Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation

Program Description

This program consists of Foundation Heavy Mechanical Trades training and Level 1 ITA Apprenticeship Technical Training. There are four mechanical trades paths introduced in this program: 

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.

There is a two-week Practicum work placement in this program where students will get the opportunity to showcase their skills to a potential employer.

There is a reading week in this program typically at the end of February and the (30) hours are not included in the total hours as they are Non-Contact.

Career Prospects

Truck and Transport/Heavy Duty /Transport Trailer/Diesel Engine service technician, sales or parts, parts or sales manager, business or dealership owner, college instructor.


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

Length: 33 weeks/1160 Hours (137 of which is outside of class time)

Start: September

Fees: Current Fee Schedule

Admission Prerequisites

Provide British Columbia secondary school transcripts or equivalent indicating successful completion of Grade 10 level that includes:
• Grade 10 English, OR Career and College Preparation ENGL 030 (Intermediate/Grade 10) with C+ or higher;
• Grade 10 Math (Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 10), OR Career and College Preparation MATH 030 (Intermediate Developmental Math), MATH 031(Intermediate Trades Math), MATH 035 (Intermediate Algebraic Math) with C+ or higher,


ESTR 037 (Immediate-Level Essential Skills for Trades) with 67% or higher;


Completion of the POWER program at NLC is considered acceptable for entry


Complete the following sections of the Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT):
•           Reading Comprehension: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
•           Number Operations: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
•           Problem Solving: 11.0 grade equivalent or higher
•           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.

Dual Credit  
• Grade 10 level completion that includes Grade 10 English and Grade 10 Math (Apprenticeship and Workplace Math) with C+ or higher.

Important Notes

  1. This program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAid BC to apply for financial assistance online.  Note that dual credit students are not eligible for Student Aid.
  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 School District 60, School District 59, School District 81 and School District 87.
  4. For all students applying to the Dawson Creek Program: NLC’s South Peace campus is connected to the Dawson Creek High School - South Peace campus, the Criminal Records Review Act requires that all students over the age of 19 before classes begin must complete a Schedule Type B Criminal Record Check (CRC). Costs related to the CRC will be paid by the College; please contact the NLC Admissions Officer for more information
  5. The information on this program page is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide approved by NLC’s Education Council

APPLY NOW for the Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program.

Do you need more information?
Contact trades@nlc.bc.ca