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Assiniboine’s nine-month Heavy Equipment Technician certificate pre-apprenticeship program prepares graduates to service agricultural, heavy equipment and transport trucks.   

Heavy duty equipment technicians inspect, diagnose, repair, adjust, overhaul, maintain, test and verify heavy duty equipment.  

Graduates will be ready to take on entry-level roles in industries like construction, agriculture, transport, mining, oil field and forestry, with jobs available as technicians in the farm machinery, truck transport and construction equipment sectors. 

Due to the size and complexity of the equipment, safety is of prime importance. Technicians must be conscious of the impact on people, equipment, work environment when performing their tasks. There is risk of injury when working with heavy equipment.  

If you register as an apprentice within two years of finishing the program you may receive credit for Level 1 of Agricultural Equipment Technician apprenticeship, Heavy Duty Equipment Technician apprenticeship, or Truck and Transport Mechanic apprenticeship.

Program Learning Outcomes 

  • Complete work in compliance with provincial and/or national codes, applicable laws, standards and ethical practices in industry. 
  • Comply with health and safety practices and procedures in accordance with current legislation and regulations. 
  • Perform basic welding tasks.  
  • Identify and safely use a variety of hand tools. 
  • Access repair information using service manuals and/or digital resources. 
  • Diagnose and repair engines and engine support systems. 
  • Diagnose and repair hydraulic and pneumatic systems. 
  • Diagnose and repair drivetrain systems. 
  • Diagnose and repair steering, suspension, brake systems, wheel assemblies, and undercarriage. 
  • Diagnose and repair electrical and vehicle management systems. 
  • Diagnose and repair heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. 
  • Diagnose and repair structural, components, accessories, and attachments. 
  • Develop and use strategies for ongoing professional development to remain current with industry changes, enhance work performance and explore career opportunities. 
  • Communicate and collaborate with diverse clients, supervisors, coworkers and tradespersons to complete projects on time and to maintain effective working relationships. 
  • Communicate and collaborate with diverse clients, supervisors, coworkers and tradespersons to complete projects on time and to maintain effective working relationships. 

Examples of what heavy duty equipment technicians can do: 

  • Perform general maintenance and inspections. 
  • Interpret and analyze results of functional tests and inspections to determine required repairs according to manufacturers’ specifications. 
  • Service and repair engines and engine support systems. 
  • Perform initial inspections to identify symptoms such as leaks, damaged components and odours. 

Success Factors 

You might be a good fit for this program if you have or would enjoy: 

  • An interest in mechanical systems and how they work. 
  • Physical fitness required to work with heavy machinery and equipment, lift heavy objects, and perform manual labor. 
  • Troubleshoot mechanical problems and come up with effective solutions. 
  • Pay close attention to detail to ensure that machinery and equipment are repaired and maintained properly. 
  • Working in a range of environmental conditions: from service shops to remote sites. 
  • Working in a collaborative team environment or independently as the situation requires. 
  • Continually learning and adapting to changing conditions and technological advancements in the field. 

A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is strongly recommended given the potential need to travel for practicum placement. 

The industry and program environment require individuals to: 

  • Be reliable, punctual, and regularly attend work. 
  • Move around and work within the environment, negotiating different areas including stairs, confined spaces, heights, uneven terrain and scaffolds. 
  • Complete responsibilities requiring standing, bending, kneeling and climbing. 
  • Have the strength, dexterity, balance and stamina required to work in or on equipment. 
  • Work in noisy, dusty and/or fume areas with appropriate personal protective equipment. 
  • Interpret technical instructions, documents, drawings, specifications, regulations, bylaws and standards. 
  • Communicate effectively with others including suppliers, co-workers, safety inspectors, manufacturer representatives, and customers. 
  • Work in industry-specific shifts, schedules, and conditions. 
  • Listen to direction and act on that accordingly. 
  • Demonstrate safety-conscious attitudes and work practices.


  • A complete Manitoba Grade 12 or equivalent
  • Consumer/Essential Math 40S or equivalent.

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list are expected to meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. 

