Home Programs & Courses Full-Time Studies Diesel Equipment Technician
Students perform an engine tune-up on a heavy equipment machinery.

Diesel Equipment Technician

Closed for Fall 2019

Length: 1 Year
Credential: Certificate
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Train for a career repairing, maintaining and overhauling transport vehicles and heavy equipment. A combination of action-based learning in a shop environment and theory courses will prepare you for a career in a number of industries and let you continue your path as a heavy equipment technician apprentice.

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Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $6,065
Year 1 (International): $19,527

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


You will be offered admission to this program if you meet the admission requirements and qualify through competitive entry. Competitive entry is based on a two-step process: aptitude testing and a career investigation report, if required.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2019 are accepted Oct. 3, 2018, until March 1, 2019.
TermProgram start
Fall 2019 Sept. 3, 2019 

50 years of heavy equipment training

In 1967, the first Diesel Mechanics program in Alberta started at SAIT. Today, we provide training to over 500 apprentice and full-time students every year. Skills-oriented learning, industry-experienced instructors and providing our Diesel Equipment Technician students with real industry work experience makes us a leader in heavy equipment training.

Program Details

Program description

This 30-week program has been designed by industry representatives to meet the specific needs of today’s large and diverse heavy equipment industry. After completing the program, you will be a highly trained entry-level tradesperson ready to enter the work force as a Heavy Equipment Technician apprentice. As a graduate of the program you may be credited with up to 600 hours worth of work experience towards your apprenticeship, as well as the opportunity to write your first and second period apprenticeship exams.

Your career

This program will prepare you for a mechanical repair career in light and heavy construction, oil field support, forestry, mining, marine, on-highway transportation trucks, public utilities, gas compression, agriculture or any other industry that relies on heavy equipment or diesel engines. Career progression may include shop foreman, service manager, manufacturer district service representative, technical training instructor, factory quality control inspector, regional service manager or fleet maintenance manager.

  • Graduates of the Diesel Equipment Technician program have a high employment rate

Student success

  • Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT's programs.
  • Students who have taken automotive mechanics in high school experience greater success in the Diesel Equipment Technician program.

Credentials and accreditation 

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT certificate as a Diesel Equipment Technician.

Students achieving a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 will be allowed to challenge the Heavy Equipment Technician 1st and 2nd year technical exams from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. A Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) form and a fee will be required by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Successful students may also be granted up to 600 hours of work credit towards their apprenticeship hours.

Transfer options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:

  • Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training
  • NAIT

To learn more, visit transfer options.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca.

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Fall 2019 start: applications are accepted Oct. 3, 2018, until March 1, 2019.

Admission requirements

A minimum of 70 Alberta High School credits (Grade 11) with at least 50% in the following courses or equivalents:

  • Math 20-1 or Math 20-2 or Math 20-3 or Pure Math 20 or Applied Math 20
  • Grade 11 English
  • One Grade 11 Science 
  • All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Competitive entry: seven-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines. 

  • Applications and proof of the admission requirements (transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) must be submitted by March 1 to be included in the selection. 
  • Selection is done on a continuous basis beginning in December and will continue until the program is full. There will be 30 seats offered.
  • Qualified applicants will be contacted by the School of Transportation to write an aptitude test evaluating the following:
    • mechanical reasoning
    • English comprehension
    • mathematics
  • You may be required to complete a career investigation report, depending on the results of your aptitude test. If so, the report will be emailed to you.
  • We encourage you to apply early as this program may fill up quickly based on the first round of aptitude testing.

Step 4: Apply to Diesel Equipment Technician and submit your transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "in selection."

Step 6: Write your aptitude test.

  • If you live more than 300 km from Calgary and cannot attend a testing session without hardship, alternative arrangements for testing will be considered.
Aptitude test scoreNext step
70% or above You will be offered a seat in the program or waitlisted in ranked order, based on aptitude test score. Offers will be dependent on seat availability.
60-69% You will be required to complete a career investigation report. The report will be emailed to you with further instructions. The report will be assessed and the score will be added to the aptitude test score to determine a composite score.
  • If the composite score is above 70% you will receive an offer or placed on a ranked waitlist dependent on the availability of seats.
  • If the composite score is below 70% you will be declined.
59% and below Applicants who score 59% and below on the aptitude test will be declined.

Step 7: Continue to monitor changes to your application status through mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication during selection

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


Program outline

View additional Diesel Equipment Technician program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.

Semester 1

Course codeCourse nameCredit
HDMC-200 Mechanical Skills Theory 1.5
HDMC-204 Mechanical Skills Lab 1.5
HDMC-205 Braking Systems Theory 3.0
HDMC-206 Braking Systems Lab 3.0
HDMC-207 Electrical/Electronics Theory 1.5
WEPR-207 Oxygen-Acetylene Equipment Lab 1.5
HDMC-268 Hydraulics Theory 1.5
HDMC-269 Hydraulics Lab 1.5
HDMC-231 Suspension, Wheels and Systems Lab 1.5
HDMC-208 Electrical/Electronics Lab 1.5
HDMC-232 Suspension, Wheels and Systems Theory 1.5
Semester 1 total 19.5


Semester 2

Course codeCourse nameCredit
COMM-209 Business Communications 1.5
HDMC-240 Electrical Charging, Cranking Theory 3.0
HDMC-241 Electrical Charging, Cranking Lab 1.5
HDMC-255 Diesel Engine Theory 1.5
HDMC-257 Diesel Engine Lab 3.0
HDMC-258 Engine Tune-up Theory 3.0
HDMC-259 Engine Tune-Up Lab 3.0
HDMC-266 Powertrain Lab 1.5
Semester 2 total 18.0
Program total 37.5


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.


Domestic tuition and fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees 2019/20 total
1 $5,092 $462 $523 $6,077

International tuition and fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees 2019/20 total
1 $18,543 $462 $523 $19,527

SAIT fees

Campus athletic and recreation fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $302

SAIT Students' Association fees

Health plan: $110**
Dental plan: $125**
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): $288

Books and supplies*

  • Books and supplies (including personal protection equipment) cost approximately $1,000.
  • The required tools will cost approximately $1,500 - $5,000 depending on the quality and brand of tools chosen.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
** For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.


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