Now that you’ve made a decision and being a heavy equipment operator is the profession you want to get into, you might be thinking, where can you take the training.
One of the routes you can take is by enrolling in a course offered by a heavy equipment operator school in Wyoming. Although, there are only a few of them in this state, see below.
Doing so will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter this career. Enrolling in a program offered by the school will expose you to the actual work environment which will enable you to obtain practical skills.
Whether you’re a novice who is seeking a first job or a seasoned operator looking to advance your career, completing such a course offers great advantages – employability, increased pay, professional certification, and many others.
Now, if you are looking for a heavy equipment operator school where you take the course, here is what you can find in this state:
- WCA Regional Training Center
2220 Bryan Stock Trail, Casper, WY 82601
(877) 265-1645 Toll-Free; (307) 237-4400 Phone; (307) 237-4422 Fax
- Eastern Wyoming College
3200 West C Street Torrington, Wyoming 82240
Contact: 307.532.8200; 866.327.8996
- Wyoming Safety Training Professionals
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
4925 N. Wardwell Industrial Ave., Bar Nunn, Wyoming 82601
Phone: (307) 265-1397; Website: http://www.iuoe800.org
You can train to become a heavy equipment operator with a school in other states. Finding the right school is oftentimes a daunting task. Setting selection criteria will help you avoid the pitfall.
Criteria to Follow When Choosing a School
Establishing criteria before enrolling in the training course makes you avoid mistakes. You don’t want to waste your money in a school that would not provide the knowledge necessary for the job. To help you assist in deciding what school to go to, here are some of the criteria you can follow:
- Find a school that offers a program congruent with the NCCER standard – the training program or curriculum that the school offers should be aligned with the NCCER standard so that you can prepare for the NCCER certification tests.
- Find a class with a small number of students – it is obvious that a small class lead to one-to-one attention of the instructor and that the instructor can tailor lecture more individually. If you want to make sure that you are attending a class with a small number of students, talk to the school and ask how many students are there in the class prior to enrolling.
- Choose the school with modern training facilities and equipment – If you want to make sure that your prospective school has modern training facilities, visit their training facility in person. This allows you to observe the premises and the equipment they use in the training.
- Does the school offer job placement upon training completion – One great advantage of going to a school is that they have a network of employers and contractors who are looking for qualified individuals to be part of their workforce. If you enroll in a school that offers job placement upon graduation, you can be referred to them for possible employment.
- Does the school offer the students with scholarships or flexible payment options – taking the heavy equipment operator training isn’t cheap. Find a school that provides students with a scholarship or flexible payment schemes so that you won’t be having a hard time paying for the tuition.
How to Take the Heavy Equipment Training Course
Taking the heavy equipment training program does take some steps.
- Before anything else, you need to complete the requirements – You need to be at least 18 years old to get accepted in the training program; you also need to have a high school diploma; be physically fit; other requirements that may be required upon application.
- Find a school where you want to take the training – The list of training providers in Wyoming is stated above; though, you may take the training program offered by a school in other states. See also above the criteria in selecting a training school.
- Attend the classroom training – Once you are enrolled, you will undergo classroom training as the initial part of the course. You will learn different subjects necessary for the performance of the job such as current government regulations, equipment maintenance, blueprint reading, introduction to surveying, etc.
- Complete the practical training course – at this stage, the students will learn how to operate and maintain various types of heavy equipment. The types include backhoes, excavators, bulldozers, forklifts, loaders, trucks, and other kinds of machines. This part focuses on the trainees using the equipment so that they will be able to obtain practical experience in the work environment.
- Pass the written and performance assessment to be conducted by the instructor – When you complete the classroom and practical training, you will be assessed by the evaluator. Assessment involves the administration of the written test and practical evaluation. When you’re successful, you will receive your operator card and certification of training completion.
- Get the necessary certification and licenses – commercial driver’s licenses is one of the credentials you will need, although this may not be required by the employer, you will be of better standing if you have a CDL as this allows you to operate equipment such as trucks to and from the job site. While CDL is a great benefit, it would be much better if you have an NCCER certificate. To know more about getting NCCER certification, see below.
How Much Money Will You Spend Attending School?
The cost of tuition and other miscellaneous expenses is somewhere in the ballpark figure of $8,000 to $15,000. To break down the fees, of course, it is comprised of the resident training/tuition, registration and administration fees, cost of PPEs and other training materials.
If you don’t have the money yet, talk to the school, if they can arrange finances for you to take the program. You may also be qualified for a scholarship or financial grant.
The training duration stretches about 8-12 weeks depending on the program. On completion, you are ready to get employed as an entry-level operator.
