The duties and responsibilities of heavy equipment operators are varied and complex. If you don’t have the right education and proper certification, it would be difficult to perform them all.
There are certain skills and knowledge the employers are looking for from a job candidate that you to need to attain. Where else can you learn those skills?
Of course, you can learn everything by enrolling in a course offered by a heavy equipment operator school in Louisiana.
The operator school will prepare the students for the professional construction and maintenance work. The students will receive comprehensive classroom and practical training.
If you are looking for an operator school where you can take the course, here are the schools you can choose from:
- International Union of Operating Engineers Local 406
Baton Rouge District Office
7651 Airline Hwy.
Baton Rouge, LA 70814
Phone: (225)- 924-1311 / Fax: (225)-924-6096
- International Training Services USA
7575 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA
- Louisiana CAT
3799 W Airline Highway
Reserve, LA 70084 (corporate headquarters)
Phone: 866-843-7440, Fax: 985-536-4549
- ITI New Orleans
279 Thompson Road, Houma, LA 70363
- South Louisiana Community College
320 Devalcourt St, Lafayette, LA 70506
How to Choose the Best Heavy Equipment Training School
- Find the one that offers the NCCER training standards. Graduates will become nationally recognized. The names and other details will go into the NCCER registry system for easy verification of records. This is an advantage for you because when you are a graduate, you can easily convince your prospective employer into hiring you.
- If you want to become a crane operator, find a school that offers NCCCO certification. If you are a CCO certification holder, it tells that you have the necessary training and skill needed to safely operate cranes. Just like the NCCER standard, you have to pass the written and practical test to be certified.
- Choose the school that has modern, current and well-maintained heavy equipment and training facilities. If you want to be sure if the training school has modern equipment and facilities, ask if you could go inside their facilities, then observe. If you could talk to other trainees who are undergoing training, ask them how the training is. Doing so will give an insight into what you’re going to take.
- Enroll in a school that has a small number of students per class. The fewer the number of students per training class, the better for the students so that the instructor can give ample amount of time training each student.
- Find the heavy equipment operator school that not only offers training and certification but also job placement assistance as well. Finding a job as a heavy equipment operator is one of the daunting tasks you will have to face after taking the training course. If you could find a school that offers job assistance after graduating would be beneficial for you. The training school has a large network of hiring managers and contacts they can refer you to.
- Choose the training school that gives a flexible payment scheme and a good discount. Taking the heavy equipment training is expensive. The cost of the training course is somewhere around $10,000. It is a big money. If you could find a school that offers a flexible payment scheme so that it would not be hard on your pocket.
How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator
- Make A Decision If This Job Suits You. You have to ask yourself if this profession is the right one for you. Being a heavy equipment operator takes talent and skill. Choosing a job can be a daunting task that’s why finding your field of interest should be considered in making the final choice. If you feel you have what it takes to be a heavy equipment operator, you can pursue this profession. You can read this article to help if being an operator is right for you.
- Accomplish The Requirements. Just like any other trade occupation, you should have the necessary requirements to penetrate this field. The very least you need to have is a high school diploma or GED certificate as its equivalent certificate. You should be at the right age of 18 years old. Be in good physical conditioning because you have to pass the Department of Transportation physical exam. You need to have a driver’s license and in many cases, you need also a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and you can apply here if you don’t have one yet.
- Get The Proper Education. You can be properly trained by enrolling in a heavy equipment training course or program offered by an institution or school. The list of training schools in Louisiana is mentioned above, you can refer to that. The program will take 8 to 10 weeks to complete. During that period you will spend most of your time operating heavy equipment in the field. You will also spend time inside the classroom for lectures. The training school will assist you in everything you need to learn, from basic operation to equipment maintenance.
- Take The Classroom Lectures And Practical Training. These are two vital parts of the training when you take up a course. You will have to spend time and effort taking these two parts. Throughout the course, you will receive around 100 hours of classroom lectures and around 300 hours of practical training.
- Pass the written exam and practical test. As part of the certification process, you have to take these exams in order to get a certified heavy equipment operator. Many training schools and instructors have NCCER standards they implement. In passing the NCCER standards certification exams, you will become nationally recognized and your name will be entered into the NCCER registry system. This will be your credential you can show to your prospective employer.
- Apply for an Apprenticeship Program or On-the-Job Training. If you are one of those unlucky ones who have no prior experience in heavy equipment operation, the best route for you to take and get the necessary experience is by applying for an apprenticeship program or look for a company that will sponsor you as an on-the-job trainee. If you want to be an apprentice, you can enroll at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 406, the contact details are above for your reference.
- Find a job as a heavy equipment operator. Most of the time, you will find work on construction sites. This industry heavily relied on talents like you. Likewise, since construction is a thriving industry in the coming decades, the demand for talents like you never ceases. Many heavy equipment operators started as lowly workers and then moved up to the greater responsibility. Others took their chance by establishing their own contracting businesses.
If You Will Operate Crane in New Orleans
New Orleans is one of the cities in the US that requires crane operators to have an NCCCO certification before any commencement of work. This is a city-specific requirement that you need to comply with.
You also have to pass the NCCCO certification written and practical tests in order to receive your license.
If you have the NCCCO certification it tells your current and prospective employer that you have what it takes to operate cranes. You are qualified because you have the knowledge and practical skills required to operate cranes.
Salary of Heavy Equipment Operator in Louisiana
According to the March 28, 2023 report of Salary.com, the yearly salary of operators working in this state is $67,112. Here are the cities and towns of Louisiana that offer the best wage:
If you want to get a salary bump in this career, experience, and certification are important. Many beginners and new graduates are having a hard time finding employers that could hire them.
It is always a good idea to invest in your education, hence taking heavy equipment training is a top priority when you want to get into this profession. Your education and certification indicate your ambition and aspiration that could be perceived by a hiring manager. It also gives bargaining power when you are to be asked by an employer for a promotion or salary offer.
If you will work in Mississippi, the salary there is a bit lower.
Contacting the Authorities
OSHA Area Office
9100 Bluebonnet Centre Blvd, Suite 201, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809
(225) 298-5458 Phone, (225) 298-5457 Fax
National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)
703-560-2391 Phone, 703-560-2392 fax
National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER)
Main: 386.518.6500, Toll-free: 888.622.3720
To Finalize a Conclusion
Taking the proper heavy equipment training course is the first route to take when you want to get into this profession.
You can be educated by taking the course being offered by a heavy equipment operator school in Louisiana.
Being a heavy equipment operator is a lucrative job, aside from that you can expect long-term employment as the demand for talented people like you will continue to climb in the coming years.
If you are looking for a stable and satisfying profession, you could be one of the professionals who construct and develop our cities. They are the valued and well-paid operating engineers.
Get educated and certified. You will receive a fruitful career. Good luck!