Being a heavy equipment operator is a rewarding and stable career to get into. This job is in demand right now and in the next coming years. It is no surprise. Construction is a booming industry and this is where you most likely to get a job.
The ability to make good pay without the hassle of many requirements what makes this profession attractive for many of you. If you are in Maryland and you want to be an operator, we made this article for you to get you on the track.
Everything starts by enrolling in a class. We listed down below the directory of operator training schools in this state. Getting into the school is the first step to take if you want to get into this profession.
The school will train you to gain the confidence and skill to operate heavy equipment. They will also prepare you to pass the NCCER exams – a certification you need to have professional credentials.
Here are the schools in this state where you take the class:
- International Union of Operating Engineers - Operating Engineers Local 37
3615 North Point Blvd. Suite A, Baltimore, Maryland 21222
- Harford Community College
401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: (443) 412-2000
- Montgomery County Public Schools
850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850
- Maryland Board of Stationary Engineers
500 North Calvert Street, Room 201, Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3651
- Hagerstown Community College
11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland
- ABC Baltimore
1220B E. Joppa Rd., Suite 322 Towson, MD 21286
- ABC of Cumberland Valley
Barr Construction Institute 530 N. Locust Street Hagerstown, MD 21740
Carroll County Career & Technology Center 1229 Washington Road , Westminster, MD 21157
Criteria in Choosing a School Before You Enroll
If you’re thinking of going to a heavy equipment operator school, do your assignments first, you would not want to commit a mistake in choosing. Here are some criteria you can follow before you make the decision.
- Find a school with NCCER certified instructor. Ask the school if their curriculum adheres to NCCER, in this way, you boost your chance of passing the NCCER certification exams.
- Find a class with a small number of students. The ideal number would be not more than 12 students per class to ensure you get the attention and receive a lot of time with each piece heavy equipment you want to get training on.
- Choose a training school with an expansive training field. Heavy equipment training must be done in a vast facility for the operation safe. You can visit the school’s training facility to ensure they have a vast amount of land.
- Choose a training school with a modern type of heavy equipment. Due to advances in technology, heavy equipment now used GPS and screens. It is utmost important that you take the training on modern pieces of equipment. You would not want to get your hands on rusty and obsolete equipment. You can visit the school’s facility and ask them what equipment they’re using.
- Find a school that will help you find a job. If you’re a graduate of the school that has a large network of employers, they can easily refer you to them for possible job placement.
The training in heavy equipment operation is not as easy as you think. It takes plenty of time to get through. This is why choosing a school is important.
How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator
- Assess yourself is being a heavy equipment operator is the right job for you. Are your strengths and values geared towards to the nature of the job. The traits of a good operator should be adept to working outdoors, flexible since you could work mostly at night or in a different shift, can work independently and passionate about working with heavy equipment. If you think you have the right attitudes and traits, then this job is the one suited for you.
- Complete the requirements. You need to have a high school diploma, be at least 18 years old, physically able since nature of the job demands it, CDL may also be required but you can obtain that later by taking a preparatory course to pass the CDL tests.
- Find a heavy equipment operator school in Maryland to enroll at. The list of schools is above, for your reference. Choose the one where you want to attend the class.
- Take the classroom training and hands-on demonstration. These are the aspects what composed a training course. You will get a formal education inside the classroom and you’ll have a chance to do practice training to familiarize yourself in the current government regulations, safety aspects, basic repair and maintenance and of course in actual operation.
- Earn the NCCER certification. The training course will prepare you to pass the NCCER certification. The credential you need to increase your chance of getting a job - this is what the employer will look for from the candidates.
How Long Does It Take to Complete the Training?
There are two ways you can become a heavy equipment operator.
First, you can be an apprentice. You can take an apprenticeship program from a union. Being an apprentice, you will work under an experienced journeyman learning the operation of different types of heavy equipment. You’ll get exposed to the on-job-training working in real-life scenarios to learn the practical application of the skill needed for the job. The program takes about 3-4 years to complete.
The second option you can take is by going to a trade or technical school, this is what we recommend if you’re a beginner. Heavy equipment training school provides in-class and practical training to students. However, the trainees would not get as much field experience compared to apprentice. The training offered by the school usually lasts about 8 to 14 weeks depending on the course.
How Much Would It Cost You to Attend the School?
If you want to undergo extensive training on heavy equipment operation, going to heavy equipment operator school is necessary. But we all know it is costly as well. You may already heard from someone that he has spent this amount to complete the course.
The average you would have to spend ranges from $6,000 to $15,000. This amount will surely burn a hole oi your pocket.
However, if you completed the training course and gain the certification, odds are in your favor, you can easily find a job and you can recuperate the amount you spent.
Salary of Operator in Maryland
The increasing number of heavy equipment operators in the industry should not be a surprise. What drives people to get into this occupation is the booming construction industry and the aging road and bridges that need to repaired and maintained that dictate good salary of a flourishing career.
If you will work in Maryland as an operator, you can make as much as $66,232 according to the latest report of Salary.com as of April 27, 219. The salary ranges from $55,377 and $75,148 depending on some factors.
The factors that affect your salary is the length of experience you have as an operator, the certification you’ve acquired, the size of the company you’re working for, and the location where you are working.
A heavy equipment operator who is working in the state of West Virginia, could make much higher salary.
Heavy equipment operators are one of the fastest-growing occupations in the US. You’ll enjoy fruitful careers in the foreseeable future.
To Summarize This
Whether it is a simple forklift or a more complicated piece of equipment such as a crane, using this equipment is something that requires extensive training. This is the main reason why people choose to go to a heavy equipment operator school in Maryland to learn the skills necessary for the job. The students will get professional training that generally preferred by hiring managers.
In addition to this, heavy equipment operators are among the occupations with a high rate of injury. By going to school, you will learn the safety aspects of working around in such machinery.
Spend some time and effort in completing the training course. It will benefit you a lot!
Cities and Towns of MD
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