Heavy Equipment Operator School Locations, License & Training GuidesWelcome to Operator Headquarters!

We would like to congratulate you on your decision to start a profession as a heavy equipment operator!

You are entering a job that is in high demand and the pay is great! You won’t be having a hard time looking for a job and you would expect long-term employment.

If you haven’t learned about the “ins and outs” of being a heavy equipment operator, this is where we come in. In this website, you will learn the instructions and guidelines to enter into this field. We also listed down the different heavy equipment operator training schools in each US state so that you won’t be having a hard time searching for a school to enroll at. We also have a blog section to teach you the safety aspects of operating heavy equipment.

You will also have a quick view of what it takes to become a heavy equipment operator, the steps you need to take to complete the training, the requirements you need to attain and the job responsibilities you have to perform.

You will get from us all the details and preparation needed for you to become a heavy equipment operator.

Heavy Equipment Operator Training Varies from State to State, Choose Where You Are Located

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming

Taking the Heavy Equipment Training Program

Heavy equipment operators are also called operator engineers. You are tasked to operate various types of equipment in construction sites or in civil engineering projects. Basically, you need to take formal training and complete hours of on-site training for you to be able to operate the equipment safely.

You have to take both of these aspects:

In-Classroom Training

The technology-based kind of training is becoming popular nowadays. With the rise and popularity of new technology, such as the internet, it slowly replaces the typical classroom lectures. 

The in-classroom heavy equipment operator training courses can be done at the school’s own facility or at the client’s premises in the actual working environment. This method of training delivery is the most effective in the sense the instructor can adjust the course curriculum based on the behavior and skill level of the trainees. It offers much more flexibility compared to other types of training delivery such as the ones below.

You learn best by doing the in-class training and by performing the practical operating demonstration of the heavy equipment.

Practical Demonstration Training

We all heard that practice makes perfect. Nobody can refute that. With practical operating of the heavy equipment at the actual job-simulated environment you will feel how’s it feels like inside the cabin of the heavy equipment.

In the actual demonstration, safe operating methods are performed including preventive maintenance of the heavy equipment, preparation of the site, instructor assessment, task progression, and many other topics are deemed useful for the type of heavy equipment you are operating.

In the actual demonstration, you will get the actual world training you require to delve into this type of profession as a heavy equipment operator.

Guides in Selecting the Heavy Equipment Operator School to Get Training From

  • Choose a school that offers an apprenticeship program or other forms of on-the-job training to give additional experience to trainees.

  • A good heavy equipment operator school not only trains the students but also prepare them for the accreditation exams. We strongly recommend to you to search for the school that has these two components in their curriculum.

  • Take into consideration the ratio of the students to the trainer. The trainer must have no more than 10 students per class to ensure that each of the students has given much attention and sufficient time to learn.

  • Find a school that is nationally-recognized. This kind of school has access to hiring employers merely because they are a great source of qualified heavy equipment operators.

  • Get a training program that is accredited by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). If you completed such NCCER training program, you are more likely to be favored by an employer.

  • Where can you get the most update-to-date training from? Well, the answer is definitely from a school that has the modern types of heavy equipment and a sophisticated form of training delivery. Some schools provide computer simulation to the students before they are allowed to handle actual equipment.

  • It is a prerequisite that when attending a training course especially when you doing practical training, you are equipped with proper PPE such as hardhat, ear and eye protection and high visibility vest. It would be an additional cost if you bring your own. Inquire with the school if they can provide that for you. It may be already included in the tuition you pay.

Requirements to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

  • Completed a high school education or in possession of a GED certificate.
  • You must be at least 18 years old. You cannot be accepted if you are a minor. You may be asked to present an identification to show your age.
  • You may be required to drive the heavy equipment on public roads thus this requires you to have a valid driver’s license.
  • You must be in good physical conditioning. The nature of the work itself is labor-intensive. This requires the operator to be physically fit.
  • Some types of heavy equipment require the operator to pass the certification and get the licensure. Some of these pieces of heavy equipment are cranes, front-end loaders, forklifts, bulldozers, backhoes, rollers, etc.
  • Your marketability as a heavy equipment operator could skyrocket if you completed an apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program could take up to 3,000 to 4,000 hours in the field and 400 hours of classroom lectures to complete. You can definitely benefit from the training and receive a higher wage.
  • Since you will be operating very large and dangerous equipment, you need to have a good discipline and a responsible attitude.

