Heavy Equipment Operator School in North Carolina Heavy equipment operator jobs are growing that ever before. It is expected to grow at a rapid rate of 23% until the year of 2022. This only dictates that the industry is good to get into.

To get a job as a heavy equipment operator, the very basic you need to have is a certificate. You can attain the certificate by completing a course in a heavy equipment operator school in North Carolina.

Technical are the providers of such heavy equipment training program while community colleges may also offer this kind of degree as well.

If you are searching for a school, here are the schools and college in this state where you can enroll:

International Union of Operating Engineers
Local 415: PO Box 266 Plymouth, NC 27962; Phone: 252-799-7452; Fax: 252-793-6670
Local 465: PO Box 15250 Durham, NC 27704 Phone: 919-596-6869 Fax: 919-596-0089
Local 470: 422 Chalk Bed Rd., Graniteville, South Carolina 29829; Phone: 803.663.6027; Fax: 803.663.1870

Gregory Poole
Conducts operating training from level 1 to level III, for more information contact one of their locations
Wilmington Phone: 910-371-6301
Wanchese: Phone: 252-473-1501
Raleigh: Phone: 919-836-4429; 919-828-0641
Pittsboro: Phone: 919-545-2135
Mebane: Phone: 919-568-7500
Jacksonville: Phone: 910-577-4000
Garner: Phone: 919-755-7010
Fayetteville: Phone: 910-424-4400
Beaufort: Phone: 252-504-2640



Heavy Equipment Training-North Carolina, LLC d/b/a Heavy Equipment College of North Carolina
1909 Bragg Blvd, Suite 94, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: (800) 514-9495

Wake Technical Community College
9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, NC 27603,
Main Switchboard: 919-866-5000

Vance-Granville Community College
200 Community College Road Henderson, N.C. 27537
Phone: (252) 738-3423

Carolina Equipment Training
3720 S Wilmington St, Raleigh NC 27603
Phone: 919-329-0633

Stanly Community College
Albemarle: (704) 982-0121
Locust: (704) 888-8848
New London: (704) 422-3036

How to Choose the Best School to Get the Training From

Why is it important to choose the best school to enroll at? As you begin looking for a heavy equipment operator school in NC, you may begin to realize that it is not easy choose since there a lot of options. Some promise of good education while others of quick course completion. How can you then decide which one is best for you? Here are some of the tips and ideas, criteria to follow if you will.

  • Offers financial aid and gives assistance on tuition loan – We all know that tuition for taking a heavy equipment operator program is costly. If financial aid is a huge factor in finding a training school, work that out at the early stage. Find the one that offers such financial assistance, flexible payment options, or even full scholarship to defray some of the expenses on tuition.

  • With wide varieties of heavy equipment – To get as much competency in different pieces of heavy equipment, choose the one that has wide variety of equipment – bulldozers, tractors, dump trucks, cranes, loaders, forklift, just to name a few. Employers want those candidates who have wide professional experience on different machines; it is therefore easy for you to land a job if you know to operate different equipment.

  • With extensive practical training – since heavy equipment operation is mostly a hands-on training, find a school with extensive practical exercises in the field. You would want to gain as much knowledge and experience doing the practical training.

  • With current and up-to-date heavy equipment – heavy equipment become obsolete after just a decade or so. Choose the school with modern equipment. How can then you make sure if the school has it, ask consent from if you could pay a visit in their training facility, and observe the equipment they use in the training.

  • Employs professional and experienced instructor – Fundamental to your success is the instructor’s ability to teach and educate effectively. The instructor must have extensive experience of being a trainer. Having a certification and licensure is the credential to determine if the instructor is good. You may ask this to the school prior to enrollment.

  • Low number of students per training class – the ideal ratio is 1 instructor per 10 students. Don’t get into a class that is crowded and has a large number of students taking the training. You would not get as much focus. The quality of education will definitely suffer.

  • Provides job assistance and career guidance – as part of the curriculum, the ideal school should also provide job assistance and guidance. There’s nothing better than having a school that takes you on the right route of your career and career guidance is an effective tool for this. Also, why not choose the school that gives employment assistance after completing the heavy equipment training program; the school can easily do this since employers and contractors recruit manpower referred by the school.



How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

  1. Decide if being a heavy equipment operator suits you - Before you delve into this profession, you must learn about yourself. Do your skills, values and attitudes go in line with nature of work and responsibilities of an operator? You might have a list of jobs you want to get into, you may be overwhelmed by your choices but make no mistake in choosing a career, your future depends on it. With numerous career options to get into, self assessment is the first step you have to do.

  2. Take the heavy equipment operator training – having such training tells prospective employer and peers that you have attained the qualification to perform the job safely and efficiently. You can easily land a job or advance in your career. Employers are looking to hire those individuals who have the professional knowledge and practical skills in the heavy equipment operation. You can get those qualifications if you have undergone the heavy equipment training. It only takes 8 to 12 weeks to finish the program. You can take training by enrolling in heavy equipment operator school in North Carolina. The list of schools is above for your reference.

