analysis.


This is a Red Seal trade. Apprentices who have obtained Journeyperson certification are encouraged to write the national standard exam. The Red Seal, when affixed to a provincial or territorial trade certificate, indicates that a tradesperson has demonstrated the knowledge required for the national standard in that trade. The Red Seal endorsement promotes excellence to employers, instills pride in skilled workers, and facilitates labour mobility.

Classroom Instruction Intakes:

  • Period 1: August 26, 2024, October 21, 2024, and March 3, 2025
  • Period 2: August 26, 2024, October 21, 2024, January 6, 2025, and March 3, 2025
  • Period 3: August 26, 2024 and January 6, 2025
  • Period 4: August 26, 2024, and March 3, 2025

Classroom Instruction Enrolment:


When you graduate from your apprenticeship education program, you will earn an Advanced Diploma. A credential in a designated trade also qualifies you for an Alberta Journeyperson Certificate, which authorizes you to work unsupervised in your trade. You'll receive both at the same time.

Note: Heavy Equipment has a number of designated trades within the four periods and these receive different education credentials - please refer to AIT’s Education Credential Framework for more information.

  • Please visit Alberta’s Apprenticeship & Industry Training website to Begin an Apprenticeship.

    • You will need to meet eligibility and entrance requirements specific to your trade.
    • Complete an online apprenticeship application through MyTradesecrets (MTS) online service.
    • Find a Sponsor and Employer to earn on-the-job training hours.
    • You can register as an apprentice and attend classroom instruction without having a sponsor or employer. However, to earn on-the-job hours toward your apprenticeship, you must have a sponsor and an employer (which may be the same company). You are encouraged to find a sponsor as soon as possible so you can learn from a qualified mentor and practice your skills. Most apprentices come to classroom instruction with on-the-job experience, so without this, you may find the classes challenging.
    • Full payment of tuition and fees is required upon registration.
  • Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for complete details.

    Tuition, Fees & Payments

  • Alberta Apprenticeship & Industry Training – Heavy Equipment Technician:

    • First Period Training Topics include: Standard workplace safety, materials, and tools; oxy-acetylene heating and cutting; suspensions, wheel, and systems for trucks and trailers; hydraulics and hydraulic brake systems; electrical systems and electronics; and air brakes.

    • Second Period Training Topics include: Engine fundamentals, service, and repair; engine systems; diesel fuel injection systems; electronics fuel management; and heavy duty charging and cranking systems.

    • Third Period Off-road Training Topics include: Advanced hydraulics; off-road steering and suspension systems and accessories; and off-road powertrains.

    • Fourth Period On-road Training Topics include: On-road powertrains; steering and antilock brake systems; air conditioning; and vehicle electrical diagnosis and failure analysis.

  • Heavy equipment technicians maintain, repair and overhaul heavy vehicles and industrial heavy equipment, and commercial transport devices connected to or moved by a power unit. Heavy equipment technicians are employed by specialized repair shops and organizations that own or lease heavy equipment used in the construction, mining, forestry, material handling, landscaping, land clearing, and agriculture and transportation industries.

    Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

    ALIS Occupational Profiles

    Training Routes

  • 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 of Agriculture & Technology 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
    • 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 following items are required:

    • Safety glasses/goggles (preferably not tinted)
    • Two pair of coveralls (minimum)
    • CSA approved boots (steel toe)

    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, locker rentals 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.

    Other Important Information

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

    • Apprenticeship ILMs: We use the Apprenticeship ILMs (Individual Learning Modules) as our reference material. These modules take the place of textbooks and are available at the Olds College Campus Store at 1.800.661.6537 or 403.556.4630. They are packaged by classroom instruction period.

    • Employment Insurance: Information on applying for Employment Insurance benefits is provided in your MyTradesecrets account

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Program at a Glance

Length: Eight Weeks

Delivery Method: On-Campus

Program Intake: Various Intakes

Applications Open: Spring

Program Status: Open