Heavy Equipment Operator Training in Alaska Heavy equipment plays a big role in the construction industry. If you are planning to get a job in the construction field, the easiest way is to become a heavy equipment operator. The demand for your skill seems to be at the high point for the next coming years. You can find new buildings, roads, and other civil works being developed. It will never cease, you can expect continuous and long-term employment opportunities.

To become one of the tradesmen who manned these vehicles, you need to take heavy equipment operator training in Alaska.

Let’s find out everything you need to know how you can take the training.

but before you delve into this career, you may be asking, is this job the right one for you? here's the answer.

Is Becoming a Heavy Equipment Operator the Right Job for You?


Steps in Taking Heavy Equipment Operator Training

  1. Meet the basic requirements. To get accepted, you need to be at least 18 years old, the legal age in which you can perform the skilled occupation. You must complete high school or in possession of GED certificate. You must have valid driver’s license or commercial driver’s license is more appropriate. Refer below for the list of requirements.

  2. Get education by enrolling in a heavy equipment training program. The list of heavy equipment operator schools is below where you can register in for a course, please refer to the list below.

  3. Take the in-class lectures and practical demo. The training program is usually composed of classroom instruction and hands-on demonstration.

  4. Take the apprenticeship program path. It has been proven that the most practical approach to preparing the operators for the actual job is through an apprenticeship program or on-the-job training. As you go on with the training program, your skills and competency of the occupation grow.

  5. Get a job. Once you’ve successfully completed the apprenticeship and certification course, finding a job would be effortless for you. You can look for a job from a local newspaper or you can use the internet by browsing through the online classified ads websites.


Operator Training Schools in Alaska Where You Can Enrol

Alaska Operating Engineers/Employers Training Trust

Local 302 - 4001 Denali St., Anchorage, AK 99502, Phone: 800-478-5338 
3002 Lathrop Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: 907-456-5421
Southwest Alaska Vocational & Education Center
P.O. Box 615, King Salmon, AK 99613,
Main: (907) 246-4600, Fax: (907) 246-4607
Student Contact Number: (907) 246-4604
N C Machinery CAT
Inquire if there is heavy equipment training available
6450 Arctic Blvd, Anchorage Alaska, 99518, 1 907 786-7552 (Fax), 1 907 561-1766 (General Inquiry)
2051 W Rupee Cir, Wasilla Alaska, 99654, 1 907 352-3401 – Fax, 1 907 352-3400 - General Info
730 OLD Steese Hwy, Fairbanks Alaska, 99701, 1 907 456-1309 – Fax, 1 907 452-7251 - Info
Total Equipment Training - Anchorage, Contact: Phone (610) 321-2679, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ilisagvik College
100 Stevenson Street, PO Box 749, Barrow, Alaska 99723
Contact: 907-852-3333, 800-478-7337
Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center 
Inquire first if there is available training

P.O. Box 74313, Fairbanks, Alaska 99707
Phone (907) 455-1234, Fax (907) 455-1235
International Union of Operating Engineers Location: 302 (HP)
4001 Denali Street, Suite A, Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Phone: 907-561-5288, www.iuoe302.org
Alaska Works Partnership, Inc. 
Inquire first if there’s scheduled training

161 Klevin St. Suites 203 & 207, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone 1-907-569-4711, Fax 1-907-569-4716
Partners for Progress in Delta, Inc. 
Make an inquiry to check available schedule

Delta Junction, AK 99737,
Phone: (907) 895-4605
Alaska Northern Industrial Training - 3 offices available 4986 Zuckert Ave., JBER, AK 99506, Phone: (907) 761-6727
3700 Centerpoint Dr. Ste. 102, Anchorage, AK 99502, Phone: (907) 743-7700
1740 N. Terrilou Ct., Palmer, AK 99645, Phone: (907) 357-6400
Industrial Training International, Inc.
5811 Old Seward Highway, Anchorage, AK 99518
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (email), iti.com (website), 360.225.1122 (fax)
SLP Alaska
46540 Jo Avenue, Kenai
Phone: 907-202-3274
Excel Alaska (Kuspuk School District - Aniak) Phone: 907-675-4250, Fax: 907-675-4305
Contact: Carol Wilson - 907.632.5725, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Guidelines for Selecting Heavy Equipment Operator School

