If you’re passionate about cars and want to build a rewarding career in the automotive industry, this two-year diploma program will set you up for success.

With guidance from our industry-experienced instructors, you will: 

  • learn automotive vehicle maintenance, diagnosis and repairs
  • study manufacturer specifications
  • gain customer service and communication skills
  • work on actual cars and gain real-world experience.

Once you graduate, you’ll have various career options, including working as an apprentice or service advisor in a general or specialty automotive shop.

Many of our graduates choose to continue their training through an apprenticeship. Graduates are eligible to challenge the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) Automotive Service Technician periods one through four exams, a big step towards becoming a journeyperson certified automotive service technician. 

As a journeyperson technician, you can specialize in engines, driveability, electrical systems, chassis systems, wheel alignment and automatic transmissions. You’ll also have the potential to advance beyond mechanics into management positions like shop foreman or service manager.

With a high demand for automotive service technicians, you’ll have a great chance of finding a job in the trade.

Automotive service technicians tend to be objective, innovative and methodical.

You need:

  • an Alberta driver’s license
  • good hearing, eyesight and manual dexterity
  • mechanical aptitude and interest
  • a working knowledge of electricity, electronics and computers
  • customer service skills.

You should enjoy performing tasks that require precision, working with your hands and working independently.

This program aligns with the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) curriculum for Automotive Service Technicians, periods one through four.

Graduates are eligible to challenge the technical training exams. 

Upon passing, you can register as an apprentice and complete the on-the-job training hours to earn your journeyperson designation. Graduates are eligible to receive a 156-hour, on-the-job training credit towards each of the four periods of the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship.

In the second year of this program, you’ll participate in a capstone project where you’ll work in teams to complete research, collect and analyze data and produce a project proposal.

Your team will then execute your proposal, develop progress reports, and a final report and present your outcomes and findings.

Upon successfully completing this program, you’ll be awarded a SAIT Automotive Service Technology diploma.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon 96% graduate employment rate

salary icon $40,000 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

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

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 72020, 72410, 72411, 72422, 72423, 74203.


Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Services and workshops


The Automotive Service Technology program requires 60 credits (20 courses) to complete. 

The program spans two years, with two semesters each year.

View classes by semester

Course Credits

This course introduces an exploration of physical and chemical concepts in technical applications, including vectors, forces, friction, torque, hydrodynamics, materials (stress and strain, expansion), and chemical properties of fluids.

  • MATH 202

This course is designed to develop technical writing and presentation skills to ensure workplace readiness. Students will learn how to evaluate communication situations, analyze documents, assess research sources and develop organizational skills to apply in their work. They will learn about and practice designing, formatting and writing a range of professional documents. Students will also develop confidence (through practice) in the development and delivery of effective and engaging presentations.


Basic electrical principles are emphasized in this practical, hands-on course which focuses on the automotive applications of these electrical principles. Principles of magnetism are also explained. All theory is reinforced in the laboratory by diagnosing and repairing simple electrical circuits, performing electrical wire repairs, diagnosing and servicing batteries, and taking electrical circuit measurements.


Semi-conductors, soldering, engine fundamentals, electrical circuits, and diagnosis of electrical systems are introduced in this course.


This course is designed to give learners experience in performing electrical diagnosis testing on the many electrical accessories in modern vehicles. Learners will also discover the potential of voltage drop testing during the diagnostic processes.


Learners will build on existing electrical/electronics knowledge while exploring hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) designs. Motor generators, electrical controls including inverters, converters, and safety procedures for working on HEV vehicles will be covered. Learners will also gain a better understanding of how these systems are integrated within the vehicle.


This course is available to students in the Automotive Service Technology program and covers the following topics: algebra, equations, angles, trigonometry, force, moments, stress and strain.


The Introduction to Business course will provide you with tools to understand multiple business functions including: management, human resources, marketing, supply chain, and personal finance. You will also explore the Canadian business and economic system, as well as the importance of business ethics and social responsibility in an increasingly global environment. Working through a team project and business simulation, you will begin to develop a 21st Century skill set including communication, critical thinking, collaboration and effective teamwork. By the end of this course, you should have the foundations for understanding business and business ownership.

  • MNGT 1200

Safety, communication, measuring and hand tools, fasteners related to chassis components, suspension systems, steering systems, wheel alignment, drive shafts, and braking systems will be introduced in this course.


