So now that you are planning to make a career in the heavy equipment industry, you may be wondering where you can take the training to become a certified operator.
You can be formally trained in a heavy equipment operator school in Oregon.
Choosing a career as a heavy equipment operator will provide you with a long-term and rewarding profession. As long as there are buildings and houses being erected, quarries and mines being managed and roads and bridges being constructed, there will be a high demand for the heavy equipment operator. This job is lucrative as well.
If you think this job is the right for you and you want to take training, where will you go? You can enroll in a heavy equipment operator school.
The operator schools in Oregon are listed below for your reference.
But before that, here are the tips and instructions in choosing a heavy equipment operator school.
Selecting the Right Heavy Equipment Operator School to Enroll In
With all the heavy equipment training schools out there, how would you choose then the right one that fits to your requirement?
When you choose to take the training with the school, what do you look for? There’s only one I can tell you – that is quality.
Here are some of the helpful pieces of advice and useful tips when enrolling in a school and gauging their training quality:
- Find a school that is already established in the heavy equipment industry and has many years of experience and as one of the reputable schools in this industry. You can ask your friends and colleagues who are in this industry and ask them where they took their training from. Your friends not only can tell you their first-hand experience but they can also help you in starting your career.
- The school should be able to assist you in preparing and passing the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification. They should have a training curriculum specifically for those students who want to take the NCCER certification. This certification is given to those individuals who want to work in the construction industry. Having this certification is a must-have when working in construction.
- The school must have a vast training site and classroom facility. Since you will spend most of your training time in the field doing the practical training and hands-on demonstration, the school must have a vast amount of land for you to be able to grasp the driving experience. The school should also have a classroom where you can take instructional training.
- Choose a heavy equipment operator school that has modern and the latest pieces of heavy machineries. Would you enroll in a school that has rusty and old-fashioned equipment? I bet you wouldn’t. If you want to know if the school has new and state of the art machinery, visit the school and ask them if you can see their training facilities, then observe, check the equipment on their training site.
- Find a heavy equipment operator school that can assist you in job placement. Did you know the hardest part of becoming a heavy equipment operator is finding an employer who will hire you? To eliminate this problem, look for a school that will help you in finding a job after graduating.
- Find a training school that has a low student-to-instructor ratio. I would not enroll in a school that has a large number of students per class. The industry norm is about 4 or 5 students to one machine/instructor. I am sure you can see the benefits of having a small number of students per class. The instructor can focus on you and you can focus on learning.
You can make the right decision about what school to choose if you know these criteria. Now that you know it, here are the schools in Oregon where you can take the training.
Heavy Equipment Operator Schools in Oregon
Completing a heavy equipment training program is the right path if you want to enter this occupation and become a heavy equipment operator. It can speed up your career advancement and make you an attractive applicant for the job.
Where can you take the training program? Where else, in a technical school or community college that provides such a program.
Here are the heavy equipment operator schools you can find in Oregon state:
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 701
555 East First Street, Gladstone, OR 97027
Phone: (503) 650-7701
- Oregon Government (Apprenticeship and Training Division)
800 NE Oregon St., Suite 1045 - Portland, OR 97232
Portland: (971) 673-0760 Bend: (541) 322-2435 Medford: (541) 776-6201 Salem: (503) 378-2313Eugene: (541) 686-7623
- Treasure Valley Community College
650 College Blvd, Ontario, OR 97914, USA
- Heavy Equipment Operators School
1510 Highway 99 N, Springfield, OR 97477
Phone: (541) 463-2077;
- The Northwest College of Construction
8111 NE Holman St, Portland, OR 97218
Phone: (503) 256-7300
Again, before making the final decision of enrolling, we have provided some tips that could help you in choosing the right school to suit your requirements. Read those pieces of advice above this article.
How to Become an Operator
Now is the time to make a career as a heavy equipment operator. If you need some evidence about its desirability, just look around you, you can find buildings, roads, bridges, shopping centers, houses and other infrastructures under construction.
It is solid proof that the construction industry is booming and they need you to join the workforce.
And here’s what you need to do to be a heavy equipment operator:
- Find out if this job is right for you. We have an old saying, do what you love and everything will follow. This is always true. If you are in the middle of figuring out which career to pursue consider the things that will make you happy. If you love to operate heavy equipment, then go for it, change your career and you will be good to go.
- Complete the basic requirements. Just like any other occupation, you need to have what it takes to become a heavy equipment operator. The basic ones are you need to earn a high school diploma or GED certificate, be at the right age (at least 18 years old), be in good health and physical shape, heavy equipment training certificate, NCCER certificate, CDL license.
- If you don’t have yet a heavy equipment operator certificate, then you can enroll in a training program offered by a technical school or community college in your area. The list of schools in Oregon, where you can complete a certification program, is above for your reference.
- Take the heavy equipment operator apprenticeship program. If you want to become an apprentice to learn more about the trade, the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 701 offers such a program. You are more likely to become a desirable job candidate if you have an apprenticeship training certificate.
- Finding a Job and Start Earning. After putting time and effort in taking the training, it is now time to look for the first job as a heavy machine operator. You can visit your local job placement center or browse through the internet. The heavy equipment operator school where you graduated from can even refer you to an employer since they have a network of managers who are looking for qualified talents like you.
Your Job Responsibilities as a Heavy Machine Operator
- You are responsible for the safe operation of several types of heavy equipment such as graders, excavators, loaders, trailer trucks, bulldozers, backhoes, forklifts, tractors and many others. The equipment you will operate will depend on what type of industry you will be working in.
- You are also responsible for the routine maintenance of these types of machinery. You will perform service and repair whenever possible. You will perform troubleshooting of the malfunctions of the equipment and report it to the superior.
- You will check parts of the heavy equipment prior to work commencement and log any troubles to the checklist. You will check the fuel levels, hydraulic fluids, electrical components, tires, and other parts of the machine which you would think could cause malfunction for early troubleshooting and repair.
- As a protocol, you will follow safety practices and work procedures implemented by the company and by the current regulations.
- You will maintain a neat and clean work site free from any debris and other litter. You will clean the work environment to keep it from waste and other debris. You will participate in the company’s housekeeping program.
Salary of Heavy Equipment Operator in Oregon
According to the most recent report (March 28, 2023) of Salary.com, the average yearly salary you could make if you will work in this state is $69,774. Here are the cities and towns of Oregon that give high pay for heavy equipment operators:
|Eagle Creek||$71,932||The Dalles||$72,283|
The salary you would receive will depend on many other factors as well such as your work experience, skill level, the location where you will be working, and the size of the company you will be working for.
Heavy equipment operators usually find job opportunities in construction, civil engineering and roads and bridge building and other infrastructure development. The market is always in high demand; you would not run out of employment if you have what it takes to be an operator.
To Make a Conclusion
Getting the proper training and certification to penetrate is the key to penetrating this market. If you have an education, your opportunities increase significantly. We all know employers obviously want those trained operators simply because they work more productive and can complete the job more efficiently You will become an asset for the company you are working for and not a liability.
To help you in getting a formal education, you can enroll in a heavy equipment operator school in Oregon. They are most equipped and qualified to give such an education.
It would take an amount of time and investment to complete the heavy equipment training program but the advantage of having it under your belt is far more valuable than the resources you put in.