Whether you’re a seasoned individual who has many years of experience under your belt or a novice one who is just still beginning, you may want to get an NCCER certificate for the heavy equipment operator.
Employers nowadays require the NCCER certificate. You won’t be getting employed if you don’t have such a credential.
Having an NCCER certificate will actually work to your advantage because you can shift jobs from state to state since the certificate is nationally-recognized.
When you have an NCCER certificate you will be able to find a job in the construction projects no matter what state you are settling in.
The certificate will provide you with a good credibility among employers, giving you an instant benefit in getting an entry-level heavy equipment operator job.
The job you need the most and the opportunity that will change your career in the next coming decades.
If you want to attain this certificate, we have this article prepared for you to help you on your journey.
How To Get NCCER Certification
- Enroll in a heavy equipment training course. The first step you need to do is find a heavy equipment training school that offers NCCER curriculum. There are a lot of them across the country. Here’s the NCCER Training Center Finder to help you find a school. You can also browse the state where you are to find a school (click the menu on the sidebar or at the bottom of this page). Remember, not all heavy equipment training schools offer NCCER certification.
- Take the training course. The course will help you attain the knowledge and skills required in the operation of the heavy equipment. You will learn instructions in the classroom and practical experience in the field. You will spend most of your time doing the hands-on training. The time it takes to complete the course is usually 8 to 12 weeks.
- Take the Assessments. Upon completion of the training course provided by the school, you will then need to take the assessments. There are two assessments you have to go through: the written assessment and performance verification. There is no specific order to take the assessments. You can first take the written assessment and then to be followed by the performance verification or vice versa, if you want to do so.
- Receive the certificate. If you are successful passing one or both of the tests, you will receive your certificate of completion and copy of your transcripts via mail. It would take several days to arrive.
How Long Does NCCER Certification Last
The heavy equipment operator NCCER certificate is valid for five years.
The certification is portable and recognized nationally. Since the NCCER standard and curriculum exceeds the OSHA.
Upon passing the written assessment and performance verification, your name will be entered into the NCCER Registry so that you or your prospective employer can confirm your qualification.
You will receive a certificate and the NCCER card with a unique number, you can use the number as a reference for online verification of your record within the Registry System.
Some Facts About NCCER Certification
The highest NCCER certification you can receive is the Certified Plus. This is when you both passed the written assessment and performance verification. If you only passed the written assessment, you have “Knowledge Verified” certification, while if you passed the performance verification, you will have the “Performance Verified” certification.
The NCCER credentials are available for core curriculum and you will be trained on up to seven (7) pieces of machines including Motor Grader, Scraper, Bulldozer, Front End Loader, Backhoe, Excavator and Roller.
When you complete an NCCER certification program, you will receive a credential. This credential typically consists of an operator wallet card, certificate of training completion, and an online transcript.
You will be able to access your record in the NCCER website. The good feature of the NCCER Registry System is that companies and employers can validate your qualifications and credentials because the construction industry recognizes and looks for the NCCER certification before you can be accepted for employment.
The credential is important because it validates your skills, just like your driver’s license or any kind of certificates, it states you have the expertise – and that’s what important to heavy equipment operation industry.
Once you have an NCCER certificate, it serves as your passport, it will allow to get a job and receive a better wage.
The Levels of NCCER Credentials You Can Take
Heavy Equipment Operation Level 1
The training modules included in this course are an introduction to the trade of heavy equipment operation, equipment safety, identification of equipment needed for the job, basic operational skill, introduction to utility tractors, earth moving equipment and grades. The course has seven (7) modules to complete before you can be certified on this level.
The course has two parts: the classroom instruction and hands-on training. You will take qualifying tests both written and practical demonstration in order to get your certification.
It takes around 380 hours to complete this level.
Heavy Equipment Operation Level II
This is the extension of the Level I and will introduce you in the terminology and machinery used in the construction field. The course will give you a more advanced heavy equipment operating skill.
The course is mostly hands-on operation and usually done in the field. You will demonstrate the operation of the heavy equipment in the simulated work environment. You will operate several pieces of heavy equipment and demonstrate your operational skill which includes dump trucks, scrapers, forklift, loaders and many other types of equipment.
You will gain knowledge in soil stabilization and grade determination, site excavation, quantitative skill and equipment safety procedures. You will learn how to become a good heavy equipment operator upon completion of the course.
240 hours is the time needed to complete this level.
Heavy Equipment Operation Level III
This level ensures that you have the advanced skill in the operation of the heavy equipment. These skills are needed for the actual work such as finishing and grading, compaction. At this level, you will also be familiarized in the operation of the compaction equipment, dump trucks, excavators and graders.
It will take 240 hours of intensive training to complete the Level III.
Why the NCCER Certification is Established
Let us first discuss why the NCCER credential is created for what reason and purpose.
The National Center for Construction and Research, NCCER in short, is a not-for-profit institution to help the construction industry in the sourcing out of the qualified workforce and to develop credentialing standards for heavy equipment operators and craft professionals.
It is developed by contractors and professionals to develop industry-driven standardized training and assessment with portable credentials for the construction trade industry.
They set training and certification standards for the construction and maintenance workforce. If you are trained, your name exists in their Registry System allowing managers and employers to verify your qualification or their prospective new hires.
The organization has one important objective – that is to build a safe, productive, and sustainable workforce of trained craft professionals in the construction industry.
To Conclude This
The employers and companies have never been stricter when hiring employees. They obviously want those individuals who have readied NCCER certificate for the heavy equipment operator.
The NCCER certificate is important evidence you can show to a hiring manager to prove that you can perform the job well.
If you haven’t got it yet, invest time and money. Though it would take a considerable amount of effort and time to complete the training, it will guarantee your success in employment.