If you are passionate about working with heavy equipment and outdoors, then being an operator could be the right career for you to pursue. You just need to take heavy equipment training and you could easily find employment in the beautiful state of Vermont.
Although the nature of the job describes as physically demanding and seasonal, the paycheck can definitely change your life, in addition to this, you won’t be running out of employment opportunities as the demand for skilled heavy equipment operators like you will continue to increase.
We can say that being a heavy equipment operator can open varied opportunities and offer higher wages that you had not enjoyed in the previous jobs you have had.
If you are in the process of starting a new career, this job could be the perfect fit for you and if you want to know the details of the position and want to know what are the requirements and how to take the training, we prepared this article to guide you.
Keep reading, please…
Basic Requirements You Need Have/Be
If you have what it takes to be an operator, then you can begin the journey. Well, here are some of the basic requirements you need to have:
- The industry may encourage someone who wants to be a heavy equipment operator to have a high school diploma or a GED certificate as its equivalent.
- Some states may require you to have a license; they may require you to be in possession of a commercial driver’s license that will enable you to drive/operate heavy equipment such as a dump truck on public roads. While, other states may also require someone to have NCCCO to operate cranes or an NCCER certificate to be able to operate backhoes, loaders, dozers, and the like. But as of this writing, the state of Vermont doesn’t have that many requirements, well, discretion will still fall on the employer.
- Being medically fit and physically sound is just another important requirement you need to have since the nature of the job is physically demanding. You need to lift several dozens of pounds and work for long hours throughout the shift. The employer may ask you to undergo a physical test as a pre-employment screening.
- Employers may require a job candidate to undergo a substance abuse screening prior to employment.
How to Take the Heavy Equipment Operator Training (Step by Step)
After you’ve met the requirements and you’ve decided that you want to pursue the training, there are just several steps you need to take in order to complete the program.
- Find a training school or program provider near your location. We made a list of heavy equipment operator schools in Vermont, see below. Choose where you want to take the training. We also mentioned the criteria below on how to choose a school so that you get the worth of your money.
- Take the classroom training part of the course. The training program is usually comprised of classroom training which teaches you the theoretical part of the operating heavy equipment such as safety policies, blueprint reading, basic computation/mathematics, current government regulations, OSHA guidelines, hazardous operation, pre and post-operational procedures, equipment maintenance, and many other topics. The classroom training will consume a small portion of the training.
- Take hands-on training. This part consumes most of your time and it is a good thing. You will have the opportunities to operate loaders, backhoes, dozers and other equipment in the real-world scenario so you get the operating experience. You will be given sets of tasks such as excavating, grading, and many activities depending on the equipment you’re using.
- The length of the training program varies from school to school. It also depends on the training package you want to avail. The average length of the program usually lasts for three (3) up to six (6) weeks if you opt to take the program with a privately-owned training provider. But if you take the program in a community college or in a vocational school, the program can stretch for about eight (8) to (12) months.
- The cost of taking the training program will again vary depending on the school and how long you would want to take the training. A typical training program offered by a community college is less expensive compared to a privately-owned provider. A typical training program may cost around $6,000 to $10,000. This is serious money if you want to save some bucks, see our tips below.
Heavy Equipment Training Schools in Vermont
Here are the training schools and career centers that offer heavy equipment training in Vermont. See also below on how to choose a training school so that you would not waste your time and money on a crappy one.
- North Country Career Center
209 Veterans Ave, Newport, Vermont 05855
P: (802) 334 - 5469 x3309 F: (802) 334 – 3492
- The J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation
(Vermont Community Foundation)
3 Court Street, Middlebury, VT 05753
- Southwest Vermont Career Development Center
321 Park Street, Bennington, VT 05201
Phone: (802) 447-0220
- International Union of Operating Engineers - Local 98
3 Gregory Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403
Phone: 413-525-4291; Fax: 413-525-7553
- River Bend Career & Technical Center
36 Oxbow Drive, Bradford, VT 05033
Phone: +1 802-222-5212
- Adult Education Program
One Gifford Road, White River, Junction, VT 05001
Contact: Tel. 802-359-4739, Email:
The benefits I like about getting into a training school are the emphasis they give on hands-on practice and learning in a real work environment being able to learn directly from the professional people in the field.
How to Pay for the Training and Save Some Cash
It is true that taking heavy equipment operator training can be costly. But you can make it more affordable and suitable for your budget. Here are some of the ways you can do to afford it:
- If you’re a Vermont resident, you can apply for tuition assistance in the career technical centers mentioned above, they usually give the training at no cost or at discounted price for eligible residents through the VSAC grant.
- Make an inquiry with the training school you’ve chosen if they give such grant or discount for students. You would not have a hard time finding one because they are offering such assistance to their students.
- Find a financial aid you could be eligible for. There are many government programs you can qualify for, such as the Veteran’s Benefits, Department of Workforce Development, Workforce Investment Act, Trade Adjustment Act, Vocational Rehabilitation.
- Avail the student loans. Talk to the school if you are qualified for a student loan to pay for a portion of the training cost. Students loans are granted to trainees who meet certain requirements.
- If one of the above options doesn’t work, you can search for other sources of funding. I am referring to a private loan or getting into an agreement in a private payment plan. I strongly advise you, make sure that you exhaust all your effort with other options before getting into a private loan.
How to Choose a Training School
Choosing a heavy equipment training school can be a huge decision to make that a make a lot of people nervous about. Well, you have a lot of reason why to be stressed about - you would not want to spend a lot of time and money on something that would not benefit you. Hence, we made these criteria on choosing the best one:
- Choose the one that offers employment assistance or career guide upon graduating from the program. The school can assist you to get a job upon completion of the program.
- To get much attention and focus, class size is important. The ideal number of students per class should not be more than 10 to 12 students.
- The key to learning the practical experience is undergoing the ever-important hands-on exercises. There is no other way to learn the abilities but to get there in the field and do it yourself. So make sure that the school you’ve chosen has a considerable amount of time for practical training.
- Make sure that the program curriculum they offer is up-to-date to the current standard and that the training facilities and equipment they use in the training are modern. The program they offer should help pass the NCCER certification.
- Do some research if the school you are considering has a strong background in heavy equipment operator training. You can ask your colleagues or someone who has undergone such training in the school, ask their opinion on what they can say about the school.
- Find a school that offers a student discount or grant to students. If so, ask the school how can you avail and be qualified. Discounts and grants can help you defray the expenses. Some schools may also help you get loans to pay for the training cost.
- Lastly, once you made a decision, visit the campus and see their training facilities and personally witness how the training is being conducted. Just remember, there is no other way to experience being a student but to visit the campus.
Choosing can be a daunting task for a beginner like you, however, by following the criteria I mentioned above, you could reach a decision.
Salary of Heavy Equipment Operator Working in Vermont
We are all motivated by money – the salary we are making from our job. The pay we receive can make a big impact on our performance as an operator. Every operator knows that it is the value the company places on him. A worker who receives a good salary is expected to perform to his optimum potential.
Now if you are thinking about how much you can make as a heavy equipment operator in Vermont, well an operator can make as much as $67,462 per year on average but depending on the experience and skills, the operator can receive a paycheck ranging from $56,413 to $76,531. These figures are based on the March 28, 2023 survey report of Salary.Com.
Since the work location is an important factor in determining your salary, here are the cities and towns of Vermont that pay well:
If you will work in Maine, you could make a better wage.
The factors that affect the salary are the additional skills you can apply for the job, the city/town where you are working in Vermont, and the certifications/licenses you had acquired throughout the years you’re working as an operator.
To Make a Finalization
Now is the best time to be a heavy equipment operator in Vermont as the demand for this trade is growing, and it will continue until the next coming years.
The work of a heavy equipment operator is very interesting and rewarding aside from the never-ending opportunities you can enjoy. You will not run out of employment as this position is very highly sought after in the construction industry and in the roads, bridges, and building maintenance work.
Take time to complete the training and spend a little money. The resources you put in it are worth it. After you complete the program and acquire the necessary certification and become an operator, you can make good money and recuperate your investment.
We wish you good luck with your career!
Contacting the Authorities
Vermont Department of Labor
5 Green Mountain Drive, P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, 05601-0488, Phone: (802) 828-4000
Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA)
5 Green Mountain Drive, P.O. Box 488, Montpelier, VT 05601-0488
Phone: (802) 828-2765; Fax: (802) 828-2195