Begin a career in machining, a trade that blends precision, craftsmanship and technical expertise.

Our Machining Technology program offers an extensive, hands-on learning experience, equipping you with the skills to operate precision and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery. These skills are crucial for producing intricate components used across various industries. 

Your toolkit includes computer-driven tools, placing you at the forefront of technology. You’ll gain proficiency in programming and operating advanced equipment such as CNC mills, lathes, electrical discharge machines (EDM), and coordinate measuring machines (CMM).

Additionally, you’ll learn to work with conventional mills, drills, lathes and grinders for metal cutting and shaping operations. 

In this program, you will:  

  • learn a broad range of machining technologies and techniques 
  • learn to set up and operate both manual and CNC machines 
  • master the art of interpreting blueprints and using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software  
  • learn how to plan manufacturing processes and validate design accuracy 
  • gain knowledge in precise measurement techniques and the properties of different metals 
  • learn the fundamentals of effective communication within a machine shop environment. 

This program provides a thorough grounding in foundational and advanced aspects of machining technology for those aspiring to become skilled machinists.

Prepare to join an industry where precision, skill and technological expertise come together to create the components that keep our world running. 

Those in machining tend to be objective, innovative and methodical. 

You need:  

  • mechanical aptitude 
  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • the ability to use your hands skillfully and quickly 
  • the ability to estimate and measure sizes and distances accurately 
  • the ability to work alone on tasks that require concentration and physical effort.

You should enjoy doing creative work with machinery that requires a high degree of skill and precision.

This program aligns with the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) curriculum for all four technical training periods for Machinists.

After successfully completing each of the first three semesters, you’ll be eligible to challenge the exams for periods one through three. At the end of 60 weeks, you’ll be eligible to challenge the period four exam. 

Upon passing the exams, you can register as an apprentice and complete the on-the-job training hours to earn your journeyperson designation. 

You can complete an optional cooperative work term between your first and second year.

This opportunity allows you to apply your classroom learning in the workplace and gain valuable industry experience while networking with a potential employer.

Upon successful completion of this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Machining Technology diploma.

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: 22302, 72010, 72100, 72405, 92023, 94105, 94106.


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.


The Machining Technology diploma requires 60 credits (26 courses) to complete.

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

View classes by semester

Course Credits

This course introduces you to the fundamentals of reading manufacturing blueprints, including sketching and dimensioning objects in an orthographic projection. You’ll explore isometric drawings and sections, and you’ll interpret machine shop drawings containing applied print reading terminology. You’ll also examine the use of manufacturing symbols, assembly drawings, and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. Finally, you’ll learn how computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is used for turning, and you’ll describe the use of fasteners and locking devices.


This course focuses on blueprint reading for CAD/CAM (computed-aided design and computer-aided machinery). You will familiarize yourself with the CAD/CAM milling interface to programming and use the CAD/CAM process knowledge to create a 2D drawing specification and manufacture parts.

  • BLPR 229

This course covers the fundamental aspects of computer-aided manufacturing with application to computerized numerical control (CNC). Learners will use software to interface with CNC applications. This includes creating geometry for grooving, threading and profiling applications. Functions and applications of coordinate measuring machines (CMM) to accurately measure components will be explored and students will apply a machine shop estimating process to calculate job costs.

  • BLPR 235

Create the geometry for advanced machining processes. Edit and import CAD drawings. Apply and verify tool path for advanced milling processes and use of 4th axis in CAM processes.


Learners will gain an understanding of the strategies and skills required for effective communication in a professional environment. Topics include active listening, conflict resolution, writing industry specific reports and documents, developing interview skills, and giving and receiving feedback.


This course introduces you to the science and technology of metals and alloys. This practical data on basic metallurgy and heat treatment as it relates to the machinist trade will help you make informed decisions about suitable material selection and processes in specific applications.


Measuring, gauges and comparators. Description of inspection gauges and comparators for indirect measurement. Determining the accuracy of precision measurement devises such as micrometers and dial indicators. CMM-Coordinate Measuring Machines- Advanced functions of CMM for accurately measuring milled components. Work place coaching skills and Alberta industry network and Red Seal.


Provides the learner with the opportunities to develop skills in the safe and efficient use of hand tools for measurement, layout, metal cutting and assembly work. Learners will also operate pedestal grinders, drilling machines, power saws, engine lathes, drilling machines and milling machines. Basic heat treatment will also be included. Also, this course introduces safe working habits while working with and around oxy-fuel gas cutting and welding processes.


This course introduces you to the fundamental theory you’ll need to work safely and effectively as a machinist. You’ll begin by examining important safety regulations, as well as procedures for working with hazardous materials, and for climbing, lifting, rigging and hoisting. You’ll examine taper systems, screw threads and measuring tools, as well as the lubricants and cutting fluids used in the trade. You’ll also explore the types and operating procedures of a variety of tools and equipment, including oxy-fuel tools, hand tools, layout tools, drills, drilling machines, power saws, lathes and grinders.


This course provides you with hands-on experience to develop advanced machining skills by using a variety of manual machine tools. Vertical and horizontal milling machines will be emphasized, as well as lathes. This course puts into practice the theoretical concepts of the second-period machinist apprenticeship program and includes an introduction to machining castings.

