Do you enjoy problem solving and working with your hands? Can you work in cramped or awkward positions for long periods of time? If so, the Heavy Equipment Technician Apprenticeship might be right for you.
See the Courses tab below for details on program delivery.
- All of our services to students remain available virtually.
- See the minimum technology requirements required to participate in online elements of this program.
- Visit our Student Awards and Financial Aid page for information about COVID-related supports and Lethbridge College's own emergency funding for students.
You’ll take mechanics to the next level in our Heavy Equipment Technician Apprenticeship program. Mixing technical experience with on-the-job training, you’ll spend the majority of your time learning from a qualified heavy equipment technician and the rest in specialized courses taught by experienced instructors.
Over four years, you’ll learn how to interpret work orders and technical manuals; maintain, diagnose, adjust, repair or replace equipment; and test repaired components for optimal performance. You’ll gain all the mechanic skills and abilities required to enter this dynamic career – whether you find yourself working for a fleet company that follows a regular preventative maintenance schedule, a dealership where your focus will be specialized or on a construction site contributing to a specific project.
The job prospects for heavy equipment technicians are strong now and into the future. Get started on the road to your career – apply for the apprenticeship program today!
Once you finish your apprenticeship, you’ll be able to start your career in industries that use heavy equipment such as:
A blended course is intentionally designed to include continuum of both face to face/on-campus and online delivery. This includes both synchronous (in real-time on a set schedule) and asynchronous learning strategies (learning that does not occur at the same time or same place). Communication, instruction and assessment components of a blended course provide consistent information but go further by enhancing and supplementing each other. Students may complete some of their lessons online and may also be required to come to campus.
Learning does not occur at the same time or same place. Instructor provides materials including online readings, recorded lectures or presentations, posted lecture notes, video content, assignments and exams for online completion. Students access the course materials within a flexible timeframe prescribed by the instructor.
Learning happens in real time. Student and instructors interact and engage with each other in a specific virtual space, through a specific online medium, at a specific time. This can include video conferencing, live chatting, and live-streaming lectures.
Apprenticeship programs require eight to 12 weeks of classroom training each year in addition to on-the-job training.
- Hydraulics 1 and hydraulic brake systems
- Air brakes
- Engine fundamentals, service and repair
- Diesel fuel injection systems
- Powertrain (specific to off-road)
- Heavy duty charging and cranking systems
View the full course outline for the Heavy Equipment Technician.
- Successful completion of English 20-2, Math 20-3 and Science 10, or entrance exam.
- English 30-2, Math 30-3, Physics 30 or Chemistry 30 or Science 30 and related career and technology studies recommended.
Please note: You must be a registered apprentice to apply for this program. Information on how to become a registered apprentice is available on the Alberta Government's website.
Additional information on apprenticeship and industry training is available on Alberta's Tradesecrets website.
You can apply for apprenticeship and industry training through MyTradesecrets.
Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board
Provincial Building, Room 280
200 - 5th Avenue South
Lethbridge AB T1J 4C7
Outside of North America: 1-403-476-9757
Ask about the Alberta Apprenticeship Scholarship Program. You might discover you’re eligible for a financial award!
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An industry in need of skilled workers
Regardless of the economy, trades are an essential component of any society.
A cultural shift towards university education and bachelor’s degrees has meant an aging population in the trades has fewer and fewer skilled workers to pass the wrench to. Regardless of the economy, trades are an essential component of any society. Check out the Canadian Government’s job market profile as well as Alberta’s occupational profile for a look at your prospects in the heavy equipment repair industry.
Hands-on, immersive training
Graduate ready to work
Train on the newest industry equipment and technology.
Graduate ready to work
When you enter the workforce after our program, there’ll be no surprises. Multiple agreements with our industry partners mean that we have new equipment for our students to train on every year. In addition to this state-of-the-art equipment, we have all the scan tools, laptops and manufacturer-specific software that is needed to prepare you for the industry.
