Just like in any other trades and occupations, training is essential to gain the knowledge and certification. It will surely increase your opportunity of landing a high-paying job.
Heavy equipment operator is basically the same as other trades, you need to take the training to gain entry into this profession. Obtaining the required certification will allow you to operate various types of heavy equipment.
You can get the education by enrolling in for a course offered by a school. You can find a lot these training schools in Arizona. The list is below for your reference.
If you plan to enrol in for a training course, here, we have prepared this guideline in choosing the right heavy equipment school for you.
Before you enroll, here's an answer if this job is the one that suits you:
How to Choose the Heavy Equipment Operator School
Enrolling in a heavy equipment school can be the good way to get a formal education. But not all schools are in good reputation. They may promise you more assurance that they can provide.
If you are wary about choosing the right school, here are some words of advice:
- Does the school have diverse the training methods? Aside from the customary classroom lectures, the school can provide other varied methods of training delivery such as computer simulation and online learning.
- The school must have the program you desire and it should have a high student passing rate. A good school has a high student passing rate signifying the quality of education they provide.
- Make an inquiry from your colleagues about the school’s reputation in the industry. This could be the thing that would pop up in your mind when choosing a school. To do this, you can make a connection with your colleagues who are working in the same industry, just ask them where they get their training from.
- What other services the school can give you. Other services may include job assistance after graduating from a course and financial assistance to make the training more affordable for trainees.
- Browse the job advertisements of employers and know the different requirements and then ask the school if they can provide you such requirements. Doing so gives you the sneak view of what the market requires from you as a heavy equipment operator.
- The school must have an up-to-date technology such as simulators. The simulators are a very effective tool in training delivery. The operator retains more knowledge compare to the typical classroom lectures, it is much safer and efficient approach and less risky because the operator doesn’t have to expose himself to the actual machine.
Before you continue, here some resources that can help in becoming a heavy equipment operator:
- Can You Be A Heavy Equipment Operator If You Have DUI or DWI?
- Can You Use Your Heavy Equipment Operator License to Work in Another State?
- Can I Use My Heavy Equipment License to Work for Another Company?
- Best Places to Get Job as a Heavy Equipment Operator
- Is Drug Test Mandatory For Heavy Equipment Operator?
- How to Pass the Heavy Equipment Operator Training Practical Test?
- How to Get a Heavy Equipment Operator License?
Heavy Equipment Operator Schools in Arizona
- Central Arizona College
8470 N Overfield Rd, Coolidge, AZ 85128
Phone: +1 800-237-9814
- GateWay Community College
108 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: +1 602-286-8000
- Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202
Phone: +1 480-461-7000
- Northland Pioneer College
1001 W Deuce of Clubs, Show Low, AZ 85901
Phone: +1 928-532-6111
- Empire Training Institute
1855 S. Macdonald Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85210
- National Heavy Equipment Operator School – IUOE Local Union
6601 North Black Canyon Highway
Phoenix, Arizona 85015
Office Phone: (602) 254-5266
- Arizona Builders Alliance
1825 W. Adams, Phoenix, AZ 85007, Ph: 602.274.8222, Fx: 602.274.8999
1661 N. Swan, Suite 144, Tucson, AZ 85712, Ph: 520.881.7930, Fx: 520.327.1686
- Arizona Chapter, Associated General Contractors
1825 W Adams - Phoenix, AZ 85007, Phone: (602) 252-3926, Phone: (602) 274-8222, ext. 220
- AZ Local Technical Assistance Program
1130 North 22nd Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85009
Contact Rebecca Mayher at 602.712.4252
- Heavy Equipment Training Academy
897 E Yuma Ave, Apache Junction, AZ 85119, (602) 327-0991
- Empire Cat – Inquire about if there is scheduled training
190 W Ash St., Globe Arizona, 85501-2583, Phone: 1 928 402-6410
- Mountain West Tribal Technical Assistance Program
1450 W Guadalupe Rd #115, Gilbert, Arizona
Phone : (480) 659-7101
- Meyvn Global
2913 S Houghton Rd, Tucson, AZ 85730
How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator
For the complete and detail list and descriptions of the requirements, see this page:
- Have the requirements complete. With a high school diploma/GED certificate and on-the-job training, you can become an operator. If you completed a vocational school program would increase your chance of getting a job as a heavy equipment operator in the construction industry. Other entry requirements are you need to be at least 18 years old and have passed the physical examination. You may need a CDL license to operate the equipment on the public roads.
