10-month foundation certificate program

September 3, 2024 to June 5, 2025

Apply early as space is limited

The program

The Vancouver Island University Automotive Department provides both foundation and apprenticeship training. Foundation training prepares your for a career in the automotive repair trade. When you complete this program you may find work as:

  •  apprentice automotive technicians
  •  automotive parts persons
  • automotive service writers. 

Job opportunities exist on Vancouver Island and throughout BC and Canada. If you complete an apprenticeship and earn the Red Seal endorsement, you can work anywhere in Canada.

Automotive Service Technician Foundation Program

The Automotive Service Technician Foundation Program is a full-time comprehensive program taught through daily lectures, seminars and demonstrations of current servicing techniques. The program includes extensive practical training in a working automotive shop setting. The program reflects today's technology and is relevant to the needs of industry. The instructors are all highly trained journeyperson Automotive Technicians with at least ten years' trade experience.

This program is suited to people at all levels of mechanical experience. When you complete the program courses, you receive an Automotive Service Technician Foundation Program certificate and an Essential Skills for the Workplace – Automotive Service Technician certificate. You may also receive credit towards the technical portion of the first year of the Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship program.

ITA Automotive Apprenticeship information

The apprentice level training provides provincially certified apprenticeship training for registered Automotive apprentices in Level 1, 2, 3, and 4. The Automotive Apprenticeship program consists of 4 years on–the–job experience combined with in–school technical training. When you have completed your work experience and technical training, you can write the Interprovincial (Red Seal) endorsement exam.

For information on apprenticeship training, please visit SkilledTradesBC, contact the Industry Training Centre at 1.866.660.6011, or call Tanya Reiber at Vancouver Island University toll-free at 1.888.920.2221 Ext. 6112. Visit  VIU Trades and Applied Technology Apprenticeship for more information and schedules.

Admission requirements

  • Criminal Record Check (approx. $44.70 – subject to change)
  • application form 
    (No application deadline date; however, apply early as space is limited)
  • Grade 12 or provincial equivalent, or mature student status
  • mature students without Grade 12 will be required to complete an assessment test (study materials are available)
  • minimum 17 years of age
  • valid BC driver's License (class 5, L or N)
  • see also Trades general admission requirements

Notes on admission

  • Interview may be required.
  • Applicants should not be allergic to solvents and/or lubricants.
  • Those with good reasoning, basic science, mathematical, study skills, and a strong mechanical aptitude will experience the most success.
  • You must be in good health, physically fit and able to adapt to working conditions.
  • Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.

Program outline

Automotive Service Technician

Essential Skills

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

Fees (subject to change)

Fee TypeCost
Lab Fee$172.30
Student Fees$559.36
Application Fee$43.40
Grad Fee$56.28
Criminal Record Check Fee$44.70

Other expenses

 (Approx. $750 - $1000)

  • Textbooks
  • CSA approved Steel-toed boots
  • CSA approved Safety Glasses
  • Seat and Fender Covers
  • Uniforms

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available to students demonstrating financial need. This program is government student loan eligible. Applications for the academic year are available each May at any post-secondary institution, or online at StudentAidBC.

More information is available from an Advisor at the University. 
Please call 604.485.2878 to make an appointment.

Note: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada may assist students in this program; contact your local Employment Centre regarding eligibility for sponsorship.

How to apply

When the Registration Center confirms that you have been admitted, you will be advised when and how to register and pay for your program.