Prior to course enrollment, I would like to encourage you to do your assignment. Don’t commit mistake choosing the school, here are some of the guidelines you can follow:

  • Would it be great if the school offers apprenticeship program aside from the normal training program they provide? The apprenticeship program is an excellent way to learn the craft and remain current on your certification. Completing an apprenticeship program will surely put you on a pedestal giving you different opportunities in your career as a heavy equipment operator.

  • Find a school that can assist you to get a job once you finished the training. Yes, they can do this. They have a network of employers who are seeking for operators like you. The employers also know the schools are the good source of quality workers, they tend to recruit manpower from them.

  • Choose a school that is nationally-recognized. Commonly, they have a good track record of training and certifying operators. They are the ones who have already established their reputation in the training industry and you won’t be having a hard time taking the training with them.

  • Go visit the school’s training facilities. Observe if their heavy equipment are modern and state-of-the-art and how large is their training worksite. Don’t forget to ask about the number of students per class. The lesser the number of students, the better, so that trainer can give better attention to every student.


Requirements to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

  • Must be at least 19 years old
  • Must have valid Class D driver’s license
  • Commercial driver’s license will be a big plus
  • Must pass a drug test as required by Alaska Department of Transportation
    Must pass the background check
  • The trainee must be in good physical health since the job is physically demanding
  • A vision and hearing test may be required to be taken by the students
  • You must be able to read and understand the work instruction, manual, basic drawings/layouts, safety signs, etc.

For the Complete and detailed descptions of these requirements, see this page:

What at the Requirements You Need to e a Heavy Equipment Operator?


Salary of Operators in Alaska

Experience plays a vital role in how much you would get working as a heavy equipment operator. In addition to this, the type of equipment you are capable to operate also dictates your pay.

Generally, an operator working in Alaska can make an average of $78,316 per year. This number is according to the latest February 27, 2023 report of Salary.com. In addition, here are the cities/municipalities that offers the best salary:

 Alakanuk: $76,653 Koyuk: $76,492
 Anchorage: $77,701 Meyers Chuck: $75,961
 Big Lake: $77,142 Nikiski: $76,653
 Cordova: $76,653 North Pole: $77,380
Douglas: $$77,009   Petersburg: $75,961
Eilson: $$77,170   Port Alexander: $76,961
Fort Wainwright: $77,380   Shageluk: $76,653
Fairbanks: $$77,380   Stebbins: $76,492
Galena: $76,332   Tyonek: $76,653
Hoonah: $$75,951   Wales: $76,492
Jber: $77,701   Wrangell: $75,961

The figures are based on the January 30, 2018 report of Salary.com. If you will work in Arizona, you could make better wage. 

Just as previously said, your pay will depend on the skill level you have. If you are good at operating a variety of heavy equipment, then you can expect better salary than those who only know how to operate a certain type of equipment.


Getting In Touch with the Authorities

Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Research & Analysis Section, 1111 W. 8th St., Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: 907.465.4500 Fax: 907.523.9654

OSHA Area Office
222 W. 8th Avenue, Room A14, Anchorage, AK 99513
Phone: (907)271-5152, Fax: (907)271-4238

Juneau State Plan Office
1111 W. 8th Street, Room 304, Juneau, Alaska 99801-1149
Phone: (907) 269-4940, Fax: (907) 269-4950

To Conclude This

Heavy equipment training can induce you the knowledge you need to become a qualified operator. Entry-level students or even seasoned individuals take the training offered by the school to have sufficient certification.

Alaska could be your next home in establishing your profession as a heavy equipment operator. Go get the training today!

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