Length of Program: 12 WeeksProgram Intakes:  Fall & Winter IntakesWinter 2019

Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician

Student poses in front of Caterpillar

What can you expect from our program?

If you enjoy maintaining and repairing equipment, you can't get much bigger than the heavy equipment and off-road industry! This program will introduce you to the maintenance of a wide variety of equipment including trucks and trailers, off-road, and earthmoving equipment.

What will you learn?

Our classrooms are discipline specific (i.e. motor lab, machinery lab) with small student to instructor ratio and personal workbenches. With our experienced 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 the pre-employment program, students who meet the apprenticeship requirements for the trade are eligible to write the first period apprenticeship exam. Please note that there is a fee, payable to Apprenticeship and Industry Training, to write this exam. This fee is in addition to tuition, books and supplies. Canadian Standards Association approved personal protective equipment is required to complete the practical portion of this program. You may be required to purchase other tools and equipment for your chosen trade.

Program at a glance

Credential: Pre-Employment Certificate (plus eligibility to write First Period apprenticeship exam)

Length of Program: 12 Weeks

Method of Delivery: Olds Campus

Program Intakes:

  • Fall intake: September 3, 2019

  • Winter intake: February 25, 2019

Applications Open:

  • Fall Intake: October 1 of the Year Prior to Start

  • Winter Intake: February 1 of the Year Prior to Start

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

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

  • Tuition & Fees: $4,770 / Books & Supplies: $290

*These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. Please note that all fees are best estimates and are subject to change.

What do I need to apply?

Admission Requirements:

  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement (completed at minimum 3 years of formal education taught entirely in English or provide the results of a recognized English Language Proficiency exam)
  • 18 years of age or older upon completion of the program.
  • Completion of Grade 11.
  • Please refer to tradesecrets.alberta.ca

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 (e.g.: 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*

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.

Where can I live on campus?


CHOC is the exclusive service provider of on-campus housing for Olds College. Live in Centennial Village, our newest campus living facility featuring 450 private suites (no roommates), or in College Courts our 4-bedroom townhouses. Enjoy a short commute to class, partake in weekly residence life events and enjoy the safety of living on campus.

Learn More

I have some more questions. Who do I contact for help?

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



Admitted Students

Admitted Student Information

Program Dates: Find out when you 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 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.

  • Apprenticeship ILM: We use the Apprenticeship ILM’s (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 technical training period.

  • Student Clubs: The Ag Mech Club