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School of Skilled Trades

Pre-Employment Automotive Service Technician

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Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • Day - Courses taking place between Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Evening/Weekend - Courses taking place on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online - Sometimes called "Home Study" or "Computer-Based Learning"
  • Distance - Traditional correspondence format. These courses work best if you can't get to a campus or if your schedule can't accommodate fixed class times


The average or expected time it will take to complete your program.

Open Studies

Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program.
It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in.

International Students

Program availability may be limited for international applicants. Contact your student advisor for more information.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced Credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section and on the Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF), your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 5 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C in the course(s) or program

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

If you do not qualify for transfer credit or credential recognition, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) may be an option.

Contact the program for additional information about Advanced Credit.

The Pre-employment Automotive Service Technician program is a short-term program that combines applied academic skills, employability skills and introductory trade/occupation competencies, preparing grads for entry-level positions in the automotive industry.

The  program is designed for people with little or no automotive background experience. This program may be a step to securing an apprenticeship contract, if that is the goal of the student, or as basic automotive information.

Graduates of the program can challenge the first period apprenticeship exam for the Automotive Service Technician program.

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

If you enjoy doing precise work that is varied and challenging and like to have a feeling of independence, then you will enjoy working as an automotive service technician.

Automotive service technicians are constantly learning on the job to adapt to industry changes and evolving automotive design trends. Employment for automotive service technicians is steady.

To be successful as an automotive service technician, you must have:

  • good hearing, eyesight and manual dexterity
  • mechanical aptitude and interest
  • the ability to lift up to 25 kgs
  • the passion to keep up to date with changing technology
  • a working knowledge of electricity, electronics and computers
  • a valid driver’s license

Student Support

The School of Skilled Trades wants our first-year students to become confident in their abilities, get connected to NAIT through groups, peers and staff, be supported personally and academically, get motivated to complete their program and most importantly enjoy the learning environment here at NAIT.

If there is something you are looking for or if you need additional information, please contact us at auto@nait.ca.

Enter the workforce with confidence 

As an automotive service technician, you will be employed by automotive repair shops, specialty repair shops, service facilities, car and truck dealerships, and by large organizations that own fleets of vehicles.

Experienced automotive service technicians can become service managers or shop supervisors. You could also open your own repair facility.

Study permits and visas

International students are eligible to enroll in the Automotive Service Technician - Pre-employment (AST-PE) program, and are also eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit program (PGWPP). Please note, however, that Alberta apprenticeship is a training program that is limited to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada.

Temporary visa holders (such as those participating on the PGWPP) do not meet the eligibility requirements and are not able to register through the on-line apprenticeship registration system.

Have questions? We've got answers

For more information about the Automotive Service Technician program at NAIT

Email: auto@nait.ca
Phone: 780.471.7688



View courses for this program

Tuition & Fees

Get an estimate on cost to attend

How to Apply

Information on admissions process

Scholarships & Awards

Funding for students in this program

Term 1

ASTP1100Safety, Materials and Tools
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Automotive Pre-Employment program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

ASTP1100 is the pre-requisite for all of the other courses in the program. The student will be made aware of provincial legislation and workplace support systems designed to promote safety in the workplace. General safety procedures that apply to all the trades will be taught as well as the safety procedures that are specifically required in the automotive trade. The student will learn the safe use of tools that are specific to automotives. The student will acquire the skill to measure components accurately with precision measuring tools. Fastening devices, adhesives, and sealers used in the automotive trades will be discussed. The student will be taught the safe use of oxyacetylene equipment and basic welding and cutting techniques.

ASTP1200Brake Systems
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Automotive Pre-employment program. Co-requisite: ASTP1100.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course will provide the opportunity to learn and apply the basic concepts and the operating theory of an automotive brake system. The service and repair of master cylinders, power assist boosters, drum brakes, disc brakes, and park brakes will be taught. The student will be given instruction on machining practices, both on and off the vehicle. The safe handling and disposal of hazardous materials associated with brake repair work will be highlighted.