The cost isn’t cheap! Being a heavy equipment operator is not only lengthy but also a costly process. But you can easily recuperate the money you put in your education because the salary you could make is somewhere around $45,000 to $55,000 per year, you will get your return of investment. Not only that, being a heavy equipment operator is an evergreen job – there will always be an opportunity waiting for you.
Being a Heavy Equipment Operator Apprentice
Another route you can take to be a heavy equipment operator in Wyoming is to apply for an apprenticeship program. The requirements you may need to submit are a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, being at least 18 years old, being a citizen of the US, must be physically fit as the job demands it, application letter, and other requirements that may be asked upon application.
The apprenticeship program lasts for 3 to 4 years covering classroom lectures and extensive on-the-job training. Actually, being an apprentice is a great way to learn the skills while at the same time making a living.
Upon program completion, you will attain a journeyman level. Many graduates extend their skills by taking additional classes, doing so making them more employable in the industry.
If you want to apply for an apprenticeship program, contact the IUOE Local 800, see above for the contact details and address.
Getting the NCCER Credential
When you completed part of the NCCER training and certification program, you will receive a credential, which is usually comprised of a certificate of completion, a wallet card, and an online transcript.
If you have such credentials, you can access your online record on the NCCER’s website. Another great advantage of having NCCER credentials is that the employer can validate the candidate’s credentials using the website.
This allows you to show to the employer your skills and credential and that you are a perfect fit for the job you’re applying for. The NCCER credential is what the industry looks for from a candidate. You are in better standing if you have such a credential.
You can work anywhere in the country or jump from one employer to another since the NCCER credential is recognized in the industry.
Getting the credential involves going through the assessments.
The written assessment can now be taken using the online testing on the NCCER website. Since it is web-enabled, this eliminates the manual entry and submission of testing form 200. If you are successfully passing the written assessment, you gain the “knowledge verified” status.
The second part of the certification process is performance verification. This process is designed to assess the candidate’s skill level on heavy equipment operation. The performance verification will require you to undergo skill demonstration under the supervision of a testing evaluator. If you passed this verification, you gain the “knowledge verified” status.
If you both passed the written assessment and performance verification, you gain the “certified plus” status, as proof of completion, you receive a Certified Plus wallet card.
If you want to be a heavy equipment operator in Wyoming, getting NCCER certification will give you a competitive advantage. You can work anywhere in the state or country or from one contractor to another, just show your credentials to a prospective employer.
Salary of Heavy Equipment Operator Working in WY
According to the latest report of Salary.com, as of March 28, 2023, the wage you can make as a heavy equipment operator working in Wyoming averages $62,348. But since there’s a deviation, it usually ranges from $52,137 and $70,730.
Here are the cities and towns of Wyoming that pay well:
If you will work in Idaho, you could make a way better salary.
The factors that affect your salary are the city in this state where you are working, the skills and certification you have under your belt, the years of experience you have as an operator, and additional competency applicable for the job.
Heavy equipment operators will be in demand in the future, the growth for this profession will continue to climb in the next coming years. This will guarantee you continued success and a stable career.
The construction sector is the largest industry that requires qualified people, this industry is growing fast as more roads and bridges, houses and buildings are being built every single day, and many are still in the drawing plans. The construction industry is where you are most likely to get employment.
Contacting the Authorities
Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (Workforce Center)
350 South Washington Street, Afton, WY 83110
307) 886-9260; (307) 886-9269 Fax
OSHA Area Office
1510 East Pershing - West Wing Cheyenne, WY 82002
Call: (307) 777-7786
To Conclude This
After completing the training program offered by a heavy equipment operator school in Wyoming and obtain the required certifications, you will be eligible and become a professionally trained operator. And you will be much closer to attaining your dream; obtaining a good-paying job and sustaining wage in a job that you enjoy doing.
Cities and Towns of WY
Riverton, Jackson, Cody, Rawlins, Lander, Torrington, Powell, Glenrock, Evansville, Lovell, Bar Nunn, Lyman, Pinedale, Afton, Greybull, Wright, Saratoga, Lusk, Star Valley Ranch, Mountain View, Basin, Sundance, Guernsey, Pine Bluffs, Upton, Marbleton, Moorcroft, Dubois, Ranchester, Hanna, Alpine, Dayton, Diamondville, Cowley, Shoshoni, Byron, Big Piney, La Barge, Cokeville, Bear River, Pine Haven, Lingle, Hudson, Cheyenne, Casper, Laramie, Gillette, Rock Springs, Sheridan, Green River, Evanston, Douglas, Worland, Buffalo, Wheatland, Newcastle, Mills, Thermopolis, Kemmerer,