What Does the Heavy Equipment Training Course Contain?

The students will be trained in-the-seat demonstration and in-classroom lectures. Both of these parts of the course are very crucial for the student to receive the fundamental skills and knowledge in the operation of the heavy equipment. The knowledge can be delivered through online training which ideal for absolute beginner; for practical training, computer-simulated training can be a good way to gain an understanding of the equipment controls and how it behaves.

In addition to practical demonstration and classroom instruction, safety policies and procedures are also being taught. The safety training will always be part of any program involving heavy equipment. The safety training program envelops the guiding standard set forth by OSHA – the leading authority.

The training program acquaints the trainees with the technical jargon for the many types of heavy equipment. The trainees will learn the basic operating procedures. The procedures cover the following topics: inspection and repair, equipment maintenance, land clearing planning, soil testing, understanding blueprint drawing, and many other topics that may be deemed necessary for the type of equipment you are training on.

Properly trained heavy equipment operators know the different facets of the operation. This includes maximizing work productivity, keeping the equipment in tip-top condition to prevent downtime and advocating the safety cultures to others.

Getting an Apprenticeship Training Program

Taking another step to get an apprenticeship program assures your marketability as a heavy equipment operator. It is a combination of on-the-job training and practical/theoretical training. If you are lucky enough, you could get paid OJT. The apprenticeship prepares you for the job while preventing debts.

The easiest way to get into an apprenticeship is by applying for a program offered by a technical school or college. One such school is the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), you can view this page to know the closest local in your area.

The apprenticeship program could take 3-4 years to complete. The field operation can take as much as 5,000 hours to finish while the theoretical part could take up 300 hours to complete.

The apprenticeship program offers better preparation for the job. Accomplishing the initial certification and completing the apprenticeship program can definitely boost your chance of landing a high-paying job and long-term employment.

Getting a Job as a Heavy Equipment Operator

The heavy equipment operators can be found in construction sites and in the maintenance of civil projects such as roads, bridges, buildings and other structures that need to be done by the heavy machines.
Getting a job could be difficult if you don’t have the proper credentials. Hence, preparation is important. You can prepare by taking the necessary training and apprenticeship program, as mentioned above. The reason for this is that you are more likely to be chosen for the job if you are properly trained.

The second thing to do is to have a connection. You can network with other colleagues who are already doing such work. They are the ones to ask for opinions since they have the experience and referral to get knowledge from for you to land a job.

Did you also know that school, where you took the training from, can get you employed? Yes, indeed! With their network of employers who are seeking qualified individuals like you, they can easily refer you to.

The last thing to scout for the job vacancy is through an online search. You can find such jobs from advertisements of big classified ads websites such as Indeed.Com, Monster.com and other popular websites in your local area.

If you can operate several types of heavy equipment enables you to be flexible to do many varieties of jobs. Having such flexibility is good if you are surveying for job prospects. The prospective employer is keener on hiring you that any other individuals vying for the same position.

What the Future Holds for Heavy Equipment Operator

There is a huge market for you. Good future awaits qualified heavy equipment operators. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for operators will continue to rise. You can read this page. It is seen to grow by 12% until the year 2016. It is much faster than any other skilled occupations.

The number of job openings in the field will boost as the projects will never cease to increase.

You can expect competitive pay. The salary of a heavy equipment operator can reach as much as $60,000 annually with the exclusion of other health benefits and compensation packages.

Better employment opportunities are on the horizon. Getting into this profession holds great opportunities and career advancement.

To Make a Conclusion

Research for the heavy equipment operator school and learn about what the job requires, doing so can save you lots of time and money.

On this website, we’ve made everything simple and easy for you. From here, you will learn the step-by-step process of taking the training so that you can start your career in no time. We made everything simple for you. We have training guides to help you on your journey.

Being a heavy equipment operator could be a very rewarding and satisfying profession. This could be the career that you are longing for. You can expect long-term and continuous employment. You won’t have to worry about your future.