If you are one of the hundreds who are interested to take heavy equipment training in Nevada, then this article is just right for you.
Taking the training course gives you the pathway toward better employment, salary and opportunity. If you are looking for job satisfaction and a good employment outlook, this career offers that.
As a matter of fact, according to Salary.com, an operator who is working in the state of Nevada typically makes between $60,049 and $81,459 on average yearly. This is considerably higher compared to other neighboring states.
The career is projected to grow 12% from the year 2016 to 2026. This is considered faster compare to other occupations, according to US BLS. You will be having fruitful years being on this job.
If you are curious about this profession and just want to understand what it takes to become a heavy equipment operator, keep reading this guide, we’ve got the answers for you to get into this occupation.
How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator
There are two ways you can take to become a heavy equipment operator. The first one is to enroll in a course being offered by a training school or through an apprenticeship program. Either way, the objective is to get as many skills and experience as possible that you can use in actual job.
By going to a technical school
- Find a school to enroll in - The list of heavy equipment operator schools in Nevada is listed below, choose the one that you prefer. Below this article, we’ve given some highlights on how to choose the best school where you can take the training from, see below.
- Complete the requirements – by enrolling, the school will require you to attain the requirements and submit some documents. The very basic you need to be/have: at least 18 years old, physically fit and have a high school diploma. The requirements may vary depending on the school’s standard.
- Enroll in a heavy equipment operator course – the course is composed of classroom training and in-the-seat operation of the equipment in the actual or simulated work environment. The course usually lasts for at least 10 weeks depending on the program you’ve taken. The longer the course, the more costly it gets.
- Learn the trade – You will have the opportunity to operate different types of equipment such as bulldozers, compactors, rollers, forklift, cranes, excavators, scrapers, skid steers and other types of machinery. In addition to this, you will also learn the concepts of grade reading, laser level, equipment inspection, maintenance, safety at work, site layout, and other subjects that may be deemed necessary.
If you are asking how much does it cost you to take the training, well it basically depends on the comprehensiveness of the course and type of equipment you want to have training on. The course usually costs somewhere in the ballpark figure of $5,000 up t0 $15,000.
Through apprenticeship program
- The apprenticeship program offers classroom and practical training of the equipment. You can take such program from a union or in an approved company. The program commonly lasts 3 to 4 years. If you want to apply for an apprenticeship, you can submit your application to IUOE, see below for their address and contact info.
- Apprentices usually learn their skills by working under a qualified and competent operator. What I like about apprenticeship program is that you will be more exposed to field experience and actual work scenarios.
- Being an apprentice is an opportunity to make a living while learning the trade. You would be paid as an apprentice doing actual work for a company. This is where you can grasp the actual knowledge to become an experienced heavy equipment operator.
Heavy Equipment Operator Schools in Nevada
If you are looking for a technical or trade school where you can take the training from, here is what you can find in Nevada:
- Nevada School of Construction
4405 E. Colton Ave., #106, Las Vegas, NV89115
- Operating Engineers Apprenticeship
1290 Corporate Blvd., P.O. Box 20962, Reno, NV 89515
- Western Apprenticeship Coordinators Association (WACA)
6350 Howdy Wells Ave, Las Vegas NV 89115
- Cashman Equipment Co.
3300 St. Rose Parkway , Henderson, NV 89052,
Phone: (702) 649-8777
- Southern Nevada Operating Engineers
6350 Howdy Wells Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89115
Tel: (702)643-1212; Email:
- National Association Of Heavy Equipment Training
Henderson, NV, 89014
Phone: (888) 879-9492
- Heavy Equipment Colleges of America
199 North Arroyo Grande Boulevard, Henderson, NV 89074-1610
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
Local 3: 555 West Silver Street, Suite 104, Elko, NV 89801, 1290 Corporate Blvd., Reno, NV 89502, Phone: 775-857-4440
Local 501: 2405 West Third St, Los Angeles, California 90057, Phone#: (213) 385-1561
Local 039: 1620 N Market Blvd, Sacramento, California 95834, Call: (916) 928-0399
Local 012: 150 East Corson Street, Pasadena, California 91103-3839, Contact: (626) 792-8900
Not all schools are the same, we all know that. Don’t commit a mistake in enrolling at a school that doesn’t actually give you the education necessary to get into this profession. Here are some of the helpful advice you can keep in mind when choosing a training school:
How to Choose the Right Heavy Equipment Training School
- Check the training school’s reputation - You can easily verify this by asking with your colleague or with someone who had taken the training from the school. Graduates from reputable training schools tend to be very educated in the operation of heavy equipment.
- Verify that the local company or employer actually employs graduates from your chosen school before enrolling – you would not want to waste your money and time on a school that produces incompetent graduates; employers tend to reject those candidates.
- Know if the training school has modern equipment – you can know this by paying a visit to the school’s training facility. Ask permission from the school if you could enter into their premises prior to enrolling. Doing so will give you a sneak peek of what they have.
- Know the class size – I would not enroll in a class that has a large number of trainees. You would not get much attention and focus. You will share the equipment with some trainees during practical training, and you would not want that.
- Offers payment options, loans and scholarship – find a school that assists students to get a loan to pay for the tuition. Some schools also give full scholarships. Inquire with the school if they offer such options.
- Gives employment assistance and career guidance – Would it be great to land a job even an entry-level one after graduating? That school can also help you with this. They recruit qualified graduates and refer them to contractors and employers for full-time employment.
- Know the tuition – Don’t fall for the school which offers low tuition because you might end up with a worthless course. Make inquiries with multiple schools about their tuition fees to get the average. Shortlist and think of the options before you decide.
Requirements That You Will Need
- You should be a legal resident of the US, a citizen or holding a permanent status.
- You should be at least 18 years old and above; employers have strict requirements when hiring minors.
- Must undergo substance abuse and in some circumstances a background check
- You must be physically fit and healthy as the nature of the job is physically demanding.
- You must have a high school diploma or GED certificate as its equivalent as proof of your educational attainment.
- Employers may require candidates to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This license enables you to operate or drive heavy equipment on public roads. If you don’t have it yet, we suggest you to invest and put the effort into obtaining CDL.
- NCCER certification will also be required by the employer. The certification can be obtained by passing the written test and hands-on exam. If you took the training at a school, you won’t be having a hard time passing these tests, as the course given by the training school is almost identical to the NCCER certification course.
- Completion of an apprenticeship program can be a big edge if you want to get into this career. Employers prefer to hire those individuals who have undergone such programs. You are more likely to receive higher pay also if you’ve completed an apprenticeship program.
- You need to have the willingness and the passion to do the job. You will work long hours outdoors with machinery, you will perform maintenance and some repair when needed. Make sure you have an interest in going into this type of work.
- Offers extensive hands-on experience – it is the most important aspect of training. While classroom lectures are also important, but in the practical training or hands-on exercise, we get all the skills and experience in operating heavy equipment.
Let’s Talk About How Much You Can Make
If you are wondering how much salary you can make doing this job? Well, a heavy equipment operator working in the state of Nevada can receive $71,806 on average per year. This number is according to Salary.com's March 28, 2023 report.
The factors that affect your salary are the city/town where you are working in Nevada, the length of experience you have doing this job, the certifications and licenses you have obtained, and other relevant skills you can use in the job. Here are the cities and towns of NV that pay well:
|Boulder City||$70,229||Silver City||$70,615|
If you will work in the nearest state of California, you could make a way higher salary.
You can expect fruitful years being a heavy equipment operator. It is projected that the demand for heavy equipment operators will rise in the next coming years.
Keeping In Touch with the Relevant Authorities
Nevada State Occupational Safety and Health Administration
3300 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Phone: +1 702-486-9020
(For Registered Apprenticeship)
Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 East Washington Ave, Suite 5100, Las Vegas, NV 89101, Phone: (702) 486-2500, Fax: (702) 486-2505
To Make a Conclusion
If you think this job is right for you and you have the passion and what it takes to be a heavy equipment operator, then act now. Start by taking heavy equipment training in Nevada. This state has a lot to offer.
There is construction everywhere! Your skill is highly sought after by contractors and employers. You are needed to keep the project going. You can expect a good future doing this job.
If you can operate many types of heavy equipment, then you can have the best opportunities as employers want to hire those candidates who are skilled in operating many types of equipment.
Good luck with your career!