Heavy equipment operation is a highly specialized field and requires someone, who wants to get into this, to be highly skilled and properly trained.
Where else can you go get trained? You can enroll in a heavy equipment operator school in Florida to have a formal education.
Completion of training programs can open opportunities to get employment in construction sites, mining, logistics and in many other industries.
You can reach your full potential as a heavy equipment operator by taking a training course. The pay is good and you can expect long-standing and continuous employment. This industry will persist and flourish in the next coming years.
Before you enroll, you may be wondering if becoming a heavy equipment operator suits you, here's an article to READ:
Many community colleges and technical schools in Florida provide such courses. Here they are:
International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Locals in Florida
Local 487 H&P - Daniel C. McCullers, Call: (954) 434-8309
Local 673 M - 8366 Devoe St., Jacksonville, Florida, P:(904) 693-8094, F:(904) 695-1214
National Training, Inc.
188 College Drive, Orange Park, FL 32065 (Office), 5660 County Road 209 South
Green Cove Springs, FL (training ground)
Phone:(904) 272 – 4000
Fax: (904) 272 – 6702
Florida Community College at Jacksonville
Address: 101 W State St, Jacksonville, FL 32202, USA
Phone: +1 904-633-8100
College of Central Florida
3001 SW College Rd, Ocala, FL 34474, USA
Athletics: NJCAA Region 8; Mid-Florida Conference
Phone: +1 352-873-5800
Mid Florida Tech
3701, 2900 W Oak Ridge Rd, Orlando, FL 32809, United States
Phone: +1 407-251-6000
Florida Panhandle Technical College
757 Hoyt St, Chipley, FL 32428, USA
Phone: +1 850-638-1180
Miami Lakes Education Center
5780 N.W. 158th St. Miami Lakes, FL 33014
Miami Dade College
300 N.E. 2nd Avenue Miami, Florida 33132-2204
Florida International University
10555 West Flagler Street Miami, FL 33175
Immokalee Technical College
508 N 9th St, Immokalee, FL 34142, USA
Phone: +1 239-377-9900
Palm Beach State College
4200 Congress Avenue, Lake Worth, FL 33461
Indian River State College
3209 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL. 34981
Phone: (772) 462-4772 or (866) 792-4772
ITC Industrial Training Center
4281 NW 167 Street, Miami, Florida 33055
Phone: 305 - 624 – 0199
Crane Inspection and Certification Bureau (CICB)
P.O. Box 621388, Orlando, Florida 32862
800-327-1386, Local:407 277 0884; Fax:407 856 0522
The school may require the students to submit copies of their driver’s license, certificate of birth, and social security cards.
The school may perform a knowledge assessment of the students before getting accepted for enrollment.
Though it may not be required for someone who wants to be an operator in the state of Florida to have formal training in this field since there’s no strict requirement, the employers would likely be impressed if you had such credentials. You could be offered with better pay than those who aren’t trained.
Here are some articles that will guide you on your journey to becoming an operator:
- What Requirements do You Need to e a Heavy Equipment Operator?
- How Long Does It Take To Complete Heavy Equipment Training?
- How Much Does Heavy Equipment Operator Training Cost?
- How to Get a Heavy Equipment Operator License?
- What to Do If You Lost Your Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate?
- Where Can I Go To Learn Heavy Equipment Operation?
How to Choose a Training School
Finding the right school where you can enroll can be a difficult undertaking if you follow these criteria, then you will be off in finding the right one that meets your requirements:
- The training school must have sets of modern machinery where you will have the chance to operate. You would not want to seat on a rusty loader or a breaking excavator. Choose the school that has current pieces of heavy equipment.
- Find a school that will register you for National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) registry. NCCER registration can give you a boost when you’re prospecting for a job, employers prefer those candidates who are registered in NCCER. Here's an article about NCCER Certification: NCCER Certificate for Heavy Equipment: How to Get and How Long It Last?
- If you will be working in cranes and want to have a crane operator license, find the school that has a preparatory class for you to be able to pass the NCCCO certification test.
- Since most of your training time will be done in the field, find a training school that has a vast amount of land.
- Ask the school how many students per class they usually have. A low student ratio is good criterion that the school gives importance to education and they are not just after for your money. The trainer can give focus and attention to each trainee in a low student class.
- Choose a school that can give you an opportunity for employment after graduating. The training school usually maintains a database of construction companies and other employers that require graduates from them. Find the one that can give you assistance in finding a job after completing a training course.
Taking the Heavy Equipment Training
- Before anything else, you need to make a final decision if this type of work is the one you want to do in long term. The heavy equipment operators work in different work and weather conditions, they usually operate several types of heavy equipment and not just one or two, they perform maintenance and repair, they work in hot and cold weather. If you are after for the challenge and not just for the money and you have what it takes to be a heavy equipment operator, then start the journey.
