To prepare you for a career as a heavy equipment operator, the very first step to take is being trained in the practical use of the equipment and to have theoretical knowledge.
To get the competency you need, you have to enroll in a course offered by a heavy equipment operator school in Tennessee.
The programs they give feature rigorous classroom training and extensive hands-on exercise. That means not only you will be able to grab the required knowledge but you will also work with real heavy equipment to gain practical skills.
These are what you need to get into this profession. Employers prefer to employ those candidates with a readied certificate because they know those individuals had undergone such training and were able to perform their jobs.
If you are looking for a heavy equipment operator school where you can take the training from, here are the choices you can have:
- Heavy Equipment College of Tennessee
298 Clear Sky Ct, Clarksville, TN 37043
Phone: (800) 390-1190
Offers three levels of heavy equipment operation certificate
- Industrial Training International, Inc.
1701 Dunn Ave, Memphis, TN 38106
Contact 800.727.6355 for more information
Gives variety of training methods such as online and virtual reality; training can be conducted at their site or the client’s premises; offers other courses as well as NCCCO, forklift, rigging, signal person
- Chattanooga State Community College
200 4th Avenue, Dayton, TN 37321
Phone: 423.365.5010, To Register: (423) 697-3100
This school follows NCCER curriculum and has a six (6)-week heavy equipment operation program
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
1121 Trotwood Avenue Suite 4, Office C Columbia, TN 38401 Phone: 931-388-3107 Fax: 931-388-7624
878 Willow Tree Cir, 38018 Cordova, Tennessee; Phone: +1 901-754-7599
6830 Lee Parkway West, Chattanooga, TN 37421, Phone: 423-893-6176
10420 Cogdill Road, Knoxville, TN 37932, Phone: 865-675-2000
Helpful Guides in Choosing a Heavy Equipment Operator School
- If you are interested to enroll in a particular school, schedule a visit to their training facilities and premises so that you can have a first-hand experience of what’s going on during the training. Sit in a course and observe what’s like to be a student. Have a sneak peek of their training ground, see how instructors are giving the hands-on exercises.
- Find a school that uses modern and current heavy equipment in the practical training - Technology gets outdated so as the ones being used in the heavy equipment. You would not want to be trained on a piece of equipment that is obsolete and outdated. To make sure you are enrolling at the right school with good equipment, pay a visit to their training facility, and see the condition of the equipment they offer.
- Enroll in a class with a low student-instructor ratio – With fewer students in the class, the instructor can have a focus on each of the students; the equipment doesn’t have to be shared by two or three individuals during hands-on exercise. This is a huge advantage for you as you will get the most quality training.
- Find a school with a curriculum that follows the NCCCO or NCCER – since these certifications are the ones that will be required from you by an employer, you need to have this as a credential. To maximize your chance of passing the NCCCO or NCCER certification, you might want to choose a school that offers such a preparatory class in passing these certifications.
How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator
- Evaluate yourself if this job is the one you want to do to make a career – if you choose a career make sure that it is the one you like. You need to have the interest and passion for it. If you are basing your decision on choosing a career on money, then you’re in the wrong direction. Always choose a job that will make you happy. If being a heavy equipment operator is aligned to your interest, then there’s a good chance you will stay on it for a long time.
- Get the certificate by taking a heavy equipment operator course - if you are an individual who is just starting or someone who is advancing, you can obtain your certificate by completing a course offered by a heavy equipment operator school in Tennessee. The list of schools you can choose is above for your reference. The school will bestow you the theoretical knowledge and practical skill to get you prepared for the job.
- Obtaining the required certifications – NCCCO or NCCER certification is your stamp of excellence. The certification will tell your employer that you are qualified and right for the job as a heavy equipment operator. The certification helps you get hired or promoted.
- Taking the apprenticeship program – apprenticeship is a program offered by a union or by a training provider which gives you the opportunity to expand your practical knowledge in the use of heavy equipment in the real-world scenario, though, it may take several years to complete an apprenticeship program. Being an apprentice, you will get the chance to earn a living while attaining qualifications.
- Get a job – the place where you are most likely to get a job as a heavy equipment operator is in construction. Construction sites and civil projects sprout everywhere, you will find roads and bridges being built, skyscrapers being erected, or parking lots being constructed, and the list goes one and one. Construction is the industry where you can have a long-time career.
Requirements You Need To Be a Heavy Equipment Operator
- Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
- Be at the right age of 18 years old and above
- You need to be in good health and with physical stamina as the nature of the job requires it.