Construction, function, and operation of components used in automotive suspension systems, electric and hydraulic assist steering systems, and automotive brake systems are introduced in this course.


Oxy-Acetylene and MIG equipment; testing and analysis of metal behaviour.


Theory and service procedures regarding the use and care of power, hand tools, and fasteners as they relate to engine work and to the operating principles, maintenance, and over haul procedures for automotive engine assemblies and transmissions and transaxles will be introduced. In addition, disassembly, parts recognition, inspection, measurement, and reassembly of automotive engines, battery, starters and alternators will be covered, as well as diagnosing manual transmissions, manual transaxles and clutches.


Theory and service procedures for hand tools and fasteners, operating principles, maintenance, service procedure for automotive engine assemblies, diagnosing manual transmissions, manual transaxles, and clutches, parts recognition, inspection, measurements, servicing, battery, starters, and alternators are introduced in this course.


This course covers the principles of heat transfer and how this can be accomplished with the use of refrigerants. Learners will identify high pressure side and low pressure side components which includes the condenser, accumulator, compressor, and metering devices. Control modules, actuator motors, and switches will also be covered. Throughout the course, there will be an emphasis on safety while working on various air conditioning systems.


This course will offer a practical approach to electrical testing through the use of various pieces of test equipment. Learners will discover how vehicle subsystems operate, how they are tested, and how to make minor repairs to these systems. The systems may include: battery, starter, charging, ignition, fuel, emission, anti-lock brakes, and supplemental restraint systems.


This course will provide the learner with the theory and operation of the electrical, ignition, alternate fuel systems, emissions and various other accessory systems used on vehicles today. Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) and supplemental restraint systems (SRS) will also be covered. Diagnostic processes will also be a focus for each of these systems.


This course provides learners with a background in basic operation, disassembly, and overhaul of automatic transmission/transaxle assemblies. Diagnostic skills and repair procedures will be covered. Learners will also be introduced to other systems, including diesel injection systems, and emission controls.


Learners will be introduced to automatic transmission/transaxle basic theory of operation. This includes planetary gear train operation, torque converter operation, hydraulic pump and pressure regulation, and hydraulic shift control. Electronic shift control, friction element operation, operational diagnosis, diesel injection systems, and emission controls will also be covered.


Learners will be introduced to a variety of after-market vehicle modifications that are available in today’s market. Modifications reviewed may include engine performance upgrades, changes to vehicle ride height, brake system upgrades, and the pros and cons of these after-market systems.


In the AST capstone project, working in teams, learners will be selecting the topic; completing research, data collection, data analysis, and producing a proposal, progress reports, a final report, and an oral presentation.



Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >


Explore your options!

Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies. You can complete courses via Open Studies to get a head start on your education, reduce your course load once accepted into a credentialed program, or determine which career path best suits you before you fully commit. 

You may also take courses for general interest or personal and professional development.

Available Open Studies courses

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.

  • at least 50% in Math 20-1 or 20-2 or 20-3 and
  • at least 50% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2 and
  • at least 50% in a Grade 11 science

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.


Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.


English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Spring 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Closed
  • Application deadline: Feb. 23, 2024
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: Jan. 22, 2024

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Closed
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2024

Winter 2025

Start dates:

Domestic students: Waitlisted
  • Application deadline: Oct. 25, 2024
International students: Open
  • Application deadline: Sept. 30, 2024


2024/25 tuition and fees

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

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $7,050 $1,608 $8,658
2 2 $7,050 $1,608 $8,658
Total cost:

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for international students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $20,370 $1,608 $21,978
2 2 $20,370 $1,608 $21,978
Total cost:

Books and supplies are approximately $450 per full-time year.

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

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

You will need:

  • CSA-approved steel-toe boots and safety glasses
  • welding gloves
  • earplugs (supplied)
  • coveralls.

Service technician coveralls will be available for purchase at the start of the semester. Tools will be provided.

Required equipment/tools

Tools will be provided throughout your program.

A driver's license and the ability to maneuver a vehicle in tight spaces and drive a manual transmission vehicle are highly recommended to succeed in this program and industry. 

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective until June 30, 2024.

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $6,660 $1,570 $8,230
2 2 $6,660 $1,570 $8,230
Total cost:

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for international students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $20,363.40 $1,570 $21,933.40
2 2 $20,363.40 $1,570 $21,933.40
Total cost:

Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the transportation.info@sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages.


Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

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.

Contact us

School of Transportation Advising


International Student Advising