Heavy Equipment Technician Pre-Employment

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


Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician

Applications Open: Oct 1, Feb 1

Length of Program: 12 Weeks

Program Status: Open

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.

The Olds College Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician program prepares the graduate for entry level positions in the heavy equipment sector.  It covers basic diagnostics, repair, and maintenance of heavy equipment and its various components. Worksite fundamentals including occupational health and safety are emphasized throughout the training.  This program is the equivalent to the technical training of first year apprenticeship, with additional instructor contact hours.

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. 

What will you learn?

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

  • Describe standard workplace safety, materials and tools

  • Describe suspensions, wheels and systems

  • Describe hydraulics and hydraulic brake systems

  • Describe electrical and electronics

  • Describe air brakes

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.

View Program Outline

Program Details

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 2022
  • Winter Intake: January 10, 2022 - April 8, 2022 *APPLICATIONS OPEN*

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

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: $5,930 / Fees: $475 / Books & Supplies: $290

* 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.*

Admission Requirements:

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.

Career Opportunities

Olds College 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

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 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 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 technical training period.

  • Student Clubs: The 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. The exam challenge fee is $150.00 CAD and payable directly to Alberta's Apprenticeship & Industry Training Board (AIT).

Ready to apply?

Visit our Admissions page for more info or go to Apply Alberta to submit an online application!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the pathway to entering an apprenticeship after I complete the Pre-Employment program?
  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 technical training exam with AIT.

  3. With your graduation certificate and successful Period 1 technical training exam in hand, students will need to find an employer that is willing to indenture them in their respective trade. Please make sure you understand the implications of a compulsory versus optional certification trade when you are approaching employers. Compulsory trades require the employer to have a Journeyperson on staff to supervise your hours.

  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.