There are two ways to become a heavy equipment operator in Quebec, two of the most common are by taking a training course or entering into an apprenticeship program.
Taking a training course:
A training course is a great option for individuals who want to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to operate heavy equipment in a short period of time. Heavy equipment operator training programs typically cover the basics of operating different types of equipment, safety procedures, and regulations. Training programs can be found at vocational schools, community colleges, and private training centers. The duration of training can vary, but it usually takes several weeks or months to complete.
If you want to take this route, see list of schools that offer such program. This is where you can enroll in the course.
Entering into an apprenticeship program:
An apprenticeship program is a great option for individuals who want to gain hands-on experience while learning the trade. Apprenticeship programs are typically offered by union or non-union companies, and they involve on-the-job training with a certified heavy equipment operator. The duration of an apprenticeship can vary, but it usually takes several months to several years to complete. Apprenticeship programs usually require a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and what may be the best fit for one person, may not be the best for another. It's important to research and compare the different options available to find the one that best meets your needs and qualifications.
If you want to be an apprentice, see unions below where you apply for the apprenticeship program.
Heavy Equipment Operator Training Schools in this Province
DVS in conduite d'engins de chantier
Phone: 514 864-2200; email:
- Formation Nord Sud
12100 Rang St Rémi, Mirabel, QC J7N 2V2
Phone: 514 864-2200
If you want to be an apprentice and you want to join a union, here are your choices:
- International Union of Operating Engineers
4881 Jarry East, Suite 228, Montreal, Quebec H1R1Y1
Phone: (514) 326-9412
1179 Bourgogne, Suite 101, Chambly, Quebec J3L1X3
Phone: (450) 572-0652
If You Want to Take the Training from a Provider, Here are What You Need
Secondary School Diploma (SSD)
if you wish to take heavy equipment training, it is mandatory to have a Secondary School Diploma (SSD) or its recognized equivalent. This includes an Attestation of Equivalence of Secondary Studies, a Diploma of College Studies, or a Bachelor's degree. This requirement ensures that individuals who wish to operate heavy equipment have a basic level of education, which is necessary for understanding the technical aspects of the equipment and the safety precautions that need to be taken while operating it. Without this education, one may not have the necessary knowledge to operate heavy equipment safely and efficiently. Therefore, it is important to have a SSD or its recognized equivalent before embarking on heavy equipment training in Quebec.
Be at least 16 years old of age
it is also necessary to be at least 16 years of age on September 30 of the school year in which your heavy equipment training is set to begin. This age requirement is in place to ensure that individuals who are training to operate heavy equipment are mature enough to understand the responsibilities and risks associated with the job. It is also important to note that some heavy equipment training programs may have additional age requirements, so it is important to check with the specific training program for any additional requirements. Overall, it is important to have a SSD or its recognized equivalent, and be at least 16 years of age on September 30 of the school year in which your training is to begin in order to take heavy equipment training in Quebec.
Completion of the General Development Test
The General Development Test (GDT) is a type of aptitude test that is designed to assess an individual's cognitive abilities. The test measures an individual's ability to understand and process information, solve problems, and make decisions. The GDT is often used as a functional prerequisite for certain training programs, such as heavy equipment operator training, to ensure that individuals have the necessary cognitive abilities to understand and operate the equipment safely.
The GDT typically consists of several sub-tests that assess different cognitive abilities, such as:
- Numerical reasoning: the ability to understand and work with numbers
- Spatial reasoning: the ability to understand and manipulate 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional objects
- Verbal reasoning: the ability to understand and work with words and language
- Problem-solving: the ability to identify problems and develop solutions
Individuals who successfully complete the GDT and meet the other requirements are considered to have the necessary cognitive abilities to pursue heavy equipment operator training and may be eligible for the program.
Please Take Note of This
It's important to note that requirements for heavy equipment operator training may vary from training provider to provider. Some providers may have different age, educational, and functional prerequisite requirements, so it's important to check with the specific training program for the requirements.
Additionally, some training providers may have additional requirements such as medical and physical fitness, as operating heavy equipment can be physically demanding. These providers may require individuals to pass a medical exam and/or physical fitness test to ensure they are able to perform the physical tasks required to operate the equipment safely.
Requirements You Need to be Heavy Equipment Operator
Completion of required number of hours
In order to be eligible to take the provincial qualification examinations for trade certification in heavy equipment operation in Quebec, an individual must have completed a 2,000-hour apprenticeship period. This apprenticeship period is designed to provide individuals with the hands-on training and experience necessary to operate heavy equipment safely and effectively.
During the apprenticeship, apprentices will learn about equipment maintenance, safety procedures, and operating techniques.
They will also gain experience working with different types of heavy equipment, such as cranes, bulldozers, and excavators.
After the apprenticeship period is completed, apprentices can take the provincial qualification examinations, which will test their knowledge and skills in operating heavy equipment. Upon passing the examination, apprentices will be issued with a trade certification, which is required to work on construction sites in Quebec.
