Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation Program

This 10-month Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation Program prepares students with the skills and knowledge they will need to find a position as a Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Truck and Transport Mechanic, Diesel Engine Mechanic or Transport Trailer Technician Apprentice.

The program covers the required aspects of highway-type trucks and buses, bulldozers, loaders, excavators and earthmovers, including shop equipment, safety, mechanical reasoning, air and hydraulic brake systems, power transfer systems, gasoline and diesel engine systems, and basic welding.

The program consists of classroom lectures each day with the remaining time spent in the shop. In addition, students can expect to spend at least one hour each night on homework assignments.

Successful completion of the program provides you with a foundation certificate in Heavy Mechanical Trades and allows you to choose one of the four trades to apprentice in. You will also receive level one theory credit of 450 hours toward your first year.

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.


A Vancouver Island University Certificate will be awarded to each graduate.

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. Depending on your chosen trade you may be required to return to VIU up to four times (levels) to complete your apprenticeship level theory training. Learn more about VIU Apprenticeships.

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.”