Heavy Equipment Technician


Length: 4 periods Credential: Apprenticeship Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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Learn how to maintain, repair and overhaul heavy vehicles, transport trailers, heavy-duty off-road vehicles and industrial equipment.

If you enjoy mechanics, precise work and problem solving, you'll enjoy working as a Heavy Equipment Technician. You'll interpret orders, diagnose faults and malfunctions before adjusting equipment or repairing and replacing defective parts or systems.

In Alberta, you may specialize as transport-trailer mechanics, truck and transport mechanics, heavy-duty equipment mechanic (off-road) or an overall heavy equipment technician.

  • Transport trailer mechanics: transport trailer mechanics maintain, repair and overhaul commercial transport devices that are connected to or moved by a power unit. They provide maintenance and repair flat decks, dry freight vans, refrigerated vans, tankers, converters, boosters, pole trailers, jeeps, steering dollies, dump trailers and other commercial pull-type devices.
  • Truck and transport mechanics: truck and transport mechanics maintain, repair and overhaul on-highway vehicles. They will work on internal combustion engines and components, on-highway vehicles including buses and trucks, towed on-highway and off-highway vehicles including semi-trailers.
  • Heavy equipment technician (off-road): heavy-duty equipment mechanics (off-road) maintain, repair and overhaul heavy equipment vehicles and industrial equipment that is off-road. They will repair internal combustion engines and components, crawler tractors, ground engaging equipment, earth moving equipment, off-highway motor vehicles and towed off-highway vehicles.
  • Heavy equipment technician (overall): heavy equipment technicians are trained to work on transport trailers, trucks and transport vehicles and off-road vehicles. They will maintain, repair and overhaul heavy vehicles and industrial equipment in a variety of settings.

This is a compulsory trade - to work in this trade you need to hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice.

Is this the right fit for me? 

Students who have the following characteristics see greater success in the heavy equipment trade:

  • good vision, hearing and sense of smell to diagnose problems
  • the strength and stamina required to work with heavy equipment and work in cramped or awkward positions
  • comfort in working alone or with a team
  • mechanical ability and an interest in all types of machinery, engines, electronics and precision equipment
  • the ability to problem solve, think logically and keep current with the changes in technology
  • a valid driver’s license is required to operate equipment for testing purposes


Upon successfully completing the required working hours and technical training periods, graduates will be awarded journeyperson status by Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Heavy equipment technicians and their select specialties are Red Seal Endorsed trades – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.

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Career opportunities

Start your career by finding an employer who is willing to indenture you as an apprentice or gain experience with our Diesel Equipment Technician program.

As a heavy equipment technician, you will be employed by specialized repair shops and organizations that own or lease heavy equipment used in the construction, mining, forest, materials handling, landscaping, land clearing, agricultural and transport industries. You will likely work in industrial sites, construction sites, large shops designed to house the heavy vehicles and equipment and some work in modern laboratories. You may work indoors and outdoors depending on the project and your employer may have travel requirements.

After becoming a journeyperson, you may move into management positions. Some journeypersons go on to run their own businesses – we can help you build your business with our Blue Seal business certificate.

$30 - $60
Average hourly wage
Periods of training

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $1,168.72
Year 2: $1,168.72
Year 3: $1,168.72
Year 4: $1,168.72

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


The program requirements are set by Apprenticeship and Industry Training.  

When can you apply?

  • Registration for the 2021/22 academic year opens on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Admission and completion

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance Requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Minimum requirements
Successful completion of the following courses:

  • English 20-2
  • Math 20-3
  • Science 10


A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests


Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam

Recommended Path
Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 20 OR Chemistry 20 OR Science 20
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses

How to register

Registration for technical training is run through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Learn how you can register for your next intake.

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services

Suite 200 Willow Park Centre   
10325 Bonaventure DR. SE 
Calgary, AB

After you register

Email is the primary source of communication after you have registered for your intake. Please ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

Next steps >


Depending on the specialization, apprentices will spend two to four periods of technical training and on-the-job training before becoming a journeyperson.

Heavy equipment technician - transport trailer mechanics: the term of apprenticeship for a heavy equipment technician-transport trailer mechanic is two years (two 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training in the first period and a minimum of 1800 hours of on-the-job training in the second period.

Heavy equipment technician - truck and transport mechanics: the term of apprenticeship for a truck and transport mechanic is three years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each year.

Heavy equipment technician - heavy-duty equipment mechanics (off-road): the term of apprenticeship for a heavy-duty equipment mechanic (Off-road) is three years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each year.

Heavy equipment technician: the term of apprenticeship for a heavy equipment technician is four years (four 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each year.

Training pathway to become a heavy equipment technician journeyperson

Technical Training Performance 

To be successful in technical training, an apprentice must pass each section of the course and pass the AIT exam. The passing grade for each section in the course is a 65%. A passing mark on each Trade Qualification Exam and the Interprovincial Qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures


Domestic tuition and fees*

Period Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees 2021/22 total
1 $899 $197.80 $71.92 $1,168.72
2 $899 $197.80 $71.92 $1,168.72
3 $899 $197.80 $71.92 $1,168.72
4 $899 $197.80 $71.92 $1,168.72


Student support fee: $37.50
Student technology fee: $37.50
Lab and materials fee: $77
Campus recreation fee: $45.80

Books and supplies*

  • Books or modules along with other items for class average out to $600 per period.
  • It is recommended that you do not purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes and they cannot be returned to the bookstore.
  • Personal Protective Equipment will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Learn more about paying for your apprenticeship

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

School of Transportation

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