Learn to perform preventative maintenance, diagnose faulty operations and repair automotive vehicles and light trucks.

If you like problem-solving, performing precise work and working in a constantly evolving environment with independence, you'll enjoy the automotive service trade.

In general, you'll:

  • adjust, test and repair engines, steering and braking systems, drive trains, vehicle suspensions, electrical systems and air-conditioning systems
  • complete wheel alignments
  • repair, rebuild and service specific parts
  • take in work orders
  • examine vehicles to find the cause of faulty operations
  • test equipment and refer to manufacturers’ specifications
  • take vehicles for test drives
  • perform scheduled maintenance services like oil changes, lubrications and tune-ups
  • advise customers on work, general vehicle conditions and future repair requirements.

To work in this trade, certification is required. This means that you must either be a registered apprentice working under the guidance of a certified journeyperson or be a certified journeyperson yourself.

Roger Haddad, 2007 Automotive Service Technician graduate, is SAIT's first ever International Impact Alumni Award recipient and he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.

To succeed in this trade, you should:

  • have good customer service and communication skills
  • be detail-oriented with a desire to do precise work
  • have good hearing, eyesight and manual dexterity
  • have a mechanical aptitude and an interest in the field
  • be willing to stay up to date with changing technology
  • have working knowledge of electricity and computers
  • be committed to maintaining safe work habits.

Upon successfully completing the required working hours and technical training periods, you'll be awarded an advanced diploma in addition to journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Automotive service technicians is a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.

Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training

You can fast-track your career as a Ford Dealership Technician with hands-on learning at SAIT and on-the-job training at a Ford dealership. This program includes a paid co-op work experience at a Ford dealership and four, 8-week periods of Ford-specific technical instruction at SAIT.

Graduates receive Ford Motor Company of Canada Service Technician Specialty Training (STST) credentials, recognized throughout North America.

GM Automotive Service Educational Program

Streamline the path to becoming a certified General Motors Automotive Service Technician. Combine GM-specific, hands-on learning at SAIT and paid work experience at a local dealership.

Work at a GM dealership, earn a post-secondary certificate and grow your career in one of the most important industries:

  • fast-paced apprenticeship program
  • alternate between attending school and working at a GM dealership for two years
  • four, 8-week periods of technical instruction at SAIT
  • GM product-specific training pre-requisites included with your training.

GM provides new vehicles, training components and training aids for students to learn from. SAIT instructors are GM-trained and in touch with the latest automotive technology trends.

Career enhancement opportunities exist for graduates to progress within the dealer organization to roles such as service manager, parts manager, fixed operations manager, etc.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 72020, 72410, 72422, 72423, 74203.

Apprenticeship training

The term of apprenticeship for an automotive service technician is four years (four 12-month periods), including a minimum of 1560 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of classroom instruction each year.

Year 1 | Period 1

You'll learn about workplace safety, materials and tools. You'll also cover suspension, steering, brake systems, electrical level one and basic maintenance.

Training length: 8 weeks

Year 2 | Period 2

You'll learn about engines, manual transmissions, transaxles and clutches, transfer cases, drive axle assemblies and electrical level two.

Training length: 8 weeks

Year 3 | Period 3

You'll learn about electrical level three, ignition systems, fuel systems, emission control systems and electrical systems diagnosis.

Training length: 8 weeks

Year 4 | Period 4

You'll learn automatic transmissions and transaxles, diesel fuel systems, HVAC systems, hybrid electrical vehicles, workplace coaching skills, Red Seal standards, vehicle system management, integration and vehicle networks.

Training length: 8 weeks

Apprenticeship education performance

You must pass each section of the course and the AIT exam to succeed in apprenticeship education. 

The passing grade for each period is no less than 50% in each course, with no less than a 65% average overall. A passing mark on each provincial exam and the interprovincial qualification (Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

View Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures

Training pathways

You can earn your journeyperson designation in the following way.

The traditional training pathway begins with finding a job with an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice. Once you are an apprentice, you will alternate between on-the-job training and educational periods. 
You must apply for an apprenticeship through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training before attending your first education period at SAIT. 

SAIT’s two-year diploma program, Automotive Service Technology, equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully challenge the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) exams for Automotive Service Technician periods one through four.  
In addition, upon completing the program, you will be eligible to receive a 300-hour credit towards the on-the-job training requirement for each of the four periods of the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship.  

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Pre-employment pathway

SAIT’s Pre-employment Automotive Service Technician program prepares you to enter into an apprenticeship with hands-on skills. Upon successfully completing the program, you’ll qualify to challenge the first-year Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship exam.

Admission requirements

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 requirements

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

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

Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training and GM Automotive Service Educational Program admission process

You should be ready to learn in a fast-paced, challenging environment in these specialized programs.

To gain admission, you must first follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a letter of sponsorship from a participating dealership. You will be required to participate in an interview with the dealer to ensure you meet the entrance requirements.
  2. Complete and submit the preliminary data form. Submit your high school transcripts with this form. If you are having trouble obtaining your transcripts, contact SAIT at 403.284.8471.
  3. Complete the aptitude test. Contact the School of Transportation at 403.284.8471 or email transportation.info@sait.ca to book your test date and time. If you pass the aptitude test, you will be notified that you can register as an apprentice. 

Preliminary data form

A woman wearing coveralls and a welding helmet poses for a photograph in a SAIT welding lab.


Once you have begun working as an apprentice, you can attend SAIT to complete your technical training.

You'll register for technical training at SAIT on MyTradeSecrets or you can register by phone.

Transfer agreements

At SAIT, we evaluate post-secondary credit you have previously earned and apply it to your SAIT credential. Explore our formal transfer agreements available for this program.

We can evaluate your prior education, even if we don't have a formal agreement in place.

Submit a transfer credit application

There are no formal transfer agreements currently in place for this program.

Transfer options for graduates

Build on the knowledge you’ve learned at SAIT. The opportunity to advance your education at an accredited post-secondary institution may be available.

🔗 Visit Transfer Alberta search tool for a full list of transfer opportunities within the province.

Thompson Rivers University

Program name
Bachelor of Technology: Trades and Technology Leadership
Available credits:
Upon successful completion of your apprenticeship program, you will be eligible to transfer into the Bachelor of Technology: Trades and Technology Leadership at Thompson Rivers University, provided you meet all other admission criteria and space remains available in the program.

Available intakes


2024/25 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2024.

The estimated total cost of 2024/25 tuition and fees in each period of technical training.
Period Number of weeks Tuition fees Additional fees Total
1 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
2 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
3 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
4 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
Total cost:

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on the computers and laptops page.

Books or modules, along with other items for classes, are approximately $600 per period.

It's recommended you don't 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 (PPE) will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

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Funding options for apprentices

Apprentices get to learn while they earn, but there are still costs to consider. Many resources are available at SAIT and federally to help support apprentices.

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.


Have more questions?

Technical training at SAIT

School of Transportation


Apprenticeship training and registration

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services

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Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.