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:
- Essential workplace skills (hand tools, power tools, shop equipment, cutting and welding procedures, lifting and supporting loads).
- Workplace safety in accordance with occupational health and safety standards. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS).
- Service and repair brake systems (hydraulic and air)
- Service hydraulic systems
- Service and diagnose electrical systems and components
- Service, diagnose, and repair frames, steering and suspensions
- Service, diagnose, and repair trailer landing gear, accessories, systems and components
- Diagnose and repair heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and components
- Service engine supporting systems
- 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.
- English 10 or equivalent
- Apprentice and Workplace Math 10, or equivalent
- This program is available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. See program options for international students at VCC International.
- Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous are strongly encouraged to connect with VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement team to learn more about VCC’s Indigenous Enrolment policy, application preparation/completion, program advising, and a range of other individualized services.
- Applicants must submit official transcripts and educational documents as required by their course or program.
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:
- 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.
This program must be completed within two years.
Prior learning assessment and recognition
Prior learning assessment and recognition is not available for this program.
|HMEC 1101||Safe Work Practices||1|
|HMEC 1106||Tools and Equipment 1||1|
|HMEC 1107||Tools and Equipment 2||1|
|HMEC 1111||Fasteners and Fittings||1|
|HMEC 1116||Equipment Operation||1|
|HMEC 1126||Lubricants and Bearings||1|
|HMEC 1131||Employment Skills||1|
|HMEC 1160||Cutting and Welding 1||1|
|HMEC 1161||Cutting and Welding 2||1|
|HMEC 1165||Math, Science and Loads||1|
|HMEC 1170||Final Drives and Undercarriage||1|
|HMEC 1175||Frames, Wheels, Tires and Hubs||1|
|HMEC 1235||Steering Systems||1|
|HMEC 1240||Suspension Systems 1||1|
|HMEC 1241||Suspension Systems 2||1|
|HMEC 1245||Hydraulic Systems||1|
|HMEC 1250||Hydraulic System Service||1|
|HMEC 1260||Batteries and Electrical Test Instruments||1|
|HMEC 1265||Starters and Charging Systems||1|
|HMEC 1270||Electrical Circuits, Cab and Protective Structures||1|
|HMEC 1275||Hydraulic Brakes Systems||1|
|HMEC 1280||Power Brakes||1|
|HMEC 1285||Air Brakes 1||1|
|HMEC 1315||Air Brakes 2||1|
|HMEC 1320||Heating and Air Conditioning Systems||1|
|HMEC 1325||Landing Gear, Trailers & Coupling||1|
|HMEC 1330||Trailer Components||1|
|HMEC 1335||Diesel Fuel and Engine Support Systems||1|
|HMEC 1340||Diesel Engine Removal||1|
|HMEC 1345||Diesel Engine Installation||1|
|HMEC 1350||Gas Fuel Systems and Ignition||1|
|HMEC 1365||Drive Axles and Differentials||1|
|HMEC 1370||Employment Preparation||1|
This guide is intended as a general guideline only. The college reserves the right to make changes as appropriate.
* This information is intended as a guideline only. Program and course details are subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors.
Fees and other costs*
|Fee description||Fee Amount||Notes|
1184 - Term 1
1184 - Term 2
1184 - Term 3
0 - Term 4
|Materials||345||not including textbooks|
|Medical and Dental||275|
|Program-specific extra fees||0|
- Apply on EducationPlanner BC
Youth applications (high school students in grade 10 and 11):
- Youth applicants do not apply to VCC directly. Interested students, teachers, and counselors are directed to contact the Career Program Coordinator or Administrator for their school district. Regional B.C. School Districts are directed to contact the VCC Auto Collision Repair Department for participation details.
- See the ITA Youth Train in Trades Program website for details.
NOTE: Adults and youth may be in classes together.
- VCC offers priority registration and reserved seating for qualified Indigenous applicants to the Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program. For more information on priority registration, support with pre-admission program planning, band funding, and help gathering education records and transcripts, please contact an Indigenous Engagement Advisor
† B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook