Heavy Equipment Operator School in WashingtonMost companies wouldn’t hire unqualified heavy equipment operators. It is impossible to get a job if you’re not properly trained and certified even if you have the experience.

You build the skills and knowledge from training. You can get professional training by taking a course in a heavy equipment operator school in Washington.

If you are intending to enroll for a course, here are the schools in this state you can register in:

West Coast Training
3805 Dike Road, Woodland, Washington 98674,
Phone: 800.755.5477

IVES Training & Compliance Group Inc.
8420 Portal Way, Unit H3, Blaine, WA 98230-9482
Phone: 360-945-1909



Industrial Training International
9428 Old Pacific Highway, Woodland, WA 98674
832.324.4613 (phone); 360.225.1122 (fax)

West Coast Training
3905 Dike Road, Woodland, WA
800.755.5477 (Toll Free); 360.225.6787 (Local); Fax: 360.225.6760

Heavy Equipment Colleges of Washington
4701 McChord Drive SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
Phone: (800) 536-1503

Bates Technical College
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Course and Commercial Truck Driving
101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405, USA
Phone:+1 253-680-7000

Leavitt Machinery
17300 West Valley Hwy , Tukwila, Washington
Phone: 1-888-254-6157

Inland Northwest Chapter Associated General Contractors Operators AC
2110 N. Fancher Rd., Spokane, WA 99212
Phone: (509) 534-0502

Western States Operating Engineers Training Institute
23500 S Operating Engineers Ln, Spangle, WA 99031-0210,
Phone: (509) 235-9393

Construction Industry Training Council of Washington
Call: 877.428.0442; Toll-free 1.877.707.2482 – Fax 425.462.7391
4510 NE 68th Drive, Suite 120, Vancouver, WA 98661-1261
10428 W. Aero Road, Spokane, WA 99224
3506 124th St. NE, Marysville, WA 98271
1930 116th Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA 98004-3044

International Union of Operating Engineers
Local 370
2011 W Yakima St, Pasco, Washington 99301
Phone: +1 509-545-1811
Local 612
1555 South Fawcett Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402
Telephone: (253) 572-9612 or (800) 207-8226; FAX : (253) 591-9882
Local 609
2800 First Avenue, Room 311, Seattle, Washington 98121
Phone: (206) 441-8544
Local 302
18701 - 120th Avenue, N.E., Bothell, Washington 98011
Phone: (425) 806-0302
Local 286
18 East Street, S.W., Auburn, Washington 98001
Phone: (253) 351-9095
Local 280
1305 Knight Street, Richland, Washington 99352
Phone: (509) 946-5101

How to Select the Perfect Heavy Equipment Operator School

  • The operator school should modern training facility and current heavy equipment – you can schedule a visit to your preferred school and see the kind of training the school provides. Observe the facilities they used in the conduct of the training; see also if the heavy equipment they used in the hands-on training are up-to-date. You don’t have to have an eye of an eagle to become aware of it.

  • Has good reputation and established name – This kind of operator school has been in the business years or even decades ago. They already established their credibility in this field. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know the good one. Just ask your colleagues which school is reputable; you can even hear the school name from other people doing this craft.

  • Has accreditation from NCCER, conforms the NCCCO standard or even licensed by the Washington state itself – the operator school must be accredited by the National Center for Construction and Research (NCCER) and that the training standards conform with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

  • The school gives an up-to-date lectures and methods of training that conforms with the current laws and regulations – Due to the changing technology and standards of training/certification, students must cope up with the change. The school must have current training lectures such as interactive learning and computer testing; and it provides new of methods of training such as heavy equipment operation simulation. Due to the technology advancement, modern equipment are now equipped with computer systems and screens, and the operator school need to cope up with that.

  • The operator school gives an opportunity for job placement – the hiring managers know the school is the best place to scout for potential skills, the school also maintain network of employers where they can recommend their graduates to. If you showed good performance during the training, you can be referred by the school to the hiring manager for possible employment.

  • Accepts grants and other funding to defray for the cost of the training – we all know how expensive attending a heavy equipment operator school. The tuition is no joke; it can cost as much as $12,000 to complete a certain course. This is a big burden if you don’t have such amount and one way to pay the tuition is through grant.

  • Gives versatile payment methods and discount – We know the expense of taking the course, you may not be able to pay the operator school is full. The school knows that burden that’s why they give installment payment plan or possible discount to lessen the amount of tuition.

How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

  1. You can become a heavy equipment operator by enrolling in a training school near your area. The list of training schools is above for your reference. We indicated their addresses and contact details so that you can make inquiry.

  2. There are some prerequisites you have to complete before taking the course. The requirements will depend on the school but typically you need be at least 18 years old and above, you need to be physically fit and possesses a high school diploma or GED certificate to get accepted in the course.

  3. Attend the classroom instructions and practical training of the course. These two parts are what the course is composed of. You will spend time inside the classroom taking the lectures and exhaust effort doing the hands-on operation in the field.

  4. If you would like to work in the construction, you need to have NCCER certification. The certification usually involves passing the written test and practical assessment. The NCCER certification is required if you want to be employed in the construction industry, if you would be difficult for you to get a job if you don’t have such certification.

  5. Taking the apprenticeship program – the apprenticeship program is an opportunity for you to earn while you learn. It is an on-the-job training. You can apply for such program in International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) near your location. There are several IUOE locals in Washington, see above.

You May Need Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

If you will be driving large dump trucks or flatbed trailers, you need commercial driver’s license. This license permits you to drive these vehicles on public roads to transport materials and other equipment from and to the worksite.

There are four (4) categories of CDL you can apply for, namely class A, B, C and D.

The Class A is for vehicle with Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) more than 26,000 pounds, and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. The class B is for vehicle with GVWR of the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being pulled must not be more than 10,000 pounds.

The age minimum requirements of CDL applicant is 18 years if he only intends to drive the vehicle intrastate, while 21 years old and older for an applicant if he wisher to drive interstate and be able haul hazardous materials.

You also need to submit identification such as certificate of birth, social security number, passport, current driver’s license, proof of residency, other licenses issued by Washington state.

For the complete CDL application procedure, you may follow this link.

Salary of Heavy Equipment Operator in Washington State

Based on the latest salary.com’s report of September 1, 2018, here are cities and towns of Washington that gives the highest salary for operators:

Allyn$66,646 Mercer Island$67,951
Ashford$65,330 Mill Creek$66,258
Auburn$66,016 Milton$66,016
Arlington$65,762 Monroe$66,027
Bainbridge Island$66,877 Mountlake Terrace$67,885
Baring$66,499 Mukilteo$66,258
Beaver$66,382 Nordland$66,359
Belfair$66,646 North Bend$66,578
Bellevue$67,951 North Lakewood$66,159
Bothell$67,918 Olalla$66,877
Bremerton$66,877 Orting$65,561
Burley$66,844 Pacific$66,016
Carbando$65,635 Paradise Inn$65,520
Carlton$65,762 Port Angeles$66,320
Carnation$66,510 Port Gamble$66,709
Challam Bay$64,555 Port Hadlock$66,426
Clinton$66,258 Port Ludlow$66,502
Conway$64,414 Port Orchard$66,877
Darrington$65,762 Port Townsend$66,408
Duvall$66,741 Poulsbo$66,811
Easton$66,488 Puyallup$66,016
Edmonds$67,852 Quilcene$66,547
Enumclaw$65,714 Ravensdale$66,402
Everett$66,258 Redmond$67,918
Fall City$66,523 Redondo$66,016
Federal Way$66,016 Renton$67,885
Fox Island$66,016 Retsil$66,877
Freeland$66,159 Rollingbay$66,877
Gig Harbor$66,298 Roy$65,718
Gold Bar$66,403 Sammamish$67,786
Graham$65,751 Seabeck$66,811
Granite Falls$66,249 Seahurst$67,918
Greenbank$65,961 Seattle$67,951
hansville$65,993 Sequim$66,306
Hoodsport$65,277 Silvana$66,126
Index$66,233 Silverdale$66,844
Indianola$67,315 Skykomish$66,609
Issaquah$67,720 Snohomish$66,258
Joyce$66,382 Snoqualmie$66,473
Kenmore$67,918 South Prairie$65,718
Kent$65,884 South Worth$66,877
Keyport$66,877 Spanaway$65,884
Kingston$67,200 Stanwood$66,060
Kirkland$67,951 Startup$66,451
Lake Stevens$66,258 Steilacoom$65,949
Lakebay$65,817 Sultan$66,471
Lakewood$66,016 Summer$65,983
Langley$66,192 Suquamish$66,844
Leavenworth$65,762 Tacoma$66,016
Lilliwaup$66,547 Tahuya$66,547
Longmire$65,520 Tracyton$66,877
Manchester$66,877 Twisp$65,762
Maple Valley$66,461 Union$65,277
Marblemount$65,762 University Place$66,016
Marysville$66,258 Vaughn$65,817
Mcchord Afb$66,016 Wauna$66,298
Medina$67,951 Woodinville$67,786

If you will work in Oregon, the salary you could receive is a bit lower.

Aside from the location where you will work as a heavy equipment, the other factors that play a role in your salary offer are your skills and length of experience.

To Finalize This

You have to exhaust your effort and spend time in taking and completing a heavy equipment training course. Without proper training, it would be difficult to get a job as an operator.

You can get the professional training by enrolling in course offered by a heavy equipment operator school in Washington. The course will prepare you for the certification that you need as credential for employment.

Washington is one of the states that offer high salary for heavy equipment operators, you can easily recuperate the amount you spent attending the school.

Contacting the Authorities

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Washington
L&I Headquarters – Tumwater
7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater, WA 98501-5414
Phones: 1-800-423-7233; (360) 902-5798 FAX

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