Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation

CREDENTIAL: Certificate

Work on machines that do the heavy work! Heavy Mechanical vehicles and equipment are expensive and down time is even more expensive. Skilled mechanics are in constant demand to keep these essential working vehicles in top running order for the construction, transportation, transit, mining, and forest industries.

Tuition: 3552*
Credential: Certificate
Length: 9 0 months
Hours: Full-time
Delivery: Class-based
Program Flyer: Download
Campus: Broadway Broadway
Job opening expected by 2027 †
Job opening expected by 2027 †

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What you will learn

From cities to rural locations and indoor shops to outdoor fields, graduates find work with equipment dealers and manufacturers, in transit repair facilities, and in commercial truck and trailer repair shops in a variety of industries, such as forestry, mining, marine, mobile crane, and construction

The program prepares students for entry level positions as apprentices into the four Heavy Mechanical trades:

  • Diesel Engine Mechanic (DEM)
  • Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (HDET)
  • Truck and Transport Mechanic (TTM)
  • Transport Trailer Technician (TTT)

Areas of study are:

  1. Essential workplace skills (hand tools, power tools, shop equipment, cutting and welding procedures, lifting and supporting loads).
  2. Workplace safety in accordance with occupational health and safety standards. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS).
  3. Service and repair brake systems (hydraulic and air)
  4. Service hydraulic systems
  5. Service and diagnose electrical systems and components
  6. Service, diagnose, and repair frames, steering and suspensions
  7. Service, diagnose, and repair trailer landing gear, accessories, systems and components
  8. Diagnose and repair heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and components
  9. Service engine supporting systems
  10. To remove and install engine and drive train components

What to expect

Instructional activities throughout the program include hands-on practice in school and the workplace, student-led group discussions and presentations, interactive lectures, work report projects, case studies, reflective journaling, and role-play.

Red Seal Essential Skills for Success are integrated throughout the program.

The program is delivered in the classroom, VCC shop, online, and in the workplace.

Admission requirements


  • English 10 or equivalent
  • Apprentice and Workplace Math 10, or equivalent


Recommended Characteristics

Good physical condition is important because the work often requires considerable standing, bending, crawling, lifting, climbing, pulling and reaching. It is strongly recommended that the applicant take the SkilledTradesBC ‘essential skills’ assessment or equivalent self-assessment. This will help in determining if additional education prior to attending this program is required.

Some important attributes of the Heavy Mechanical Foundation Student are:

  • Reliability
  • Analytical skills
  • Ability to read and understand service manuals
  • Mathematical aptitude

They also demonstrate the ability to:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Work with little or no supervision
  • Contribute to a team approach
  • Plan and work sequentially
  • Adapt to changing technology
  • Problem solve

Key attributes for people entering this trade are mechanical aptitude, manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, stamina and agility. Communication skills and patience are also important. Other assets are good vision, hearing, and sense of smell to diagnose problems. This occupation may require a valid driver’s license with air endorsement and/or a forklift operator’s certificate.

Courses *

This program must be completed within two years.

Prior learning assessment and recognition

Prior learning assessment and recognition is not available for this program.

Fees and other costs *

Tuition Deposit

0 (0 non-refundable)

Tution deposits are payable usually within two (2) weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

Fee descriptionFee AmountNotes
Application fee36
Tuition Tuition 3552
Student union192
College initiative103
Materials345 not including textbooks
Campus resource143
Tools (deposit)0
Coverall (deposit)95
Uniform (deposit)0
Medical and Dental 275
Temporary Medical Insurance 0
U-PASS 398
Program-specific extra fees0

Apply now

vcc logo

Info Week at VCC

Join us online or in-person
for our info sessions.

April 22-26

Learn more