The Pre-Employment Mobile Crane program offers an alternative route to those wishing to enter the Crane and Hoist Equipment Operator trade.

This program covers all course materials taught in the first year of the Crane and Hoist Equipment Operator — Mobile Crane and Crane and Hoist Equipment Operator — Boom Truck programs and safety and field operations courses.

Students in this program will operate cranes in both simulated and field environments. They will operate various mobile cranes: all-terrain, rough-terrain, lattice-boom crawler (simulated) and swing-cab boom truck.

Mobile Crane operators are employed by general contractors and subcontractors in the forestry, mining, construction and oil industries and by crane rental companies. Employment prospects change with seasonal and economic climates.

If you chose a career as a Mobile Crane Operator, you'll need the following characteristics:

  • good vision
  • depth perception
  • manual dexterity
  • the ability to work at heights
  • the strength, stamina and ability to use proper lifting techniques to lift items weighing over 25 kilograms
  • the ability to work as part of a team and communicate with ground crews, usually using hand signals and voice communication

After you successfully complete this program, you may choose to continue your training as an apprentice. Once indentured by an employer, you may register for one of the following apprenticeship programs at SAIT.

You may be eligible to challenge the written and practical exams for first-year apprenticeship.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a SAIT pre-employment certificate.

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Careers and opportunities

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


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 Pre-Employment Mobile Crane certificate requires 13.5 credits (6 courses) to complete.

Course Credits

In this course, students will learn about safety legislation, regulations and industry standards including specifics on codes and regulations, climbing, lifting, rigging, hoisting, hazardous materials and fire protection. Students will be identifying and describing the structural and operational characteristics of mobile cranes. The student will be able to identify the responsibility of each person regarding operating procedures for a lift, including the identification of weights of loads using available means.


In this course, students will be working with types of boom trucks and mobile cranes along with their respective components. Students will understand the maintenance required for hoisting equipment. Students will be describing and demonstrating the proper use of rigging and rigging equipment. Students will be able to describe the construction type’s functions of wire rope, as well as the proper use and application of reeving and lacing.


In this course, students will be in a practical lab where they will demonstrate the correct use of outriggers and leveling procedures for a crane. Students will learn about the types of slings, rigging hardware and accessories, rigging calculations and procedures. The student will demonstrate proficiency in crane operations for load measurement, total load as well as show the ability to follow standard crane hand signals and operate the equipment in a safe, smooth and controlled manner.


In this course, students will combine theory and practical hands-on experience with load charts. While operating a crane, students will be required to calculate safe load weights, conversions of area and volumes as well as the ability to determine weight based off material. This course will ensure that students have a substantial understanding and executing load charts successfully.


In this course, students will review equipment transportation, site preparation, loading and unloading equipment, equipment set up, assembly and disassembly of hoisting equipment, principles of operation, lift planning and lift operations. Students will also understand the rules of leaving the crane unattended.

In addition, this course will explain and discuss the rules and regulations relating to the mobile crane trade. The student will be able to determine safe operating practices relating to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA). We will also overview WHMIS, fire extinguisher safety and transportation.


In this course, students will learn about specialty lifts including multi-crane lists, personnel baskets and new technology. Students will be provided with the basic mechanical and hydraulic principles for mobile cranes. You will learn the fundamentals of diesel power and hydraulic circuits and how to apply these fundamentals to a mobile crane. Additionally, students will learn about workplace coaching skills and the industry network.



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 >

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and have successfully completed the following courses or equivalents:

  • Math 10C, Math 10-3 and
  • English Language Arts 10-1 or 10-2

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

This program is currently not offered for the upcoming academic year. 


2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.

Domestic students

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 0.5* $8,568 $157 $8,725
Total cost:
*Less than a full semester of 16 weeks.

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 - $1,500 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)

All CSA-approved PPE includes: hardhat, steel-toe boots, reflective vest, safety glasses and work gloves.


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
Canada Alberta Job Grant icon

This program is eligible for Canada Alberta Job Grant funding.

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

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