- Do your homework and find a heavy equipment operator school near you. The list training schools are listed below for your reference. Some tips for choosing the best school to enrol in are also mentioned below.
- Attain a certificate program. Enrolling in and completing a program will give you to have an operator certificate. The heavy equipment operator program usually lasts for eight weeks to complete. You learn how to operate different types of machinery such as excavators, tractors, graders, scrapers, backhoes, bulldozers, and many other types of heavy equipment. The training will consist of hands-on operation and classroom instructions. Passing the training program will give you the opportunity to receive your certification.
- Widen your knowledge by taking an apprenticeship program. You accept more challenges by completing an apprenticeship program. Doing so can boost your marketability making you ripe for the picking. Employers seek those who already completed such apprenticeship program.
Taking the Apprenticeship Program
The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 428 and the Associated General Contractors of Arizona has an apprenticeship program that is composed of 80 hours Pre-Training, 432 hours of Related Training Instruction, and a minimum of 3 years/6,000 hours On-The-Job-Training.
If you are interested with the IUOE apprenticeship program, you can get in touch with them, they’re located at 10797 W. Randolph Road, Casa Grande, AZ 85194 and contact them at these phone numbers: Phoenix:(602) 252-1844, Casa Grande:(520) 836-1890, Fax:(520) 836-2103.
The second option you can take is the Arizona Builders Alliance apprenticeship program. It has a six-semester apprenticeship program that will take 480 hours to complete. The apprenticeship program has a three-level curriculum that will teach the trainee to the different topics of heavy equipment operation and expose them to field operation of major pieces of heavy equipment needed for the job.
For more information you can call the Arizona Builders Alliance, Phoenix Office, 1825 W. Adams, Phoenix, at phone number: 602.274.8222, fax: 602.274.8999 and their Tucson Office, 1661 N. Swan, Suite 144, at phone: 520.881.7930, fax: 520.327.1686
The typical apprenticeship training requirements are that the trainee must be at the legal age of 18 years old, in possession of high school diploma or GED/HSED certificate, a driver’s license, a state-issued identification, you must have your own transportation, and a filled-up application form.
Salary of Heavy Equipment Operator in Arizona
If you are wondering how much you will get as a heavy equipment operator, the average salary in this state is $69,071 per year. The place where you are working dictates your pay. Salary varies from town to town in Arizona. According to the latest February 27, 2023 report of Salary.com, here are the towns/cities that offer high pay for heavy equipment operators:
|Lake Havasu City||$69,345||Surprise||$68,408|
If you will work in the neighboring state of New Mexico, you could expect a much lower salary.
The demand for heavy equipment operators will continue to grow as forecast by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Operators who have training in many types of heavy equipment are expected to have the best job chances of breaking into the market and receive better wages and salaries.
If you want to work in other states, here is the salary matrix:
- Heavy Equipment Operator Salary (Year 2018): How Much Can You Make?
- Operating Engineer Salary 2018 & Hourly Wage: How Much You Can Make?
Career Opportunities for Operators
Heavy equipment operators can be employed in many industries. You can find yourself working in construction sites and in civil work projects.
You can move up to become a foreman or supervisor. If you can take a more mature role as you gain experience, you can be a project manager. The possibility of career advancement will always be on your hand.
To Conclude This
Completing a certificate program and apprenticeship program can definitely increase your opportunity to penetrate the market as a heavy equipment operator.
Getting the education and experience needed should be your top priority if you want to enter this job. You can do so by enrolling in. The heavy equipment operator schools in Arizona are the place to go. Further your knowledge by taking an on-the-job training offered by International Union of Operating Engineer Local 428, go get in touch with them.