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Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

For over 50 years, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) has delivered technical training and applied education to meet the demands of industry. NAIT’s hands-on, technology-based education and applied research are essential to the productivity and prosperity of Alberta and Canada. Over the years we have evolved to have four educational pillars: science, technology and the environment; trades; business and health. Our vision is to be the most relevant and responsive post-secondary institution in Canada and one of the world’s leading polytechnics. This vision is premised on our continued commitment to these four educational areas. NAIT delivers 122 credit programs leading to degrees, applied degrees, diplomas and certificates. Graduates leave NAIT prepared for meaningful careers with 98 per cent of our graduates in the labour force. Our applied research addresses real world problems as defined by industry and business, ensuring NAIT continues to respond to the current and emerging requirements of Alberta’s economy. NAIT’s two defining characteristics are relevance and responsiveness. These are embodied in the programs and courses offered through the JR Shaw School of Business, the School of Health Sciences, the School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, the School of Information Communication and Engineering Technologies, the School of Sustainable Building and Environmental Management and the School of Trades, together with more than 1,200 continuing education courses through the Department of Corporate, International and Continuing Education.

Fast Facts

  • NAIT serves nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students annually.
  • 98% of NAIT graduates are in the labour force.
  • 95% of employers are satisfied with the performance of NAIT graduates.
  • 122 credit programs leading to degrees, applied degrees, diplomas and certificates.
  • NAIT is the largest apprenticeship trainers in Canada offering 33 registered trades programs.

Our research specialization:

  • Energy & the Environment
  • BioEconomy
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Trades & Construction




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This is how we...

Contribute to our Community

NAIT has supported the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region since the 1980’s. With 120,000 people living in poverty in Edmonton region NAIT is doing its part to help break the cycle of poverty. NAIT has an annual economic impact of over $1.7 billion. For every dollar invested in NAIT, graduates provide an average annual return of 32 per cent from additional tax revenues. 98 per cent of NAIT grads are working in the labour force in Alberta. The student return on their tuition investment is on average 30 per cent, for apprentices their tuition investment is paid back 171 times through their career earnings. Learn more.

Foster Student Success

Kris Mauthe

The 2015 Alumni Award of Distinction recipient, Mauthe has forged a successful career that has led him to become president and chief executive officer of Argus Machine, a thriving manufacturer and supplier of oilfield and other industrial products. After working in industry as a seasonal fishing guide, lumberyard worker, landscape labourer, fitness club employee and oil rigger, Kris attended NAIT and found his true calling. The NAIT accounting graduate and Certified Management Accountant didn’t take long to make his mark at Argus Machine. He began as corporate controller, moving quickly to positions as general manager, then chief operating officer. Today, Kris leads the company, a major donor of NAIT and employer of its grads. Learn more.

Spencer Smirl

In January 2013, Spencer Smirl (Heavy Equipment Technician ’07) began the journey of a lifetime. The technician was recruited to be part of the Coldest Journey, an expedition across Antarctica intended to raise funds for a charity called Seeing is Believing. He and the team were to travel 4,100 kilometres in temperatures that could reach -90 C. It was his job to keep the bulldozers they were using for transport operational. “Even with eight years’ experience as a mechanic, I wasn’t completely confident – at least not enough to stare down death at the other end of the world,” says Smirl. “Five other men’s lives would rely on my abilities.” They weren’t able to complete their journey, but Smirl did manage to keep everyone moving and safe – and help in raising nearly $3 million. “It was amazing to have the opportunity to test myself in Antarctica.” Learn more.

Rena Nathanail

Rena Nathanail (Court Reporting ’84) saw the opportunity to grow and establish a niche industry and grabbed it. She established Nathanail Captioning in 1988, the forerunner of National Captioning Canada (NCC). The industry was evolving and she foresaw using the caption-trained verbatim court reporters to get the spoken word to text and on the screen. She set up demonstrations at the networks with her shorthand machine and computer to demonstrate and explain the process of producing closed captions. She convinced the television networks to adopt the idea, persuading them it would meet the needs of the hard of hearing and their CRTC obligations. Today, Nathanail is an industry leader—one that thankfully is no longer dependent so much on who you know, but on the very attributes she and her employees value: hard work, quality and service. Learn more.

Partner with Business and Community


Dow’s competitiveness in a global marketplace is essential, so NAIT’s ability to contribute qualified, quality graduates from programs such as Power Engineering is extremely critical to our continued business success,” Joe Deutscher, vice president and site director Alberta operations, explains. NAIT graduates can be found throughout the company, in far-flung places like Saudi Arabia to south of the border, on the Gulf Coast. And right here in Alberta. The relationship Dow nurtures with NAIT is multifaceted.

  • 64% of its workforce in Fort Saskatchewan are NAIT grads.
  • The company provides NAIT with constant feedback on curriculum, so graduates have the right skill sets for Dow.
  • The company invests heavily in equipment they know NAIT students will be using in the field.
  • The company holds an annual symposium to provide students with invaluable career information.


For cerebral palsy patients including 13-year-old Eva Elder, training to improve cardiovascular endurance and strengthen leg and core muscles is better – perhaps even more effective – when it’s fun. A joint project of NAIT and Edmonton’s Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital combines a recumbent bike with the Mario Kart video game. The bike is Elder’s controller, allowing her to rack up points while she approaches her goal. “I just want to run in the backyard with my dogs,” she says. Learn more.

Support Indigenous Students

NAIT is dedicated to supporting the Aboriginal student experience. The Encana Aboriginal Student Centre is a community gathering place where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students can gather to network, study and share their post-secondary learning experiences. It is a place where culture and tradition are welcome and encouraged. The centre is an integral part of the overall NAIT community and is committed to ensuring Aboriginal student success both inside and outside of the classroom. We strive to create a welcoming, inclusive environment in the centre in order to recreate that sense of community that Aboriginal students may be missing from home. We provide a liaison service between the students and the different departments at NAIT so that the student can utilize these services to make their educational experience a successful and positive one.

Programs & Services of Interest

Date modified: 2016-10-27