Being a heavy equipment operator is an occupation that is going to be in demand in the next coming years and even decades.
Heavy equipment operators drive and operate heavy equipment and other large vehicles used to construct roads and bridges and put up buildings and other high-rise structures.
No wonder that in the construction industry and civil projects in Pennsylvania are where you can find a fruitful job and long-term career.
If you are one of the thousands of people wanting to enter this profession, then you need to take heavy equipment operator training in Pennsylvania.
Even you are switching jobs or looking for a new career, taking such training can boost your chance of landing a high-paying job or getting a promotion.
If you are still starting out, here are the steps you need to do in order to be successful in this career of heavy equipment operation.
How to Become a Successful Heavy Equipment Operator
- Make a Decision if this Profession Suits You – Being a heavy equipment operator does not suit everyone, we all different traits and attributes that could not be inlined with this occupation. If you love outdoor work and being on the field for long period of time and you akin to making your hands dirty, then there could be a chance being an operator compliments your personal qualities. By knowing yourself and having your attributes go aligned with the nature of the job makes you fit into being a heavy equipment operator.
- Complete the job requirements – the requirements are your credentials and qualifications necessary for a certain position. The very basic you need to have in order to take the heavy equipment training and earn a certificate is to be 18 years old, physically able and have a high school diploma. You can’t go anywhere if you don’t have it complete. To know more about the detailed requirements you need to be an operator, browse the bottom of this page.
- Enroll in a heavy equipment operation training program – you can enroll in a course offered by a technical school or community college. In Pennsylvania, there are several heavy equipment operator schools where you take the program. See below list. The school gives education that will qualify you to earn professional licensure and certification. Though in Pennsylvania, there is no strict guideline for being an operator, having such certification would be handy if you will work in other states where there’s a strict rule.
- Be a heavy equipment operator apprentice – to become a successful operator, you need to be an apprentice. This is where you will learn the trade while you earn a living. An apprenticeship program is being offered by a community college, trade school, or by a local of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), there are several of them in PA. See below. The apprenticeship program typically last for four years. To be an apprentice, you need to apply and submit requirements such as your birth certificate, proof of citizenship or residency, copy of high school diploma or GED certificate, copy of DD-214 ( if you are a veteran), driver’s license, any Pennsylvania-issued ID and social security card.
- Go get your first job as heavy a heavy equipment operator – Finally, after your hard work and perseverance all comes down to getting employed. But where you can really find a job? You can find a job by searching online and sending your resumes to online recruiters. You can even be referred to an employer by the school where you took your apprenticeship program. You can network with colleagues who are in this profession. In this state, you mostly find a job in logistics, warehousing or in the construction industry.
Heavy Equipment Operator Schools in Pennsylvania
Whether you are a complete novice and seasoned pro, having the education and training can surely elevate your chance of getting employment or a job promotion.
Where then you can get educated, where else, you can have the training by enrolling in a course offered by a heavy equipment operator school and here are the schools in PA where you can enroll:
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 835
1064 Pontiac Road Drexel Hill, PA 19026
Phone: 610-853-6061 Fax: 610-853-6064 ; email:
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 542
1375 Virginia Dr., Ft Washington, PA 19034
- Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers
457 Christopher Road, New Alexandria, PA 15670
Phone (724) 668-2244; Fax (724) 668-8146
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 095
300 Saline Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15207-1032
Phone: (412) 422-4702
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 066
111 Zeta Drive
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238-2811
- Tack Operator Training
692 E Butler Rd, Butler, PA 16002, USA
Phone: +1 724-285-7232
- Total Equipment Training
Pennsylvania Office: (610) 321-2679
- New Castle School of Trades
4117 Pulaski Road, New Castle, PA 16101
- Lehigh Career & Technical Institute
4500 Education Park Drive, Schnecksville, PA 18078
- Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics
5 Allegheny County Airport
West Mifflin, PA 15122 (Pittsburgh Office), Phone: 412-346-2100
- Schuylkill Technology Center
101 Technology Drive, Frackville, PA 17931
- Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology
Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania
Phone: (814) 359-2793, www.cpi.edu
- Community College of Allegheny County
(412) 323-2323; www.ccac.edu
- Pennsylvania College of Technology
One College Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701
Phones: 570.320.2400 800.367.9222
- Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center
Phone: (814) 266-6073; www.gjctc.org
- Lancaster County Career and Technology Center
Willow Street, Pennsylvania
Phone: (717) 464-7050
Helpful Tips in Choosing the Best School
Selecting the right heavy equipment operator school makes a lot of people worried about it. We always want to have the best and quality education we can get from training as it is expensive.
This is why we came up with these tips to help you out in choosing the best heavy equipment operator school in Pennsylvania where you can take the training:
- Choose the school that gives one-on-one instruction to each student - There should be no sharing of equipment used in the practical training. By doing so, you can be assured of having the focus and attention from the instructor during the duration of the training.
- If travel distance is one of the things you consider, you can choose the school that is nearest to you - You don’t have to pay for room and board during the span of the training that means you can save money by having fewer expenses.
- We all know that the tuition of heavy equipment operation programs is costly - Select the one that provides a flexible payment scheme and accepts scholarships. It will help you somehow to ease the burden of the expensive tuition.
- Select the one with up-to-date and high-tech equipment – for you to be assured of you’re enrolling at the right school with modern equipment, you can visit their training facilities, observe and take a look at the equipment they’re using in the training.