ASTP1300Suspension and Steering
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Automotive Pre-employment program. Co-requisite: ASTP1200.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

The student will perform the service and repair of steering and suspension components, and will acquire an understanding of the theory of operation of suspension and steering systems. The sub-systems of suspension and steering are: frames, steering gear, power steering pumps, drivelines, and alignment angles and procedures. Practical applications the student will experience include: steering gear overhaul, removal and installation of steering and suspension components, and performing wheel alignments. The student will perform proper maintenance procedures for automotive and light utility trailer service.

  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Automotive Pre-employment program. Co-requisite: ASTP1300.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course will provide the opportunity to learn and apply basic electrical knowledge as it relates to automotive systems. This will include the relationship between voltage, amperage, and resistance, the principles of magnetism and electromagnetism, simple electrical circuits, and automotive batteries. Students will be shown the diagnostic tools and procedures required to repair circuit failures and to diagnose battery faults. Scan tool operation and vehicle diagnostics will be introduced with a focus on their use with respect to the subject areas of the pre-employment program.

ASTP1500Business Fundamentals and Basic Maintenance
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Automotive Pre-employment program. Co-requisite: ASTP1400.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course will provide the opportunity to learn and use business fundamentals as they apply to the automotive industry. The business fundamentals component will include communication skills, reading and writing skills, writing an effective resume, and professionalism in business. The basic maintenance component will inform the student regarding the common functions and characteristics of lubricants, coolants, and filters used by the automotive industry and their proper handling and disposal. Safe storage and handling practices for gasoline and diesel fuel will be taught. The student will study the theory of tire construction, tire balancing, and tire repair. Practical experience will be gained with tire mounting and dismounting and tire balancing (including road force measurements).

  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Automotive Pre-employment program. Co-requisites: ASTP1100, ASTP1200, ASTP1300, ASTP1400, ASTP1500.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This portion of the program is designed to provide the student with hands-on experience in an automotive shop environment. Part 1 (40 hours) of the practicum will be done in week 6 of the program. This will provide the student with the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge obtained during the first 5 weeks of the program. It will also expose the student to the requirements and expectations of the shop owner, and prepare them for Part 2 of the practicum. Part 2 (80 hours) of the practicum will take place from Thursday of week 14 of the program until Wednesday of week 16. Along with the experience gained from Part 1 of the practicum, the student will be provided with the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge from the subsequent weeks of theory, lab, and shop.


Cost Per Credit:
Tuition Cap:

Mandatory Fees

Health & Dental:
Rec. & Athletics:

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How much will first year cost?

Books, Supplies & Program Fees (est.)

Please contact the program area for more information.

Dates & Deadlines

We recommend submitting your program application at least 90 days before the application deadline.

Application Deadline: Aug 26, 2019

Term Start Date: Aug 26, 2019

Entrance Requirements

  • Grade 11 English
  • Math 20-1, 20-2, or 20-3 or Pure Math 20 or Applied Math 20
  • Science 10. Two years of RAP (grades 10-12) are acceptable in lieu of the Science requirement.
  • Successful completion of the entrance exam through Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) can be used in lieu of the English, Math, and Science requirement.
  • A valid Alberta Class 5 GDL driver's license or equivalent is required. The driver's license must be valid for the length of the program with an expiration date after the program end date.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency

Apply to Program

Apply to the program with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application process. Please note, processing time may vary for applicants, so we recommend starting early.

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International Students

This program is open to international applicants. For more detailed information about applying, visit our admissions page. Learn more


Term Definition
Open Program still has seats available.
Waitlisting Program is full and qualified applicants are being placed on a waitlist. For information about waitlists, please visit the Waitlist FAQs.

If you’re on a non-competitive waitlist, you should consider NAIT’s Academic Upgrading program or NAIT Equivalency Tests to become a more competitive applicant.

There is no guarantee that waitlisted applicants will be offered a seat, however it is common for seats to become available until the start of class. As seats become available, they are filled from the waitlist.
Closed Program is no longer accepting applications.
N/A Not available for this term.

*Program availabilty is subject to change without notice.

Scholarships & Awards

NAIT supports over 4,000 students with over $6 million in scholarships and bursaries each year. Many are available for students across a wide range of programs.

Explore our available Scholarships and Bursaries

Apply to NAIT

Learn how to register through Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS) or begin the application process.

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