Heavy Equipment Operator Training ColoradoSpecial skills are required to operate backhoes, loaders, cranes and other types of heavy equipment.

You can learn the heavy equipment operation in Colorado by taking the training required to become an operator.

You can always find work in construction sites. Since construction is a booming business now and in the coming years, you can expect to flourish of your career in this field. Heavy equipment operators are a necessity in construction sites.

If you enjoy being on the heavy equipment do something with it and it is something that you have interest in, then you could be on the right path.

If you are a novice and don’t have prior experience, you can do these steps:

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Taking the Heavy Equipment Operator Training

Here are the steps you must do in taking the training course:

Think If this Job Is the Right for You

If you just want to get into heavy equipment operation job for the mere reason of it pays well, you might reconsider your decision.

Being an operator is a passion you need to have focused on. Operators work in hot and cold weather, exposed to heat and cold, out there in the field, doing paving and other construction work. If you are not used to the physically tiring job, you may not last long. You don’t want to end up quitting your job.

With a strong piece of advice, you have to know with yourself if this job is the one you want to do in the long run.

Accomplish the Requirements

If you’ve finally made up your mind that this job is right for you, then you start completing the requirements.

The requirements to become a heavy equipment operator in Colorado are stated below. Read those and make sure completed them before taking the training.

You might want to ask the technical school or community college where you are planning to enroll in for other the requirements that they may have to get from you.

Find a Technical School or College to Train in

In Colorado, there is a handful of them. The schools are listed below for your reference. We also include their contact numbers so that you can easily get in touch with them to make an inquiry.

When you’re deciding where to enroll in, just find the school that has current and modern pieces of heavy equipment and with a small number of students per class.

And one last thing, survey if the school has a high passing rate of students taking the certification and other state licensing requirements.

Taking the Training Course (formal education and practical training)

Heavy equipment operators are expected to have a firm knowledge of the different equipment functions, current OSHA policies and regulations and safe workplace practices. You can obtain this by going through the classroom lectures. Classroom training is an essential part of the course.

With classroom training, there goes the on-hand or the actual operation. As I’ve said previously, when choosing the school, they must have modern equipment where you can operate in the field and absorb much knowledge about them. You will spend much your training time in the field doing the practical training

Taking the Apprenticeship or On-the-Job Training

If the school where you are enrolled in also offers the apprenticeship program for their student, then you are lucky. You don’t have to take the apprenticeship program separately.

If the school doesn’t offer this, you can apply for such program in International Union of Operating Engineers Local 1 (in Northglenn) and Local 9 (in Bennett).

The length of the program is about 3-4 years depending on the comprehensiveness of the course. During that time you are learning and at the same time getting paid.

Heavy Equipment Training Schools in Colorado

International Union of Operating Engineers
Local 1 - 475 West 115th Ave., Ste. 4-A Northglenn, CO Phone: 303-433-8482, Fax: 303-433-4108
Local 9 - 41801 E. Quincy, Bennett, CO, 80102, Phone: 303-644-3909
The apprenticeship program is available

Emily Griffith Technical College
41801 E. Quincy, Denver, Phone:(303) 644-3909
706 Elmhurst Pl., Pueblo, Phone: (719) 543-3369
Grand Junction, Phone: (303) 644-3909
Offers operating engineer apprenticeship program

Colorado Contractors Association
6880 South Yosemite Court, Suite 200, Centennial, Colorado
Contact: Terry Kish, (303) 290-6611 x14 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Offers CCA Apprenticeship Program

Aims Community College
5401 West 20th Street, Greeley, CO 80634
Phone: 970-339-6554/6294

Trinidad State Junior College
600 Prospect Street, Trinidad, CO 81082
Phone: 719.846.5011

Northeastern College
100 College Ave., Sterling CO
Phone: 970.521.6600
Toll Free: 1.800.626.4637

Certification for beginners is usually offered by these technical schools and community colleges and it could take about a year to complete the heavy equipment training course.



Requirements to Become an Operator

  • You must be at the legal age of 18 years old and above before taking the training. Obviously, this is the age you must be before getting into the actual job.

  • High School Diploma or Its GED equivalent

  • You must be in good shape since the nature of the job and actual work is physically tiring. The hiring company may perform a standard medical evaluation as well.

  • You must have attained certification and completed the apprenticeship program.

  • Commercial driver’s license or CDL may be required by the training school or hiring company. It is an added benefit to have you this.

Salary of Heavy Equipment Operator in Colorado

According to the latest March 28, 2023 report of Salary.com, the average salary of heavy equipment operators working in this state is $69,844 per year. Here are the cities and towns of CO that offer good pay:

Arvada $71,196 Fort Collins $68,709
Aurora $71,149 Grand Junction $71,876
Boulder $71,834 Greeley $68,861
Broomfield $71,305 Jamestown $71,834
Castle Rock $69,965 Loveland $68,616
Colorado Springs $69,725 Pueblo $65,739
Denver $71,196 Westminster $71,196


If you will work in Kansas, the wage is a little lower;


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Importance of Heavy Equipment Certification

  • Just like any other job, have such certification is your credential that will prove your competency. You are more likely to be given an offer by the hiring company because employers know you are efficient in doing your job and more inclined to do your job safely.

  • The employers in Colorado are having a hard time finding the right and skilled people. Having been properly trained as a heavy equipment operator, you are fulfilling that gap and the certification that you’ve attained makes you what the employers are looking for. You are likely to be given an initial offer that is higher than those without certification.

  • With your credentials as an operator that meets or exceeds the OSHA requirements, you and your company are less likely be penalized by the OSHA inspector if they happened to inspect your site/company.

  • Having been thoroughly trained, you are more confident doing your job. This results in fewer errors, near miss, property or equipment damage and accidents, boosting your company assets and yourself as well.

  • Employers know that with the qualified people are safer operating the heavy equipment, this reduces untoward accidents and reduce insurance premiums that they have to pay.



To Conclude This

If you are thinking of getting into this profession, then you are on the right track. 

The equipment operator is very much in demand right now in the coming years. You will work in construction sites where the work never ceases and projects sprouts everywhere. That means you can get long-term employment. 

To become a heavy equipment operator in Colorado, you must take the initial training and pass the rigorous certification. 

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