Program Considerations

To be successful in this program and industry, it is important for you to be able to:

  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including safety glasses and steel toe boots
  • Work outdoors in extreme warm and cold weather conditions (+30°C to -40°C)
  • Use ladders and work at varying heights
  • Be able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds
  • Work as part of a team
  • Be punctual and attend class on a regular basis

International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, please read our Helpful Information for International Applicants prior to applying to this program. 

Careers & Connections

Career Opportunities

  • Dealerships
  • Repair shops
  • Service management
  • Heavy duty or agricultural companies
  • Component parts


Students who successfully complete the accredited certificate program with an accumulative average of 70% or better in the trade subjects and level for which the program was accredited, gain employment and register as an apprentice within two years of graduating, will receive credit for Level 1 in-school technical training and 900 hours in the Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Agricultural Equipment Technician or Truck and Transport Mechanic apprenticeship program.


Tools & Supplies

Our classrooms, labs and shops are equipped with the necessary equipment that you need to make the most of your experience. However, there are some tools and supplies that you will need to purchase for personal use to help you with your studies. Investing in tools is extremely worthwhile as you will be able to use them after you graduate and begin your career. 

Students are advised not to purchase tools until the second week of school. The School of Trades hosts an annual Tool Fair where local tool dealers along with major brand tool supply companies set up displays and offer students great discounts.  The Tool Fair is a terrific way to compare a wide variety of tool features and brand names all within a few steps of one another.  

Booklists are available from your school office 30 days prior to the start date of your program. Visit the Bookstore website to learn more.

Program Checklist and Textbooks/Supplies

Technology Requirements

Programs at Assiniboine have certain technology requirements. Students require access to computer devices at home and may be required to bring these on campus when instructed. Refer to assiniboine.net/tech  for more detailed information about the requirements for this program. 

Courses & Costs


Estimated Program Costs (Domestic students)
 CreditsTuitionCourse feesStudents' Association fees (Inc Health Premium)Estimated textbooks, tools and supplies
Heavy Equipment Technician78$4,630$1,930$590$4,220

All fees are estimated and subject to change without notice.

Estimated Program Costs (International students)
 CreditsTuitionCourse FeesStudents' Association fees (Inc Health Premium)Required Health InsuranceTextbooks, Tools, & Supplies
Heavy Equipment Technician78$20,340$1,930$590$750$4,220

All fees are estimated and are subject to change without notice. All international students must purchase health insurance. The college adds this fee to your student account and then sends your name and fee to the insurance provider on your behalf.


To graduate with a Heavy Equipment Technician certificate, students must successfully complete 75 academic credits and 3 practical credits. The minimum passing grade for each course is indicated on the course outline. Course offerings are subject to change and may vary by intake.

Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
College Foundations (PEDV-0356)

This course improves students’ ability to navigate the college experience and environment, including student's rights, roles, and responsibilities. In this course, students reflect on their skills, attitudes, and expectations and develop learning strategies to help them to become successful, resilient, and self-directed learners. The course covers topics such as success in online learning, time management strategies, learning strategies, assessment taking strategies, academic integrity, information and digital literacy, and wellness, among others. It integrates elements of student orientation.

0 credit(s) No No No
Communications (COMM-0045)

This course includes instruction in techniques to improve both written and oral communication with prospective employers, co-workers and clients. Effective strategies for customer service are emphasized. It also serves to familiarize students with the regulations related to the workplace. As well, students receive an introduction to the use of computer software and hands-on experience with Windows operating system, Internet and email.

3 credit(s) No No No
Electrical Science (ELEC-0001)

This course helps students to develop an understanding of basic electrical science. Students learn about various electrical laws including Ohm's law and are able to follow basic circuit diagrams and understand schematics used in the mechanical trade.

