The demand for heavy equipment operators, those people who are operating cranes and driving backhoes and other pieces of heavy machinery, will be as large as the equipment they operate.
Getting into this profession is a rewarding career in the next coming years.
The question now is where can you get trained to become an operator? There are heavy equipment operator schools in Kentucky when you can take a course.
The school will teach you everything you need to know about operating the equipment and becoming a competent and confident operator.
If you are looking for a training center where you can take the course, here are what you can find in Kentucky:
Heavy Equipment Operator Training Centers in this State
- Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
700 College Road Cumberland, KY 40823, Phone: 606-269-0694
- Hazard Community and Technical College
Hazard, KY 41701
Phone (606) 436-5721, Toll Free (800) 246-7521
- International Union of Operating Engineers Local 181
6500 Interchange Road, N, Evansville, Indiana 47715
- Associated General Contractors (AGC)
632 Comanche Trail, Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-223-8845, Fax: 502-227-8014
- American Heavy Equipment Training LLC
364 Ferguson Lane
Shepherdsville, KY 40165
- Bobcat Enterprises
1309 Cahill Dr. Lexington, Ky 40504, Phone: 859.254.3936
13117 Middletown Industrial Blvd. | Louisville, Ky 40223, Phone: 502.245.1911
How to Choose the Right School to Enroll In
Choosing a good school could be a stressful experience especially if this is your first time taking heavy equipment training. You might have deep worries about finding the right school to enroll in. Here are the good points you have to consider when choosing a training school:
- Choose the school that offers a preparatory course on the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), if you would like to be a crane operator. The school will help you pass the NCCCO written and practical test in order for you to obtain a certification.
- If you would like to get a job in the construction industry, it would be a positive point for you if obtain an NCCER certificate. Choose also the school that offers preparatory training in NCCER certification.
- Choose the school that offers immediate employment after graduating from them. The school has a large network of hiring managers and employers who looking for qualified and talented individuals like you the school could refer you to.
- Enroll in a school that has up-to-date equipment and modern training facilities. Would you want to operate a rusty piece of equipment? I bet you would not want.
- Enroll in a course that has a low instructor-to-student ratio. Don’t choose a class that has a large number of students. The instructor won’t be able to give you much attention and focus. You would not get as much education as you need.
- Find a training center that has a vast amount of training field. This is necessary so that you can absorb as much competency of the actual operation.
- Choose the school that offers a large number of training hours on the hands-on operation so that you can learn the skill and master it, since heavy equipment training is largely actual demonstration.
How to Become an Operator
- Make a career decision if this field is the one you want to get into. Before you choose a career that’s right for you, ask yourself first. Is operating heavy equipment a suitable job for me? If you feel that being an operator really the thing you want to do in the long term, then making a decision could be easy. We have a good saying, find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.
- Complete the requirements. The very least you need be/have is a high school diploma and you need to be at the right age of 18 years old and above. In some cases, you may need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). For the full list of requirements, here is an article discussing that.
- Enroll in a course offered by a heavy equipment operator school in Kentucky. The list of schools where you can take a course from is below for your reference. Getting an education in the operation of heavy equipment helps you by opening up employment opportunities. Employers want to employ operators who are professionally trained by an accredited training center.
- Complete the classroom and practical training. The program combines classroom instruction and hands-on demonstration in the operation of the equipment. These are two vital components of the course. The classroom training usually begins with short classes and lectures on safety procedures, current OSHA regulations and guidelines, wearing of PPE, and pre-operational procedures. While practical training is the actual demonstration of the use of heavy equipment in the actual work environment so that you can gain driving experience. You will operate several types of equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers, loaders, scrapers, compactors, and others.
- Take the Written and Practical Tests. As part of the certification process, you will take the qualification tests and you need to pass. The written is the knowledge test and the practical is the hands-on operation exam.
- Receive your certificate and wallet card. If you are successful in passing the tests, you will receive your certificate of completion and operator wallet card. These documents are your proof of competency you can show to your present or prospective employer.
Heavy Equipment Operator Apprenticeship Training
The apprenticeship training is the lifeblood of the operators. You can apply for the program in the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 181 in Kentucky; you may call this Phone #: 812-474-1811.
The apprenticeship program usually lasts for 3-4 years and the completion of 4,000 to 6,000 hands-on operations. You must also attend 300 hours of classroom training.
The apprenticeship training will benefit you not only in the acquisition of practical knowledge but you will also receive a wage during the time of your taking the program.
The admission requirements are a high school diploma/GED certificate, driver’s license, you must be at the age of 18 years and above, you must be physically fit to perform the job.
Salary of Operator Working in Kentucky
If you are unsure how much money you can make as a heavy equipment operator, according to the latest March 28, 2023 survey report of Salary.com, the average annual salary you could make if you will work in this state is $65,921. Depending on the location, your wage may deviate. Here are the cities and towns of Kentucky the pay well:
If you completed the training, there’s no reason why you can’t receive this amount of paycheck a year. The money is definitely nice! It allows you to take care of your family and be able to give them the life they wanted.
Other factors that come into play affecting your wage is your location and the size of the company. A good salary awaits an experienced operator. The heavy equipment operators are in high demand in the coming years and the employment opportunities are continuous.
Importance of Attending a Heavy Equipment Training School
The training program offered by the school will help you become a professional operating engineer and a safe operator. You can have the specialized training that you won’t be able to receive with just mere operational experience.
With the help of the heavy equipment training school, you will be able to evaluate soil conditions, you will be able to read technical drawings and blueprints, and apply mathematics to be able to compute weight and volume. You will also be able to learn the technical maintenance of diesel engines.
The important topics you will need to have when attending a school are construction site preparation, transport of gravel and soil, equipment maintenance, excavation, mining operation, and safety.
Career Information and Job Outlook
The heavy equipment operators, operating engineers, as they say, enjoy a good amount of job satisfaction they got employed. This is due to the high salary they receive and the nature of the work is not routinary as compared to most other jobs.
The nature of the work is mostly outdoors for long hours and in any kind of weather condition. Work is available full-time. If you will be working in construction, there will always be a great demand for the talents like you.
According to the BLS report, the growth of the operators in the field of the construction industry will continue to climb. There is a projected growth of 0% every year until the year 2024. This is astonishingly high. There’s no surprise because the construction industry will never cease operation in the next coming decades.
To Conclude This
There aren’t enough workers to meet the demand. The market is large but there are a small amount people who are qualified. Becoming a heavy equipment operator has varied employment opportunities.
But in order to achieve your ideal position, you have to go to a heavy equipment operator school in Kentucky and take a training course in order to get qualified for the position.
For those who became qualified, the employment opportunities increase significantly. There’s a lot of industries you can work in – in construction, agriculture, mines.
You won’t be running out of job opportunities in Kentucky.