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

Diesel Equipment Technician

Waitlisted for Fall 2020

Open for Winter 2021

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: $6,823

Year 1 (International): $19,973

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

Full costs


This is a direct entry program. Applicants who meet the admission requirements are offered spots based on first qualified, first acceptance if space is available.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2020 are accepted Oct. 2, 2019, until March 31, 2020.
Term Program start
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020
Winter 2021 Jan. 11, 2021

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 95% 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 about this specific program?

School of Transportation

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Fall 2020 start: applications are accepted Oct. 2, 2019, until March 31, 2020.

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. 

Direct Entry: four-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: Apply and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.  

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full. 

Step 4: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status and monitor changes to your application status

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 code Course name Credit
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 and Electronics Theory 1.5
HDMC-208 Electrical and Electronics Lab 1.5
HDMC-231 Suspension, Wheels and Systems Lab 1.5
HDMC-232 Suspension, Wheels and Systems Theory 1.5
HDMC-268 Hydraulics Theory 1.5
HDMC-269 Hydraulics Laboratory 1.5
WEPR-207 Oxygen-Acetylene Equipment Lab 1.5
Semester 1 total 19.5

 Semester 2

Course code Course name Credit
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 Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $ 5,601 $682 $288 $252 $ 6,823

International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $18,543 $682 $288 $460 $19,973


Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $100
Student technology fee: $100

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $460
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

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.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Fall 2020

Orientation date

Thursday, Sept. 3


This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.

Computers and laptops

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

Required equipment/tools

A tool list and timeframe to purchase them will be provided at orientation.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during orientation. 

You'll require CSA-approved steel-toe boots and safety glasses as well as SAIT branded coveralls with an ID number on the pocket.

Preparation courses

To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 145: Orientation for Apprentices and ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices. 

Required textbooks

The Fall 2020 booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start. We recommend you wait to buy your books until your first few days of classes and speak with your instructors.

You will need the Individual Learning Module package for the period of technical training you are registered for. 


Phone: 403.774.4985
Email: transportation.info@sait.ca

Academic chair

Mike Steman, Academic Chair
Email: mike.steman@sait.ca

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