- Choose the school that offers employment assistance – the school maintains a registry of companies and employers, as their contacts, who need a workforce like you. They recruit qualified people to refer to their contacts.
- Find the one that focuses and spends more time in the practical training – the curriculum and program should focus on equipping the students with skills through the practical approach. I am not saying that classroom instruction should be eliminated, I am just stressing out that you can learn more skills and knowledge doing the hands-on operation in the field than in the classroom.
- Find the one that gives financial aid to their students – you can visit their website and see if the school offers such aid, if so, you can then make an inquiry with the school about how you can avail it. Know the requirements and the application process so that you can be prepared to submit your application.
- Gives career services – would it be great to have someone to assist you in your career? If you can find a school that provides career services to make you prepared for entering this endeavor.
How Much Does Enrolling in Heavy Equipment Training Cost
Earning a heavy equipment operator certificate isn’t cheap. As a matter of fact, the cost of taking the training course would cost you around $6,000 up to $15,000 depending on the skills level you have and on the school where you are taking the training from. The duration stretches up to 8 to weeks, again depending on the course curriculum.
Other expenses for the certifications such as NCCER will add up to your expenses. You need an NCCER certificate for you to be able to get employed in the construction industry as a heavy equipment operator.
A commercial driver’s license (CDL) will surely be a compulsory requirement you need to have. An additional cost you will shoulder and settle.
You can recuperate all those costs in just a few months' time once you get hired. In Pennsylvania, a heavy equipment operator can make as much as $60,000 on average yearly salary.
Requirements You Need to Be an Operator
- Certificate of training completion - for many technical jobs, on-the-job experience is crucial and important. You can obtain a certificate by taking a heavy equipment training course.
- You will need a high school diploma or a GED certificate as its equivalent certificate – this proves that you’ve finished high school or have acquired mathematical and aptitude skills you can apply in the performance of your job.
- Completion of a heavy equipment apprenticeship program – being an apprenticeship is a good way to obtain additional and necessary practical skills. It is also an opportunity for you to make a living while on the training. You can apply for apprenticeship training at the local branch of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). There are several of those locals in Pennsylvania, see above for their complete address and contact info.
- Be at least 18 years old – if you are a minor you are not allowed to work in a hazardous environment such as in construction sites, mines or quarries – places where you can work as a heavy equipment operator because of the child labor law. If you are already at the legal age, you can work in different work environments full-time and even overtime.
- Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical Test – there could be a circumstance where you will be required by your employer to undergo a DOT physical test to evaluate your physical fitness for the job. If this is one of the requirements you have to submit and you don’t have yet a DOT physical, you can apply for the test here.
- National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certificate – If you intend to work in the construction industry as a heavy equipment operator, you will need an NCCER certificate. Having such credentials involves taking a written assessment and performance evaluation. It is basically the same as passing a written test and practical training of heavy equipment operation training program only under the supervision of an NCCER assessor.
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) – it would be handy to have CDL with you if you are applying for a job. It is one of the requirements that may be asked from you by the employer. Having a CDL allows you to drive equipment, trailer and dump trucks to and from the worksite. If you don’t have it yet and you want to apply for CDL, follow this page.
How Much Do Heavy Equipment Operators Make in Pennsylvania
If you will work in Pennsylvania as a heavy equipment operator, the average salary you can earn is $69,914, this number is based on the March 28, 2023 survey report of Salary.Com.
The number usually stretches from $58,463 and $79,313 depending on some other factors such as the size of the company you are working for, the experience you have as an operator, the skills and qualifications you can bring for the job, and of course the location in PA where you work.
|Bensalem||$76,363||King of Prussia||$74,229|
Make no mistake in choosing an occupation, being a heavy equipment operator will continue to be in demand so there’s a high chance you will reap sweet fruit doing this job. The potential for employment is in the construction sector especially if you are able and trained to operate many varieties of equipment.
To Make a Finalization
If you are convinced that being a heavy equipment operator is the right job for you, then go get heavy equipment operator training in PA.
There’s a good chance you’ll progress in this job. You won’t be running out of opportunities out there as this skill is highly sought after by contractors and companies.
There’s a high demand for talents like you as well as good pay awaits those qualified individuals going into this profession.
The industry is seeking qualified people like you. There’s a lot of work to do right now as infrastructure projects spout everywhere. But there are not many qualified people to operate heavy equipment.
Both the public and private sectors are on the lookout for talents to build roads, bridges and skyscrapers.
It is the right time to go into this. Go get yourself into it.
Cities and Towns of Pennsylvania
Lansdowne, Emmaus, Jefferson Hills, Erie, Reading, Oil City, Upper Darby, Scranton, Bethlehem, Lancaster, Bensalem, Harrisburg, Altoona, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wyomissing, Allentown, Uniontown, Pottstown, Plum, Murrysville, Lower Burrell, St. Marys, Coatesville, New Kensington, Waynesboro, Yeadon, Elizabethtown, Nanticoke, Williamsport, Easton, Lebanon, Allentown, Reading, New Castle, Johnstown, Chambersburg, McKeesport, Carlisle, West Chester, Monroeville, Bethel Park, West Mifflin, Baldwin, Lansdale, Phoenixville, Pottsville, Kingston, Bloomsburg, Greensburg, Hanover, Wilkinsburg, Franklin Park, Sharon, Dunmore, Ephrata, Berwick, Munhall