  • MACH 201

This course builds on the theoretical knowledge from the first semester courses and introduces new concepts. Classes will emphasize advanced milling operations and advanced tooling. Additional theoretical concepts required in the second-period machinist apprenticeship program will also be presented.

  • MACH 203

Students will develop skills in precision machining technics related to various Gear types including spur, bevel, helical and worm. This course will also include practical grinding machine operations, types of abrasives, machine broaching, splines and fixtures.


This course covers Gear manufacturing methods with an emphasis placed ongear types, terminology and applications. Grinding machines, abrasives, types of splines, fixtures and broaching machines.


Students will set up and perform boring operations on a boring mill. Demonstrate the machining of bearing journals and procedures for critical alignment of components. Use work holding devises and apply geometric dimensioning and tolerancing for parts and components of a gear box.


Concepts of boring mills and the application of Horizontal and vertical boring operations. Bearings and seals. Advanced machining processes, specialized manufacturing and new and emerging technologies.


This course introduces you to the fundamental mathematical principles that you will need to meet the requirements of the first period machinist apprenticeship program. You’ll explore the trade applications of whole numbers, fractions and decimals, as well as metric and imperial conversion and geometric problems. You’ll perform algebraic operations and use ratios, proportions and percentages to solve trade-related problems. You’ll also examine taper systems and their application in machining operations.


This course is designed for students who are pursuing a career as a machinist technician or in a similar field. You will build on the math skills you’ve learned in the program and apply them to more complex trade-related problems, with units focused on geometry, trigonometry, measurements, conversions, ratios and proportions. You will also learn to use the Machinery’s Handbook to interpret tables, charts and graphs, and to perform calculations and apply geometric concepts to solve shop-related problems.

  • MATH 266

This course is designed for students who are pursuing a career as a Machinist Technician or similar field. You will learn to perform calculations to solve problems in trades-related applications using the Machinery’s Handbook. You will also learn to apply trigonometry concepts to calculate dimensions and fits, to design gauges and solve machining problems. Finally, you will  learn the fundamentals of logic-based statements and arguments.

  • MATH 267

In this course, you’ll learn how to manually program and safely operate computer numerical control (CNC) turning centres, including using control panel functions, performing system setup and manipulating offsets. You’ll also get hands-on experience building and executing a series of lathe profiles to meet specifications.


In this course, you’ll learn the basic theory necessary to operate computer numerical control (CNC) turning centres. You’ll explore the safety procedures, basic concepts and applications of CNC machines, as well as the purpose of co-ordinate and reference points used for CNC machining. You’ll analyze the structure of the CNC format and code structure and you’ll execute and verify manual programs. Finally, you’ll examine CNC turning machine setups and offsets.


The course allows you to apply the theory material covered earlier in the program to the machining process. Topics will include basic start-up and maintenance, as well as set-up and operation of computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines. You will create a fixture for a name plate using a provided drawing, then manufacture and engrave that nameplate.

  • MNFG 201

This course allows you to set up and operate computer numerical control (CNC) machining centers. You will perform functions such as setting tool length offsets, radius offsets, inputting programs, using canned cycles and creating programs. You will also be editing and inserting offsets, as well as changing tools.

  • MNFG 202

Provides the knowledge related to CNC Concepts, programming code and applications for CNC turning Centers. Learners will Program and apply linear and circular tool path motions for workpieces, create a CNC program using canned and repetitive cycles for facing, turning and boring and develop CNC threading programs. Understand the concepts of multi axis turning.


In this shop course, you’ll further develop your skills in operating a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) lathe. You’ll complete multiple projects that involve writing and executing the program, running the threading cycle, taking measurements, demonstrating safe setup and operation procedures, using drawing specifications, applying thread calculations and performing finishing operations.


Concepts and terminology of typical program formats. Linear and circular interpolation for milling operations. Canned cycles used in drilling, boring and tapping operations. Calculate coordinate points for hole patterns and depth of holes for drilling operations. Cutter compensation for milling operations. Advanced programming concepts and applications. Multi axis machining.


Learners will set up and operate CNC machining centre using G, M, S, T & F codes. Demonstrate workshift and tool length offset program codes and arc modifiers for circular interpolation. Demonstrate canned cycles for drilling, tapping and boring. Demonstrate codes used in cutter compensation for milling operations. Use of subprograms. Execute programs on CNC machine centres. Set up and operate 4th axis milling


Course Credits

The cooperative work term course offers students an optional opportunity to augment their classroom learning by applying theoretical knowledge and gaining practical experience in a professional workplace setting. This course serves as a bridge between academic studies and real-world industry practices, enabling students to develop valuable skills, enhance their employability, and establish connections within industry.



You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you 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 >

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 Math 20-2 or Math 20-3 and,
  • at least 50% in English Language Arts 20-1 or English Language Arts 20-2 and, 
  • at least 50% in Science 10

Applicants who have previously completed the SAIT Machinist Technician certificate program or equivalent may also be accepted in place of the above requirements.

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.

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.

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Waitlisted
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: May 29, 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 $9,034.50 $1,608 $10,642.50
2 2 $9,985.50 $1,608 $11,593.50
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 $18,952.50 $1,608 $20,560.50
2 2 $20,947.50 $1,608 $22,555.50
Total cost:

Books and supplies are approximately $2,000 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.


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.

Application process


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. 

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 ma.info@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

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 Manufacturing and Automation Advising


International Student Advising

a view of the moutains and stream in between

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.