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2023-2024 Academic Calendar

Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation Certificate

Location(s): ​Dawson Creek, and ​Fort St. John

This program consists of the SkilledTrades – Heavy Mechanical Trades – Foundation training and a 2 week, mandatory work experience placement.

There are four mechanical trades paths introduced in this program:

  1. Truck and Transport Mechanics diagnose, repair and service highway buses and trucks. They work for commercial transport vehicle dealers, garages and service stations. A Commercial Transport Vehicle Mechanic is designated as a Truck and Transport Mechanic under the Interprovincial Red Seal program. These mechanics work on the mechanical, electrical and electronic components of vehicles. This includes the fuel, brake, steering and suspension, transmission, emission control and exhaust, and cooling and climate control systems. Some mechanics specialize in one or more of these systems.
  2. Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians overhaul, repair and service equipment such as graders, loaders, 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 industrial and construction vehicles, such as mining trucks and bulldozers; on heavy equipment used in construction, forestry, materials handling, landscaping, and land clearing; as well as on buses and large trucks.
  3. Diesel Engine Mechanics install, repair, and maintain all internal combustion diesel engines and components as used in transport, construction, and marine industries.
  4. Transport Trailer Technicians maintain, rebuild, overhaul, recondition and perform diagnostic troubleshooting and repair of commercial truck trailers.

There is a reading week in this program typically at the end of February.

Career Prospects

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



Dawson Creek (South Peace Campus)SeptemberCohort 
Fort St JohnSeptemberCohort 


970 hours; approximately 38 weeks long.

Estimated Program Fees

Program fee type: Trades/Apprenticeship (Tier 2)

Costs indicated are estimates for a full-time course load.

Book, instruments, supplies, uniforms/clothing and third-party fees are additional.

Domestic Fees

 TuitionStudent FeesInstruction-related
Fees (includes GST)
Year 1$ 3,317.40$ 162.26$ 497.85$ 3,977.51

International Fees

 TuitionStudent FeesInstruction-related
Fees (includes GST)
Medical Insurance
Year 1$ 11,921.30$ 162.26$ 497.85$ 828.00$ 13,409.41

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Admission Requirements

Complete one of A, B, C, or D:

A. English and Math

English Requirement

One of the following:

  • BC Language Arts 10 Courses – 4 credits earned, minimum individual grade of C+, or equivalent.
  • BC Language Arts 11 Courses – 4 credits earned, minimum individual grade of C+, or equivalent.
  • BC Language Arts 12 Courses – 4 credits earned, minimum individual grade of C+, or equivalent.
  • ENGL 030 or higher, with a minimum final grade of C+, or equivalent.
  • IELTS score of 5.5 overall with no band less than 5.0 or equivalent English placement test and score.

Math Requirement

One of the following:

  • BC Math 10 with a minimum final grade of C+, or equivalent
  • BC Math 11 with a minimum final grade of C, or equivalent
  • BC Math 12 with a minimum final grade of C, or equivalent
  • MATH 030 or higher, with a minimum final grade of C+, or equivalent.

B. ESTR 037


C. Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT)

All of:

  • 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. Interviews may be conducted virtually if necessary.



Post-Admission Requirements

For all students applying to the Dawson Creek location:

NLC’s South Peace campus is connected to the Dawson Creek High School – South Peace campus.  Therefore Criminal Records Review Act requires that all NLC students over the age of 19 before classes begin must submit:

  • A clearance letter from the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP), for a Schedule “B” Criminal Record Check (CRC), WORKS WITH Children or WORKS WITH Children and Vulnerable Adults before beginning the program. Failure to do so and may result in program withdrawal. For information and regulations, see Criminal Records Checks.

Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit Student Aid BC to apply for financial assistance online.  Note that dual credit students are not eligible for Student Aid.
  2. Students must provide personal protective equipment (footwear having CSA safety-toe protection and CSA safety glasses with clear lenses).  Students are required to have a computer (laptop or other mobile device) with minimum computer requirements.
  3. The program is affiliated with SkilledTradesBC and School Districts 60, 59, 81 and 87.

Program Requirements

Residency Requirement100% of each level must be completed at Northern Lights College or by approval of the Dean
Minimum Grade Requirements70% minimum in all courses

All of:


Certificate in Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation