If you want to be a heavy equipment operator in Canada, now is the time. Your talent is very much in demand right now and you can find employment in the construction, maintenance od roads and bridges, oil and gas, in the mining, forestry and many sorts of industries.
The pay is good and the job opportunities are everywhere and it is no surprise. Being in the industry that enables you to earn decent money with just a few weeks of training makes this job one of the sought-after options.
Whether you’re young with little or no experience or a seasoned individual who wants to shift career, there’s a good chance that equipment operation is the right job for you.
If you wanted to start a new career in operating heavy equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, loaders, excavators and more, we made this article for you so that you have a bird’s a view of what you need to know.
Let’s start on how to become a heavy equipment operator.
How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator in Canada
After you’ve made your decision that being an operator is the next job you want to pursue, then, there are a few steps you need to follow:
- Complete the requirements. These are your qualifications and skills necessary for the position of a heavy equipment operator. The school where you’re planning to take the course may ask these from you and by the employers themselves. Below is the list of requirements you need to have.
- Find a school near you where you enroll in the class and take the course. You can enroll in the program offered by a community college or technical school near your location. They usually have a training schedule and requirements suited for you. The course usually composed of three vital parts: classroom theory, simulation and hands-on training and the performance evaluation. The program runs for several weeks to several months depending on your chosen course.
- Compete the apprenticeship program that lasts for three (3) years. Getting in such a program is a good way to make a living while learning important skills since you will work mostly with the best and experts in the field. Completing the apprenticeship program will pave the way for you to earn a journeyman salary which is much higher than an entry-level operator.
- Graduates of heavy equipment training program may find permanent employment in the construction industry, the sector in need of talents like you; you can also get a job with companies involved in civil engineering work. You can even start your own contracting firm to repair roads, bridges, sewer or waters lines. The opportunities are endless.
Criteria in Choosing a Training School or Class
As you begin exploring schools where you can take the heavy equipment training in Canada, how can you decide which one is the right for you? Glad, we made these criteria in choosing:
- Start with a basic plan. Find a training school nearest to you so that you would have to drive a long distance going to school. In this website, we made lists/directories of heavy equipment training school, just choose the province where you are in Canada, there, you’ll find the list.
- Find a class with a small number of students. The ideal number of students per class is 16 to 18. With a small class, you can be assured of that you get the focus and attention of the instructor thus making the students more engaged. With fewer students, the class is less chaotic and it is much easier for the instructor.
- The trainer or instructor should have extensive knowledge and real-world experience to share with the students. We should be able to agree that a good instructor has a great impact on the students. He should be able to deliver the message and the learning to the students effectively. In short, the instructor should have a good track record. You may inquire with the training school about the instructor’s profile.
- When looking for a training school, check the curriculum of the course. See if the course curriculum is not outdated and that it complies with the requirements you need. You don’t want to waste weeks or even months of training for something which is not being used.
- Job placement and career guidance should be given to students. One of the important considerations when looking for a training school in Canada is job placement and career guidance upon graduation. That way, you should be able to get employment in a short period of time or at least be given guidance on preparing for a job.
- Tuition Fee or training cost. Yes, the price of the course is important and it is the first thing that pops up on your mind when choosing a school. So, why we put it last on this list because the value of the training the school provides is more important. If you could find a center that offers all the above criteria we’ve mentioned, the tuition should be the last to worry.
You have heard it over and over again that selecting the right school is one of the important decisions to make when getting into a career in heavy equipment operation. You would want to commit mistake and waste time and money. We hope the criteria above will help you somehow.
Cost of Taking the Heavy Equipment Training
The cost of taking a heavy equipment training program could set you back $10,000 up to $15,000 depending on the length and extensiveness of the course. If you are to operate earth-moving equipment such as dump trucks, loaders, excavators and graders, the course usually runs for six (6) weeks.
Textbooks are also required that could add up to the cost. Aside from this, trainees will also be required to have their own personal protective equipment (PPEs) for use during practical training.
What’s good about taking the heavy equipment training in Canada is that you can avail the $10,000 Job grant. You can also defray some of the expenses by availing the school’s discount or student loan, if there is, ask the school about it.
Having the required education is serious money. You have to spend a lot to complete the training but you can easily recuperate your investment since the paycheck you can make ranges between $35,000 to $51,000 per year and depending on the skillset and experience you can apply to the job, you can make even more.
Requirements to Get Admitted in the Training
- An applicant must be 18 years old and above. No application shall be accepted below this age.
- Applicant must have attained grade 12 or its equivalent status.
- Prior to getting accepted in the training, an interview may be required by the training school to know if you’re really suited for the heavy equipment training program.
- Personal profiling may also be conducted for verification.
- Class 5 driver’s license will be required and the applicant must have a valid driver’s license through the training course.
- An aspiring applicant must have mathematical skills.
- The applicant must also have good physical coordination and excellent vision with no physical impairment that could hamper the use of heavy equipment.
Attributes of a Heavy Equipment Operator
- Must be able to withstand for a long period of time the repetitive bouncing motion since the machines move constantly.
- Having good written and oral communication skill will be excellent. You should know how to speak the English language.
- Applicant should be in physical fit since the nature of the job demands someone to be in good physical and health conditions. In the actual job, you may be required to carry and lift items weighing dozens of pounds.
- Can able to work in all types of weather conditions since the work is mostly outdoors. You could find a job assignment in hot weather or in cold temperatures.
- Must be able to follow instruction and can work independently or in a team setting.
- Must be able to prioritize safety and health in the workplace in conjunction with the procedures of the company and current regulations.
- Must be flexible to work in shifting schedules and can perform repetitive tasks for a long period.
Job Outlook and Wage of Heavy Equipment Operator in Canada
If somebody tells you that being a heavy equipment operator is the right job to get into, he’s not fooling you. Now is the right time to get into this occupation as the demand for skilled heavy equipment operator like you has never been so great. The expected growth of the demand for a skilled and talented individual like you in Canada is no surprise this is the outcome of the flourishing construction industry and the aging of the country’s infrastructures such as roads and bridges, there is a great need for people to preserve them.
If you ask how much you would make as a heavy equipment operator in Canada, as of this writing, the average salary is $51,000 per year while an entry-level individual could get a paycheck of around $35,000. If you a beginner, you would want to progress into a higher position. You can start by becoming an apprentice and elevate yourself to be a journeyman.
To Wrap a Conclusion
If being a heavy equipment operator in Canada is on top of your list, then today is the best time to get into it. Start now. You can begin by enrolling in a course offered by the school. You could easily find one near your location or browse through the directory on this website, click the province where you are there you could the schools.
Lastly, we would like to congratulate you on your decision. Being a heavy equipment operator is a very satisfying and rewarding career. There are great employment opportunities out in the market today and the needs are expected to grow until the next coming decades.