Proof of completion of DEP - Conduite d’engins de chantier and of a job guarantee from an employer
individuals who have completed a DEP (Diploma of Vocational Studies) in Conduite d’engins de chantier (Heavy Equipment Operation) and have a job guarantee from an employer registered with the CCQ for at least 150 hours spread over three consecutive months, are eligible to receive an apprentice competency certificate in the trade.
This certificate is issued by the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) and it certifies that the individual has the knowledge and skills required to operate heavy equipment safely and effectively.
To receive the apprentice competency certificate, the individual must present proof of completion of DEP and proof of the job guarantee to the CCQ. The CCQ will then evaluate the individual's qualifications and, if they meet the criteria, will issue the certificate. This certificate acts as a stepping stone towards the full trade certification and allows the individual to work on construction sites under the supervision of a certified operator.
It's important to note that this certificate is not a permanent certification, and the holder must continue to work towards obtaining a full trade certification by completing the apprenticeship hours and passing the required examinations.
Technical knowledge in reading plan, hydraulics, electricity, and other related skills
Reading of plans is necessary for operators to understand the layout of a construction site and the specific tasks that need to be performed. This includes understanding symbols and abbreviations used on the plans, as well as the overall layout of the site.
Survey monuments, such as survey markers and benchmarks, are used to establish the location and elevation of a construction site. Knowledge of survey monuments is necessary for operators to ensure that heavy equipment is being used accurately and efficiently.
Concepts of mechanics, hydraulics, and electricity are also important for heavy equipment operation. Mechanics refers to the principles of how machines work and how to maintain them. Hydraulics is the study of the properties and behavior of fluids, and is important for understanding the operation of equipment that uses fluid power, such as excavators and bulldozers. Knowledge of electricity is important for understanding the electrical systems of heavy equipment and how to diagnose and repair any electrical issues that may arise.
Overall, understanding these aspects is important for the operator to have a complete understanding of the construction site and the equipment they are working with. It also ensures safety while working and increases the efficiency of the work being done.
Be physically fit
As a heavy equipment operator in Quebec, it is important to have good physical coordination. Operating heavy equipment requires the ability to control and manipulate large, complex machines with precision and accuracy. This can be physically demanding, as operators may need to sit for long periods of time while operating equipment, and may also need to perform tasks such as climbing in and out of equipment and maneuvering around construction sites.
Good physical coordination is especially important when performing tasks such as digging, grading, and leveling, which require the operator to make precise movements with the equipment. Operators must also have good hand-eye coordination to control the equipment's movement and adjust it as necessary.
Additionally, good physical condition is important for the operator's safety. Heavy equipment operation requires strength and endurance to complete tasks, and operators must also be able to react quickly in case of an emergency.
Heavy Equipment Operation Certification is Compulsory in Quebec
Trade certification in heavy equipment operation is compulsory in Quebec in order to ensure the safety and effectiveness of operators working on construction sites. The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) is responsible for issuing trade certifications to individuals who have met the necessary qualifications and passed the required tests.
Obtaining a trade certification involves completing a recognized training program and passing both a theoretical and practical examination. These programs typically cover topics such as equipment maintenance, safety procedures, and operating techniques.
Trade certification is not only a legal requirement in Quebec, but it also demonstrates a level of expertise and professionalism to potential employers. It is a valuable asset for those seeking employment in the construction industry, as it shows that an individual has the skills and knowledge necessary to safely and effectively operate heavy equipment.
In addition to initial certification, operators are also required to renew their certifications every five years. This process involves passing a refresher course and a competency evaluation to ensure that operators continue to maintain the skills and knowledge necessary to operate heavy equipment safely.
The CCQ also conducts regular inspections on construction sites to ensure that all heavy equipment operators have valid trade certifications. If an operator is found to be working without a valid certification, they may face fines and penalties, as well as being barred from working on construction sites.
How Much Does a Heavy Equipment Operator Make in Quebec?
According to salary.com, as of 2021, the average salary for a Heavy Equipment Operator in Quebec is around C$70,139 per year. However, salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and type of equipment operated. Entry-level Heavy Equipment Operators can expect to earn around $50,000 per year, while more experienced operators can earn anywhere from $80,000 per year or more.
In addition to salary, many heavy equipment operators receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Some employers may also offer bonuses or incentives for meeting production goals or working in hazardous conditions.
It's important to note that the salary information provided herein is an approximation and may not reflect the exact salary offered by different employers. The salary can vary depending on the company's industry, location, and the type of equipment the operator is certified to operate, the number of years of experience, and the qualifications of the operator.
To Make a Conclusion
Becoming a heavy equipment operator in Quebec requires a combination of education, training, and experience. The first step is to meet the educational and age requirements set by the training providers, which typically include a Secondary School Diploma (SSD) or its recognized equivalent, and being at least 16 years of age. To gain the necessary skills and knowledge to operate heavy equipment, individuals can choose to take a training course or enter into an apprenticeship program.
Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and what may be the best fit for one person, may not be the best for another. It is important to research and compare different options available to find the one that best meets your needs and qualifications. The heavy equipment operator field is a promising one, with good earning potential, and a lot of opportunities to advance in the future.