  3. Attain the necessary certification and licensure – In the construction is where you can find opportunities. If you want to work in the construction industry as a heavy equipment operator you will need NCCER certification. You may also be required to have commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL is necessary in your job to be able to drive dump trucks and large trailers to transport materials and other heavy vehicles to and from the worksite. These certification and licensure usually requires you to pass written exam and performance assessment to get these credentials.

  4. Take the Apprenticeship Program or On-the-Job Training – being an apprentice is a sure way to expand your knowledge in heavy equipment operation. You’ll most likely gain practical knowledge you can use in your professional career. Though it takes about 2-3 years to complete apprenticeship program in which you can take in the local union. In North Carolina the branches of International Union of Operating Engineers are the local 415 in Plymouth, the local 465 in Durham, and the Local 470 in Graniteville. Being an apprenticeship gives you the break to make a living while learning the skill.

  5. Getting a Job as a Heavy Equipment Operator – the construction industry is flourishing right now and in my opinion it will be in the next coming decades. Just as mentioned, you are most likely to get employment in the construction industry, where most heavy equipment operator jobs are. The school where you took your initial training can help you find a job, they keep a list of employers who looking for qualified operators like you. You can also find a job by using local job board specific to construction, doing so your search will be precise to the skill and qualification you have.



Requirements to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

  • You need to be 18 Years old and above - This is the required age to become a heavy equipment operator. This is the legal age to get employment in hazardous environment such as construction sites, ports, mines and in other workplaces.

  • High school diploma or a GED certificate as its equivalent – This is the minimum educational requirement you need to have to get accepted by a school to take the initial training or by the union to complete an apprenticeship program.

  • Certificate of initial training – you can have a certificate by taking an initial training course offered by a technical school or community college. The certificate proves that you’ve undergone a rigorous curriculum and successfully completed it. The initial training could stretch up 12 weeks to take depending the comprehensiveness of the course.

  • NCCER Certification - The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) is the training and certification standard for the different trades in the construction industry. Having an NCCER certificate can lead to fruitful career in the industry. Attaining this certificate proves to a prospective employer that you have the qualifications as a heavy equipment operator to work in the construction.

  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL) – to be able to drive dump trucks to move cargos and materials and large trailers to transport vehicles and other equipment on public roads, having a CDL could be a mandatory if you want to work as a heavy equipment operator in North Carolina. If you want to apply for CDL, here’s the DMV office.

  • DOT Physical test – the employer may request you to undergo DOT physical test to determine your health and physical conditions. This may be a strict requirement by an employer since the nature of the work as a heavy equipment operator is physically tiring and demanding, you need to be at the optimum health condition to be able to perform your job. 



Salary of Heavy Equipment Operators Working in North Carolina

How much does a heavy equipment operator earn in North Carolina? According to the latest March 28, 2023 report of Salary.com, the average salary is $66,832, but it ranges from $55,886and $75,816 depending on the many factors such as the city or county where you will work, the years of experience being a heavy equipment operator, the certification and licensure you have, and size of the company you will work for.

Here are the cities and towns of NC that compensate well:


Advance  $66,986  --  Little Switzerland  $63,906
Apex $68,217 Lowell $68,716
Barium Springs $67,101   Maiden $67,864
Belews Creek $67,084   Margarettsville $69,354
Cary $68,282   Mc Adenville $68,716
Catawba $67,427   Mineral Springs $68,726
Charlotte $68,435   Newell $68,435
Connellys Springs $68,184   Peachland $67,932
Davidson  $68,140 Pineville $68,435
Drexel $68,226   Roanoke Rapids $69,354
Fallston $67,871   Rutherford College $68,226
Gaston  $69,354 Scaly Mountain $65,704
Granite Falls $68,226   Tillery $68,573
Harrisburg $68,369   Valdese $68,226
Kernersville $67,182   Wadesboro $67,944
Lawsonville $66,676   Zirconia $64,987

If you are asking what does the future hold for you in this career? Well, the construction industry where you can get employed as an operator is expected to grow 23 percent until the year 2022, quicker than any other trade occupations. With the boom of the construction industry right now and in the next coming years, you can expect a long and fruitful career.



Contacting the Authorities

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
111 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27601-1092
Phone: (919) 707-7806

National Center for Construction and Research (NCCER)
Call 888.622.3720

Department of Transportation (DOT)
1501 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1501

To Make a Summary

The heavy equipment operator school in NC can help you get into this professional. You just have to spend an amount of time and investment to take the training and the necessary certification.

The length of the training could last about 12 weeks and the investment you have to put into it may cost around $10,000. But, no worries! You can easily recuperate the money in short amount of time. A heavy equipment operator can make as much as $58,000 annually. Spend time and resources; this is the right time to get into this industry.

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