Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 10 Months

Program credential icon Credential

  • Certificate

Program option icon Options

  • Apprenticeship

Program location icon Location Offered

  • Nanaimo

VIU’s Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program is your ticket to a career working on big machines. The 10-month heavy duty mechanic apprenticeship program provides you with high-quality training by expert instructors in state-of-the-art facilities.

Students graduate from our heavy duty mechanic school ready to pursue apprenticeships and careers as heavy duty mechanics, truck transport mechanics, diesel engine mechanics or transport trailer technicians.

The Heavy Duty Mechanics Certificate Program

This Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program, considered one of the best in British Columbia, provides basic training in preparation for employment and apprenticeships in Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Truck and Transport Mechanic, Transport Trailer Technician and Diesel Engine Mechanic. Through technical and practical training on actual equipment used in industry, students learn safety, tools, computers, as well as the service and maintenance of on- and off-highway trucks and buses, and heavy equipment such as bulldozers, excavators, graders and loaders. Job search, communication and resume writing skills are covered, and students also participate in on-the-job work experience.

This program is suited to individuals with all levels of mechanical experience who meet the listed admission requirements. Upon successful completion of the program students receive a certificate in Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation with level one theory credit and four hundred fifty hours work based training time. This allows the graduate to choose one of the following four trades as an apprentice: Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Truck Transport Mechanic, Transport Trailer Technician or Diesel Engine Mechanic.

Students have an opportunity during the program to obtain airbrake endorsement, forklift certification, at a special student rate while in the program.

Learn more about VIU Heavy Mechanical Trades.

For more information and schedules visit VIU's Trades and Applied Technology Apprenticeship page.

Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation
HMTF 101T - (Work Experience)
HMTF 140T - (Occupational Skills)
HMTF 142T - (Brakes)
HMTF 144T - (Hydraulics)
HMTF 148T - (Trailer)
HMTF 150T - (Structural Components and Accessories)
HMTF 152T - (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)
HMTF 160T - (Suspension and Steering)
HMTF 166T - (Powertrain)
HMTF 168T - (Electrical)
HMTF 180T - (Engine and Support Systems)

All program courses must be successfully completed before certificates will be issued.

Notes on Admission

  • Good health and not allergic to solvents and lubricants.
  • Those with good reading and comprehension skills, basic science, mathematics, study skills, and a mechanical aptitude experience the most success in the program.
  • Computer skills, Physics 12, Mathematics 12 and English 12 are required by some employers.
  • An interview may be required.

Graduates have found employment as Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians, Truck Transport Mechanics, Transport Trailer Technicians, Diesel Engine Mechanics, Parts Persons in parts supply stores, and other related mechanical occupations.

Work Placement Opportunities

Apprenticeship/Journeyperson Information

VIU offers apprenticeship training in the Heavy Mechanical Trades.

To achieve journeyperson status, graduates of the certificate program must find employment as an apprentice in one of the four trades and complete an apprenticeship to be eligible to write the Interprovincial Exam to become a certified Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Truck Transport Mechanic, Transport Trailer Technician or Diesel Engine Mechanic. Having the option to choose between the four careers provides flexibility when entering the job market.

Demand for apprentices in the four trades can vary with the economy; one or another could provide better job opportunities during different economic conditions. With the Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation certificates in hand, graduates have a broader field of opportunity. Employers look for students with a good attitude towards their work, who are reliable, and who have achieved good marks.

The Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Truck Transport Mechanic, Transport Trailer Technician and Diesel Engine Mechanic Apprenticeship programs consist of up to four years of on-the-job experience combined with in-school technical training in order to become eligible to write the Interprovincial (Red Seal) Examination for journeyperson certification.

For more information on apprenticeship training, please visit the SkilledTradesBC, contact the Industry Training Centre at 1.866.660.6011, or call our Program and Registration Assistants (P&RAs) at Vancouver Island University toll-free at 1.888.920.2221 Ext. 6227. Visit VIU's Trades and Applied Technology Apprenticeship page for more information and schedules.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees Amount
Tuition (10 months x $499.20 per month) 4,992.00
Lab fee 179.27
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition and lab fee) 206.85
Student Services fee (10 months x $22.05 per month) 220.50
VIU Students' Union fee (10 months x $27.60 per month) 276.00
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Approximate cost for books and supplies including steel-toed boots and safety glasses (mandatory in the shop) 1,300.00

Forklift training is optional and available at an additional cost.

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today:
Next Intake(s):

The Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program has one intake each Fall.

Application Fee:
Testing Required:
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Melanie Cousins
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2282
Chair Contact:
Name: Brad Jannaway
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2982

Further information on this program can be found on the Department website.

Visit the Department Website

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.