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Heavy Mechanical Trades – Foundation/Level 1

Heavy Duty Commercial Transport Technician FoundationProgram Description


The Heavy Mechanical Trades program replaces the program formerly called Heavy Duty/Commercial Transport Technician, as per new guidelines from the Industry Training Authority. The new Heavy Mechanical Trades program includes the following four trades:

Truck and Transport Mechanic (Commercial Transport Vehicle Mechanic):Diagnose, repair and service the mechanical, electrical and electronic components of highway buses and trucks. This includes the fuel, brake, steering and suspension, transmission, emission control and exhaust, and cooling and climate control systems. Mechanics work for commercial transport vehicle dealers, garages and service stations, and may specialize in one or more of these systems.

Heavy Duty Equipment Technician: Overhaul, repair and service heavy equipment used in construction, forestry, materials handling, landscaping, and land clearing such as graders, loaders, bulldozers, shovels, tractors, trucks, forklifts, drills, and wheeled and tracked vehicles. Working from manufacturers' specifications, they identify and repair problems in structural, mechanical, or hydraulic systems. Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians also work on buses and large trucks. 

Diesel Engine Mechanic: Install, repair, and maintain all internal combustion diesel engines and components as used in transport, construction, and marine. 

Transport Trailer Technician: Maintain, rebuild, overhaul, recondition, repair and diagnostic troubleshoot commercial truck trailers. 

If a student is just starting training, or has been unable to secure employ­ment in industry, enrolling in a Foundation Trades Training program is a viable option prior to entering into an Apprenticeship. The Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program consists of the practical and essential skills related to Heavy Mechanical Trades in addition to Level 1 Apprenticeship Technical Training. Upon completion of this program, students will choose which specialization they will apprentice.


Career Prospects

Commercial Transport, Heavy Duty, Transport Trailer,  or Diesel Engine sales or parts, parts or sales manager, business or dealership owner, college instructor, mechanical engineer. 


Location: Northern Lights College, Fort St John and South Peace, Dawson Creek campuses.

Length: 38 weeks

Start: September

Fees: Current Fee Schedule 

Admission Prerequisites

Applicants will fit one of the three specific groups:

1) High school dual credit students - Grade 10 level completion that includes:
Grade 10 English, or Career and College Preparation English 030, with 67% (C+) or higher
Grade 10 Math (Apprenticeship and Workplace Math), or Career and College Preparation Math 030 Intermediate Math, with 67% (C+) or higher

2) Adults – Submission of a high school transcript indicating Grade 10 level completion that includes:
Grade 10 English, or Career and College Preparation English 030, with 67% (C+) or higher
Grade 10 Math (Applications, Principles or Apprenticeship and Workplace Math), or Career and College Preparation Math 030, with 67% (C+) or higher

3) Adults or high school dual credit students – Completion of Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT) assessment:
An applicant who does not have the above academic background is required to write an assessment in Reading Comprehension, Number Operations, Problem Solving and achieve a minimum Grade Equivalent (GE) score of 10.9 or higher and Mechanical Reasoning: 51/70 (6th Stanine) or higher. Based on the results of the assessment(s), applicants may be required to participate in an assessment interview to determine admissibility. Interview may be conducted via teleconference if necessary.

Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAid BC to apply for financial assistance online.
  2. Students must provide safety equipment, including footwear having CSA safety-toe protection and CSA safety glasses with clear lenses.
  3. The program is affiliated with the Industry Training Authority and Peace River North School District 60.
  4. Students are required to sign and adhere to the Trades and Apprenticeship Safety and Attendance Policy. 
  5. The information on this program page is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide approved by NLC’s Education Council. Download a PDF of the Program Completion Guide.

APPLY NOW for the Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program.

Do you need more information?

Associate Dean: Robert McAleney 

Apprenticeship Contact: Department  

Program Instructor: Doug Haycock


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