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Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician

Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment

Learn how to maintain a wide variety of equipment including trucks and trailers, off-road, and earthmoving equipment.

This program will set you up for entry level positions in the heavy equipment industry. You will learn basic diagnostics, repair, and maintenance of heavy equipment, workplace safety, and gain an understanding of suspensions, wheels, hydraulics, and electrical systems.

With our experienced industry trained instructors, you will receive an education placing you at the forefront of the technical curve with discipline specific labs and extensive tool room. This program is the equivalent to the technical training of first year apprenticeship.


Upon successful completion of the Pre-Employment program, students who meet the apprenticeship requirements for the trade are eligible to write the First Period Apprenticeship exam.

Program Intakes:

  • Summer Intake: August 2024 - November 2024 *APPLICATIONS OPEN*


Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will receive a certificate in Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician.

  • Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment 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.

    Alternate Admission Option: Alternate Admission status may be offered to applicants who have not or will not complete one of the academic admission requirements. To be considered under Alternate Admission Status, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

    1. (Required) Transcript(s) showing any completed high school and post-secondary courses
    2. (Required) Letter of Introduction and Intent, outlining the following:
      • Introduce yourself
      • Indicate why you wish to enrol in the program
      • Elaborate on your career goals
      • Detail your experience relevant to this program and the industry
    3. (Required) A resume of your work history, extracurricular activities, volunteer service, etc., for the last 5 years
    4. (Optional) Include copies of any tickets and/or certificates you currently hold (first aid, safety tickets, etc.)
    5. (Optional) Letter(s) of reference from current or past employers/coaches/etc. (maximum of two letters)

    *Submitting Alternate Admission material does not guarantee admission*

    Transfer Options: Olds College of Agriculture & Technology has developed agreements with other educational institutions to allow for transition to Olds College, or to another institution to continue your education. Articulations & Agreements

    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 and meet all of the admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency.

  • Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for complete details.

    Tuition, Fees & Payments

    Scholarships & Student Awards

    Olds College of Agriculture & Technology offers over 450 awards, valued at $500,000+ in scholarships, bursaries and prizes. Thanks to our industry partners, alumni, and friends of Olds College we are fortunate to offer a generous student awards program to students.

    For additional information on scholarships, bursaries and prizes at Olds College, visit Scholarships & Awards.

    Entrance Awards Available!

    Entrance awards range from $250 - $1,500 for students applying for the upcoming academic year and have paid the tuition deposit by the deadline.

    Awards are selected randomly from those that have applied and qualify based on the criteria.
    Award will be applied as a tuition credit to the student's account after the add/drop course deadline, confirming full-time attendance. Not all that apply will receive an entrance award.
  • For course descriptions and requisites, view the Academic Calendar.

    Academic Calendar: Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician

    Term 1
    • Completed the following:
      • PEH1001 - Standard Workplace Safety, Materials and Tools (2-1-0 hrs)
      • PEH1002 - Suspensions, Wheels and Systems (3-2-0 hrs)
      • PEH1003 - Hydraulics and Hydraulic Brake Systems (3-2-0 hrs)
      • PEH1004 - Electrical and Electronics (3-2-0 hrs)
      • PEH1005 - Air Brakes (3-1-0 hrs)
  • Olds College of Agriculture & Technology has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

    • 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.

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

    ALIS Occupational Profiles

  • 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:

    • CSA approved steel toe boots
    • CSA approved safety glasses
    • Coveralls (two pairs)
    • Welding gloves (available for purchase in the Campus Store)

    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.

    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

    • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

    1. After successfully completing the program, you will graduate with a credential (Certificate).

    2. Students with a GPA of 2.3 or higher will be permitted to write their first period classroom instruction exam with AIT.

    3. With your graduation certificate and successful Period 1 classroom instruction exam in hand, students will need to find an employer that is willing to indenture them in their respective trade.

    4. Apply to become an apprentice through AIT! You and your employer will enter into a contract with AIT.

      1. Review the Entrance Requirements for the trade.

      2. If you have previous on-the-job training hours (time credit) that you may have completed prior to becoming an apprentice with your employer, then please make sure you have your employer contact AIT to complete the process for recognizing these hours.

    5. Complete your remaining technical training and on-the-job training requirements for each period (year) of your apprenticeship.

      1. Ensure you review your trade profile on AIT’s website and have read the Course Outline.
      2. Remember that as you complete each period of your apprenticeship, your employer is legally required to pay you a portion of the starting journeyperson wages in your place of employment. So it is very important to continuously update your AIT Record Book (Blue Book).

    6. Once AIT has confirmed that you’ve completed all required technical training and on-the-job training hours, then you will obtain your Journeyperson status!

    7. Journeypersons can also pursue more training opportunities or endorsements:

      1. Red Seal Endorsement - Interprovincial Designation

      2. Blue Seal Endorsement - Business Competencies

      3. Also keep in mind that there may be additional certifications that you can obtain through your trade’s professional regulating organization. For some trades there may be equivalencies with another trade so it may be advantageous to pursue dual certification.

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Program at a Glance

Length: 12 Weeks

Delivery Method: On-Campus

Program Intake: Fall

Applications Open: October

Program Status: Open