- You need to have good vision, depth perception and good reaction time since you will be working with moving equipment most of the time.
- In some situations, you will need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to be able to drive trailer trucks, dump trucks and other vehicles on the public road to transport goods and materials to and from the worksite.
- Department of Transportation (DOT) medical may also be required in some circumstances depending on the equipment you will operate.
- Operators of cranes, loaders, backhoes and bulldozers in the construction may be required to have certification to operate. You will need NCCCO certification to work with cranes and NCCER to be employed in the construction.
How Much Does It Cost to Taking a Heavy Equipment Training Course
The cost of taking the course will generally depend on the skill level you have and there are usually three (3) levels of courses you can choose.
The heavy equipment operation level 1, which is consisted of 120 hours, usually costs around $8,000 to $10,000 to complete depending on the fees and other charges, while the tuition of level 2 is basically in the same ballpark figure.
Skill level 3 is much more intensive making it more costly to take. Taking the heavy equipment operation level 3 usually costs around $20,000 to $25,000 to finish due to the lengthier number of hours you have to spend in the training, it consists of 350 hours.
We all know that taking such training can burn a big hole and make a deep dent in your pocket. To defray the tuition, you can ask the school, you preferred to get the training from if they have any financial assistance they can offer you to pay for the tuition. Such financial options you can avail of are scholarships, flexible payment schemes, or financial grants.
Pursuing a career such as this one is a costly process but you should not have to be discouraged by the high cost and expenses you have to shoulder. Taking training is the key to penetrating this profession. You can easily recuperate the money you invested in since the pay of heavy equipment operators in TN is considerably competitive and the demand for talent like yours is greatly sought after.
Salary of Heavy Equipment Operators Working in Tennessee
In general, the salary of heavy equipment operators working in Tennessee is $63,644 according to the latest March 28, 2023 report of Salary.Com. But the pay you can expect ranges from $53,220 and $72,200, depending on some factors.
Here are the cities and towns of Tennessee that compensate well:
|Buffalo Valley||$64,824||Oliver Springs||$63,850|
If you will work in Kentucky, you could make a better wage.
Such factors that affect your wage are the location in TN where you will be working, the professional experience you have as a heavy equipment operator, the certifications and licensures you have attained, and the size of the business of the company you will be working for.
The future and job outlook are great. According to the US BLS, there will be a 10% increase in demand every year until the year 2024. You can find work in construction – the industry mostly in high demand for qualified operators like you. You can also find a job in transportation and trucking companies.
Contacting the Relevant Offices & Authorities
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
220 French Landing Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1002
Phones: (615) 741-2793; (615) 741-3325
Tennessee Department of Safety
PO BOX 945, Nashville, TN 37202
To Make a Finalization
One of the ways to obtain the skills necessary to get a job as a heavy equipment operator is by taking a course offered by a heavy equipment operator school in TN. There are only a few of them in this state.
The course will only last for several weeks but it will certainly put a hole in your pocket as the tuition is expensive. But you worry not because you can easily recuperate your investment in just a few months since being a heavy equipment operator is a luxurious job.
Take time and put in some investment to get credentials, it will help you get a long-lasting career.
Towns and Cities of TN
Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Johnson, Franklin, Bartlett, Hendersonville, Kingsport, Harriman, Henderson, Erwin, Kingston, Munford, Pigeon Forge, Nolensville, Sweetwater, Rockwood, Mount Carmel, Bolivar, Loudon, McKenzie, Jonesborough, Sparta, Dunlap, Forest Hills, Whiteville, Madisonville, Collierville, Cleveland, Smyrna, German, Brentwood, Columbia, La Vergne, Cookeville, Gallatin, Oak Ridge, Morris, Spring Hill, Maryville, Bristol, Lebanon, Sevierville, Dickson, Elizabethton, McMinnville, Athens, Soddy-Daisy, Lakeland, Red Bank, Arlington, Portland, Martin, Lewisburg, Union, Crossville,Lawrenceburg, Brownsville, White House, Millington, Paris, Manchester, Clinton, Covington, Lenoir, Winchester, Humboldt, Alcoa, Ripley, Atoka, Collegedale, Jefferson, Hartsville/Trousdale County, Pulaski, Milan, Fairview, Lexington, Signal Mountain, La Follette, Dayton, Savannah, Newport, Fayetteville, Church Hill, Oakland, Millersville, Greenbrier, Lynchburg, Mount Juliet, East Ridge, Farragut, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Dyersburg, Springfield, Goodlettsville, Greeneville,