Programs & Courses

Heavy Equipment Technician

About This Program

For official information, please consult the MHC calendar.
Download your information package here.

Our Heavy Equipment Technician program provides you with hands-on experience while learning to maintain, repair and overhaul heavy vehicles and industrial equipment such as rippers, ditchers, backhoes, scrapers, tractors and trucks. We will show you how to work on components of the vehicle including brakes, suspensions, power train, engines, electrical, computer systems, driveline and fuel injection. You will learn how to interpret work orders and technical manuals, test repaired equipment for proper performance, diagnose faults or malfunctions and replace defective parts, components or systems.

If you enjoy precision work, problem solving and working with your hands, you may prefer this field. Having the ability to work independently or as part of a team, and to think logically and keep up to date with changes in technology are other valuable characteristics.

The apprenticeship term for this field is four years, including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each year. We offer all four years of the program in Medicine Hat. At Medicine Hat College, we offer small class sizes, individualized attention and access to updated technology. The Heavy Equipment Technician program is one of eight apprenticeship programs leading to journeyman status and solid careers in the skilled trades.

One of the major reasons students select this career is because of the wages and the job diversity. The Heavy Equipment Technician program can direct you to employment opportunities in the oil field, gas compression and open pit mining. Others find careers working on highway trucks, off-road vehicles such as earth moving equipment, or as a shop foreman, manager or owner.

Many Albertans employed in this classification work in wholesale trade; construction; transportation and warehousing; oil and gas extraction and mining support activities; and metal fabrication and machinery manufacturing.

The first step to becoming an apprentice is finding a job in the trade you would like to study. This is like any other job search, except you are looking for an employer who is willing to hire you as an apprentice in a trade.

Once you have found employment, you can complete the Apprenticeship Application and Contract. This will allow you to be accepted as an apprentice tradesperson. Access the form at www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca.

After your application has been accepted, you will begin training with your employer and are now eligible to register for training at Medicine Hat College. You will then be sent an information package from the college on how to proceed with your registration (dates, times and location of first day of class).

Tuition and Fees

2016/2017 Tuition and Fees

   4 week
(4 credits)
8 week
(10.5 credits) 
12 week
(18 credits) 
 Tuition $392.00 $784.00 $1,176.00
 Consumables Fee $67.00 $67.00 $67.00
 Students' Association $23.60 $61.95 $106.20
 Total Costs $482.60 $912.95 $1,349.20

Tuition fees are set as per Government of Alberta policy. Books and supplies vary with each trade and cost about $400 per training period.

A $100 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration. The balance of tuition is due two weeks prior to the first day of classes. Unpaid tuition will result in an automatic withdrawal from class and you seat will be offered to the next person on the waitlist. No refunds will be issues after the third day of classes.

Relevant Skills and Abilities

  • good vision, hearing and sense of smell to diagnose problems
  • the strength and stamina required to work with heavy equipment and work in cramped or awkward positions
  • the ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • mechanical ability and an interest in all types of machinery and engines, electronics and precision equipment
  • able to think logically and keep up with changing technology

Graduation Requirements

Certification and Graduation

You will be awarded an Alberta Completion of Apprenticeship Certificate when you successfully complete all requirements of your apprenticeship contract. In addition to and depending on the trade, you will receive a Journeyman certification.

Trades eligible for an Interprovincial Red Seal Certificate have an additional exam to write and upon successful completion of the exam, the seal is affixed to the Journeyman certificate when issued.

In the province of Alberta, there are two kinds of regulated trades.

Compulsory Certification
Must be either a journeyman or apprentice to work in the trade as legislated under the Alberta Industry and Training Act.

Optional Certification
Trades training is offered but optional.

Apprenticeship Contracts

Once signed, the contract must be delivered to Apprenticeship and Industry Training. An identification card, course outline booklet and, for most trades, an apprenticeship record book are issued to you. At this point, your apprenticeship training begins.

Attending Technical Training Classes

A notice to attend technical training will be sent about two months before classes begin. Class schedules are posted on www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca. Registration for your technical training must be arranged through Medicine Hat College in the appropriate trades program.

Promotion Requirements

You must write an Apprenticeship and Trade Certification exam at the end of each technical training class. The passing mark is 70%. If you do not pass, you may be offered an apprenticeship supplemental exam. You must take the course again if you do not pass the supplemental exam.

To progress from one training period to the next and get a wage increase, you must

  • pass the apprenticeship exam.
  • receive an acceptable mark in the course.
  • obtain the required number of hours of work experience.
  • receive a satisfactory report from your employer.

Scholarship Info

Medicine Hat College distributes over $300,000 in scholarships and bursaries each year. Applying online is easy!

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Funding Your Education

There are several options to assist you in funding your education at MHC. Find out what option is best for you.

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