Two men working on the engine of a big yellow truck under a sunny blue sky.

Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program

Are you a creative problem-solver who likes to know how things work? In the heavy mechanical trades foundation program, you learn the skills and the know-how to take on any mechanical problem. No previous mechanical experience is necessary to enter the program.

What to expect

In this full-time, 10-month program you have classroom lectures each day. Your remaining time is spent in the shop. Our shop is large, so you get lots of time for hands-on training. You can also expect to spend at least one hour each night on homework assignments.

The program also features a four-week work experience placement. Students can get full-time employment or a good reference from the work experience placement.

What you learnTwo young men working in a mechanical shop.

The program covers:

  • highway-type trucks and buses
  • bulldozers
  • loaders
  • excavators
  • earthmovers
  • shop equipment
  • safety
  • mechanical reasoning
  • air and hydraulic brake systems
  • power transfer systems
  • gasoline and diesel engine systems
  • basic welding

When you complete the program you receive a foundation certificate in Heavy Mechanical Trades. You will also receive your Level 1 theory credit and a credit of 450 hours toward your first year of apprenticeship in any of the these:

  • Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
  • Truck and Transport Mechanic
  • Diesel Engine Mechanic
  • Transport Trailer Technician Apprentice

Learn more about VIU Apprenticeships.


Want to know more? Come and check out what we do for yourself. Contact us to arrange to shadow a Heavy Mechanical Trades class for a day. 

Contact us

Program Costs

See Program Costs for details regarding current fees.

Other Certifications Available (optional)

  • Air Brake driver's license endorsement - Additional Fee (optional)
  • Class One driver's license endorsement - Additional Fee (optional)

(All fees are subject to change without prior notice.)

Admission Requirements

See Admission Requirements for details

Career options

Graduates may find employment with bus companies, truck dealerships, and other commercial trucking companies, as well as with Heavy Equipment repair/distributors, in-engine repair shops, or other mechanical trades.


To become a student in the Heavy Mechanical Trades Program, apply to VIU.

VIU Heavy Mechanical Trades Student, Brandon Grant

Brandon Grant,

Apprenticeship and Heavy Mechanical Trades Student

“VIU was the best choice I have made for trade school. The instructors are knowledgeable and willing to help in any way. The amount of working props to be able to work on and test was a great learning experience. I now have a great career as a heavy duty mechanic and there’s no looking back.”