3 credit(s) No No No
Electrical Systems (ELEC-0036)

Electrical and electronic systems are used to operate and control many of the functions found on modern truck, heavy duty and
farm equipment. Technicians require a thorough understanding of the basics of electrical circuits, the principles of operation of
system components and of the inter-relationships between these components. In this course students develop the skills and
knowledge to safely service, diagnose and repair electrical systems and components, including wiring harnesses, switches,
relays, solenoids, circuit breakers, fuses, lighting systems and batteries. Students also diagnose and troubleshoot starting and
charging systems to locate problems. Emphasis is on safety, accuracy and efficient troubleshooting to isolate faulty components
and failure analysis to avoid recurring failures.

15 credit(s) No No No
Engines (MECH-0146)

The diesel engine is the major power source for transportation, farming, construction, mining, stationary equipment and many
additional applications. This course acquaints students with the function, design, operation, diagnosis, service, and repair of
internal combustion engines and their components. Shop activities include identification of various diesel engine types, selecting
repair options, completing parts orders and performing basic engine service. Safe work practices, cleanliness, proper tool
selection and referral to service manuals is emphasized. Following manufacturer recommended procedures, students learn to
disassemble and reassemble various operational multi-cylinder diesel engines. Hands on activities include inspecting and
measuring components for wear and reusability and demonstrate proper reconditioning procedures for serviceable

9 credit(s) No No No
HVAC Systems (MECH-0127)

Prerequisite: WRKP-0036 Orientation/Shop Skills-HDET
This course introduces students to the concepts of compression refrigeration used in mobile heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to cool and dry cabin air, operator comfort and environmental considerations when servicing HVAC systems found in mobile equipment and heavy trucks. Students complete training for MOPIA certification as a component of the course.

3 credit(s) No No No
Hydraulics (MECH-0147)

Hydraulically actuated functions along with hydrostatic drives are the primary means of power transmission on modern heavyduty, agriculture and transport equipment. In this course students learn the principles of operation of various mobile hydraulic
and powertrain drive systems along with techniques used to safely keep them running properly. Practical training focuses on
safely servicing, diagnosing and repairing mobile hydraulic and powertrain drive systems and components.

9 credit(s) No No No
Industry Encounter (BUSN-0154)

This course involves students spending time in an industry setting where multiple departments are involved in the successful operation of the business. This unique experience is used to enhance knowledge of how service, parts and sales departments within a dealership are interconnected.

3 credit(s) No No No
Math - HETCH (MATH-0113)

This course provides students with a review of foundational math concepts and operations in the context of the heavy
equipment trade. Content includes fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios, Metric and Imperial systems of measurement as well
as geometric formulas.

3 credit(s) No No No
Orientation/Shop Skills-HDET (WRKP-0036)

This course prepares students for progression into other program areas by building a solid foundation of shop skills. Students become familiar with college facilities, resources and extracurricular activities. Major course topics include: shop safety procedures, the correct use and maintenance of hand tools, power tools and shop equipment. Demonstrations of precision measuring, fastener identification and tightening procedures are required. Students also learn metal fabrication, basic machinery maintenance, and safe machinery operation. Safe work practices, proper tool selection and referral to service manuals are emphasized.

12 credit(s) No No No
Power Trains (MECH-0148)

A large variety of powertrain designs are used on modern equipment to carry power from the engine to where it is converted to
useful work. In this course, students learn the fundamentals of operation of various types of clutches, manual transmissions,
drivelines, PTOs, differentials, drive axles, final drives and clutch steering systems. Practical training focuses on the service,
diagnosis and repair of these components. Students learn terminology and safe work practices for common braking systems and
wheels, tires, rims and wheels.

12 credit(s) No No No
Practicum-HETCH (PRAC-0290)

Students spend a minimum of 120 hours on the job to gain experience in a work environment. Credit is subject to approval of the work experience by a designated faculty member. The student must submit evidence that the work has been successfully completed.

3 credit(s) No No No
Welding 1 (WELD-0001)

Students learn the basics of oxyacetylene, arc, and mig welding as applied to the mechanical trade.

3 credit(s) No No No

Fast Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next program information session?

Program information sessions are completely free to attend, and we invite you to bring a guest along as well. It's a good idea to register in advance so we know you're coming.

To find the complete schedule for our program information sessions and to RSVP, visit the program information session page.