- Find a school where you can enroll and take the course from. We’ve listed the heavy equipment operator school in Florida as you’ve read above. The school will provide formal education in heavy equipment operation. An entry-level operator or a seasoned one usually takes the training at the school.
- Completing classroom training and practical training is part of the curriculum. The length of the training course usually takes up to 10 weeks to finish depending on the comprehensiveness of the course. You will spend most of the time doing the hands-on operation and some time in the classroom.
- The trainer will administer a written test and driving/operating assessment. Pass these two examinations, you will be assured of receiving your certificate of training completion.
- Congratulations! You have attained a level of heavy equipment certification.
Here are some QUESTIONS you may have in mind:
- Can You Be A Heavy Equipment Operator If You Have DUI or DWI?
- Can You Use Your Heavy Equipment Operator License to Work in Another State?
- Can I Use My Heavy Equipment License to Work for Another Company?
- Is Drug Test Mandatory For Heavy Equipment Operator?
- How to Pass the Heavy Equipment Operator Training Practical Test?
- How to Get a Heavy Equipment Operator License?
Requirements in Applying for Apprenticeship
If you have a plan to take an apprenticeship program to expand your career and education, here are the requirements you need if you will be joining an IUOE local in Florida:
- You must be at the age of 18 years old and above
- Copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate
- Copy of certificate of birth
- Copy of DD-214 service record (only if necessary)
- Copy of Social Security Card
- The result of an aptitude test (facilitated by the State of Florida Employment service)
- Department of Transportation physical examination assessment
- Department of Transportation drug test result
- With a valid driver’s license
- In possession of Florida-issued CDL License
The apprenticeship program is a 4-year period. The course is comprised of 8,000 hours of OJT, 300 hours of classroom lectures and 300 hours of practical training.
The initial heavy equipment training you’ve taken from the school can definitely boost your chance of succeeding and completing the apprenticeship program.
Salary of Operators Working in Florida
The salary of heavy equipment operators working in Florida depends on the town or city where you will be working on. In the last October 29, 2021 report of www.salary.com, here are the towns of Fl that offer good pay:
|Cape Coral||$61,943||Pembroke Pines||$64,269|
|Daytona Beach||$60,512||Pompano Beach||$64,689|
|Fort Lauderdale||$64,689||Port Saint Lucie||$62,872|
|Fort Myers||$61,943||Saint Petersburg||$63,417|
If you will work in the neighboring state of Georgia, the wage a bit higher
How much you could get working as an operating engineer?
What Does It Take to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator?
- Employers prefer those individuals who can show mechanical aptitude and have good eye-hand coordination enabling them to maneuver and drive this large machinery.
- You have to be flexible in changing work duties. Since you will be working outdoors and sometimes in an extreme work environment, your duty hours will actually depend on the weather condition which means you don’t have fixed work hours and you have to work at night when there’s a likelihood of bad weather the next day.
- You need to be physically dexterous as this job demands that. You will be working outdoors driving and operating these huge machinery. You could find work as a crane operator or a truck driver, the nature of every heavy equipment’s job is physically tiring.
- If you will be working on a construction site, you build levels and excavate land surfaces using different kinds of heavy equipment to complete the job. You’re always the first manpower to arrive during mobilization in a construction project. You clear the site of debris and other hazardous materials prior to starting the construction project.
- You may be in-charged of keeping the record of the supplies and materials needed for the project this includes inventory and record-tracking.
Duties and Responsibilities of Heavy Equipment Operator
- The operator performs excavation work and other tasks such as grading, loading and other materials handling tasks related to civil, soil remediation and other duties associated with site development.
- Advocate Safety to others and be a good example to others. You have to make sure that you are complying with the present OSHA regulations and following the company’s safety practices and procedures and advocate those to others in the worksite.
- Equipment servicing and inspection – heavy equipment needs to be inspected routinely during every shift and report the problems to superior for rectification and repair. Any mechanical problem found during the inspection must be corrected in time to avoid costly repair and general maintenance costs. Other duties can include cleaning, lubricating, and refilling heavy equipment.
- Heavy equipment operators can sometimes do housekeeping of the site and work environment. Cleaning the clutter you see in the workplace can enhance productivity. A clean and neat workplace is a productive workplace for you and for everyone around you.
The Bottom Line
The demand for heavy equipment operators is expected to be fine as there is often lack of qualified individuals while there is also a big growth in the construction industries in Florida.
To get into this highly-paid occupation, you have to be trained and educated by a heavy equipment operator school in Florida. We’ve mentioned above where you can enroll.
Know what you need when making an inquiry with them so that you can evaluate where is the most possible and appropriate school to take the training from.