The AGCO Advantage: First in Canada
To ensure you receive the most relevant industry training possible, we remain on the leading edge of industry developments. We became the first post-secondary institution in Canada to sign an AGCO Advantage partnership agreement with AGCO Corporation and Hanlon Ag Centre Ltd. As a student in our Ag and Heavy Equipment certificate program or apprenticeships, you’ll:
- train on the latest industry-standard components
- learn from experienced instructors who have received factory training from AGCO
- be knowledgeable about the state-of-the-art technologies used on AGCO equipment
For AGCO dealers throughout southern Alberta and beyond, you’ll be a valuable asset already equipped with the skills and experience needed for the job when you graduate.
Investing in the workforce of tomorrow
A modern facility dedicated to training the next generation of service technicians.
Investing in the workforce of tomorrow
The Crooks School of Transportation resides within the first phase of the Technologies, Trades and Innovation Facility. This 41,317 square-foot building was made possible by Art and Mary Jane Crooks as well as the generosity and ongoing support of our industry partners. They have invested in the workforce of tomorrow – they have invested in you.
The Crooks School of Transportation features:
- 14 hoists in the automotive lab
- four agricultural and heavy equipment bays
- three dynamometers, or "dynos" for short (an engine dyno, a chassis dyno and a transmission dyno), which are devices used for measuring the power produced by an engine, motor or other rotating prime mover
- the Western Tractor Technology Lab, an advanced agricultural technology room supplied with industry-leading technology from Western Tractor
“As business people, we realize just how important the trades are,” said Art Crooks at the unveiling. “We know the ‘old gang’ is retiring and we need new people to take their place. The purely academic stream has been overemphasized and students are not always encouraged to enter a trade, yet they provide professional and rewarding careers in which skilled people can make a good living. When we moved here, we became much more aware of the work being done by Lethbridge College in trades education. We hope our gift helps keep students in Lethbridge and makes training at Lethbridge College as accessible as possible.”
Video games in college?
You bet! Simulation technology is changing the industry and your education.
Video games in college?
Video games as an educational tool might seem a bit bizarre at first, but simulation allows you to perfect a new skill and test systems before they’re even built. In our Agricultural and Heavy Equipment Technician program or apprenticeships, you’ll use a hydraulic simulation program to virtually build hydraulic systems and test them before doing any of the work in real world.
A chance to be the best of the best
Not many have the opportunity to compete on the national stage in their line of work, even fewer can say they’re the best of the best at what they do – and have the gold medal to prove it. But Nathaniel deWilde, a graduate of our Heavy Equipment Technician Apprenticeship program, can. He won gold at the 2015 Skills Canada National Competition in the heavy equipment service category.
The gold medal exemplified deWilde’s hard work and the quality training of our program. The entire staff in Crooks School of Transportation came together to aid in deWilde’s success, providing teaching support, allowing extra time for him to practice and train, and even contacting industry partners to arrange for deWilde to spend time familiarizing himself with the equipment that was going to be used in the competition.
Interested in your chance to be the best of the best? Learn more about the regional and provincial competitions in Alberta at Skills Canada Alberta.
From here to there: alumni updates
Lethbridge College isn’t just a place to go to school – we’re a community that is here to support you from your initial interest in our program through to the moment you cross the stage at Convocation and beyond. Just take a look at where an LC education has taken some of our grads.
Kevin lives in Taber and works for Rocky Mountain Equipment as a service manager.
– From Fall 2015 Wider Horizons
“After completing the agricultural mechanics diploma, I went into industry in the Lethbridge area. I acquired my Heavy Equipment Technician designation as well and began teaching both agriculture and heavy equipment at Olds College in 2006. I completed my Master’s degree in Leadership through Royal Roads University in 2012. In addition to teaching, I am also the program coordinator for the school of trades, farrier program, and trans-vocational program at Olds College. In reflection, it’s amazing where one can wind up it seems. I am always thankful for my time at Lethbridge College and enjoy keeping up with all the wonderful changes there.”
– From Winter 2015 Wider Horizons
G. David Fajnor
“I moved to Calgary in 2001 and I worked for Calgary Transit repairing buses and trains. I moved over to the Calgary Fire Department for the last four years and now repair the fire equipment.”
– From Fall 2010 Wider Horizons
Investing in the future of service technicians
Take a walk through one of the equipment bays in the Crooks School of Transportation. It could be your classroom.