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Pre-Employment Trades - La Crete

In today’s economy, training is critical. However, training can be expensive. Pre-Employment Trades programming teaches the theory portion of trades training in advance of obtaining the hands-on experience with an employer. In the trades, a candidate is normally employed (a.k.a. apprenticed) in advance of attending training.

Pre-employment trades offered at NLC include Carpenter, Electrician, Heavy Equipment Technician (Mechanic), Industrial Mechanic (Millwright), Pipe Trades, and Welder. Each program covers the entire First Period theory of that trade. In essence, students complete the first year of theory required for a trade without leaving home and without incurring the costs associated with post-secondary education! Northern Lakes College sets up Pre-Employment Trades students to challenge the First Period apprenticeship exam in their chosen trade.

At NLC, we understand our students need the flexibility to balance work and home. Our Pre-Employment programs are flexible enough to fit into your lifestyle:

  • Programs are 16 weeks
  • Apply as a full-time student

Pre-Employment Trades applications should be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to the start date.

Not sure where to start in your trades’ career? See the Trade Pathways document to help you determine where to begin.

Program Dates



Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician (Mechanic)
January 6, 2025 - April 25, 2025 - La Crete

Career Potential


Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician (Mechanic)
Heavy equipment technicians (mechanics) are employed by specialized repair shops and organizations that own or lease heavy equipment used in the construction, mining, forestry, materials handling, landscaping, land clearing, agricultural, and transportation industries. Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $30 to $60 an hour plus benefits. Rates vary depending on the region. Experienced journeypersons may advance to supervisory or service manager positions, or become self-employed.

Further Educational Opportunities


Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician (Mechanic) 
Heavy Equipment Technician Apprenticeship Program: First Period, Second Period, Third Period, and Fourth Period. The term of apprenticeship for a Heavy Equipment Technician is four years. This includes a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training as an apprentice, and eight weeks of technical training each year. This trade participates in two Red Seal Programs: heavy equipment technician - heavy duty equipment mechanic (off-road) and heavy equipment technician - truck and transport mechanic.