Heavy Equipment Operator Training in OhioIn today’s market, operators must have a thorough understanding and skill in operating such machinery before they can be offered a job.

You need to undergo heavy equipment operator training in Ohio prior to employment. There are schools in Ohio where you can get enrolled and take the course.

Employers would not take on an under-skilled and untrained individual; they rather want to hire operators who are already certified.

It is a fact that if you don’t have what it takes and the qualifications to be a heavy equipment operator, you would not get the advantage.

If you’re are a beginner who is still starting out or someone who wants to swift job, here’s what you need to do if you want to get a career as an equipment operator.



How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

  1. Think of this career as the one you want to pursue – you may find it stressful to find a job to get into. It is not easy, especially if you have several on your list. If you have the right skill and mindset in becoming a heavy equipment operator, if you like working outdoors and around these heavy machines, this career might be the right one for you. Deciding on a career to pursue is the first step to take.

  2. Get educated by taking a heavy equipment training course – if you are a novice or experienced individual, you may already know that having the education can elevate your chance of getting employed and being offered a good salary. You can take a heavy training course at the training school or career center, in Ohio, you can find several of those. See Below.

  3. Obtain the required certification and licenses for the job – You are most likely to be given a better salary if you have the NCCER certification and CDL. These are the two requirements employers are looking for from a candidate. To get NCCER certified involves passing the written test and practical exam. While CDL involves the same process but you may take specific training for it. See below for how to apply for CDL in Ohio.

  4. Apply for apprenticeship program offered by a local union – becoming an apprentice is an opportunity to learn first-hand knowledge and practical skill in different aspects of the heavy equipment operator. This is another route you can take to be a heavy equipment operator. An apprenticeship program is on-the-job training that takes about 3 to 4 years to complete. A chance to earn money while you’re learning the trade.

Heavy Equipment Operators Schools in Ohio

For you to be able to attend formal training and be able to properly train, you will need to attend school and finish the course. In Ohio, here are the training schools, community colleges and career centers where you can take the course:

  • Performance Training Solutions (PTS)
    7791 Taylor Rd SW, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
    Phone: (614) 863-8830

  • Ohio Contractors Association
    1313 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone:
    Call: 614-488-0724

  • Central Ohio Technical College
    Newark Campus
    1179 University Drive, Newark, Oh 43055
    Call: 740.366.9494

  • Hocking College
    3301 Hocking Pkwy., Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
    Phones: (740) 753-3591, 877-HOCKING

  • Northwest State Community College
    22600 OH-34, Archbold, OH 43502
    Phone: 855.267.5511

  • Washington State Community College
    710 Colegate Dr, Marietta, OH 45750
    Contact: 740.374.8716

  • Industrial Training International, Inc.
    21000 Aerospace Parkway, Cleveland, OH, 44142
    call 800.727.6355 to register for the required training

  • Great Oaks Career Campuses
    110 Great Oaks Drive
    (at 3254 East Kemper Road), Cincinnati, Ohio 45241
    Phone: 513.771.8840

  • Mid-East Career and Technology Centers
    Zanesville, OH
    Phone: (740) 455-3111

  • The Career Center - Adult Technical Training
    21740 State Route 676, Marietta, OH 45750
    Phone: (740) 373-6283; Fax: (740) 376-2240

  • Bobcat Enterprises
    9627 Princeton Glendale Road, Hamilton, OH 45011
    Phone: (513) 645-1467

  • Warren County Career Center
    3525 N. St. Rt. 48, Lebanon, Ohio 45036
    (513) 932-5677 or (513) 932-8145

  • New Castle School of Trades
    Phone: 1-800-837-8299, Serves Ohio and other nearby areas

  • International Union of Operating Engineers
    Location: 10: 1400 E. 30th Street, Suite 101, Cleveland, Ohio, Phone: (216) 589-9688
    Local 18: 3515 Prospect Avenue Cleveland, OH, Phone: (216) 432-3138
    Local 20: 1150 W 8th St #205, Cincinnati, OH, Phone: 513-751-1671
    Location: 66: 291 McClurg Road, Youngstown, Ohio 44512; Phone: 330-758-7536



Choosing the Right Heavy Equipment Operator School to Get the Training From

How can you find the ideal school where you can take the training from? Here are some tips and advices you can keep in mind when enrolling:

  • Find the one nearest to your location – This is helpful if one of the criteria you are following in choosing is proximity and distance. Does the school just a few minutes or just an hour away from your home? Does the location have access to public transportation? Find the one closest to you.

  • Class size – stay away from the school that has a large number of trainees in a class. You won’t be able to get the focus and attention. You will share the equipment with two or several trainees. Your education will suffer.

  • Modern equipment and facility and up-to-date technology – find a training school with modern types of equipment and with GPS training as part of the training curriculum. You can easily spot the right one by visiting their facility, checking what equipment they’re using, and asking what topics are included in the curriculum.

  • Job placement and employment assistance – training does also provide career guidance and job placement assistance to their graduates. If you could find the one with such support, then that would be the ideal school to enroll at.

Requirements That You Need

  • NCCER certification – because you are mostly to find yourself working in construction sites, mines and other hazardous environments, you need to be certified operating different machines and have theoretical knowledge. This is where NCCER comes in. The certification given by NCCER is industry-recognized; if you have one, you have the best chance of landing a high-paying job.

  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL) – some may say you need don’t need a CDL to become a heavy equipment operator, yeah, that is true. But if you have CDL, you are more valuable to your employer. You will be able to drive a tractor-trailer to move heavy equipment from and to the worksite. In addition, you will be able to drive dump trucks to transport materials needed for the job. You can have the chance of getting employed if you also have a CDL.

  • An aspiring heavy equipment operator must be at least 18 years old to get employed in hazardous workplaces such as construction sites.

  • You must be a high school graduate or in possession of a GED certificate as proof of your education.

  • Formal training in heavy equipment operation will be an added advantage. You can take a course offered by a training school or community college in Ohio. See Above for the list of the schools.

  • You need to be in tip-top shape and in good health – We all know that the nature of the job is physically tiring and demanding, you need to perform well at the job. You may render long hours of work in different types of weather and work conditions. The employer may require you to undergo DOT physical test prior to employment.

  • You need to be flexible in working at different hours. Since construction project takes place day and night, you need to be able to adjust to working shifts. You may work a schedule mostly at night.

  • If you are accustomed to working with large machinery, and you are able to work as a team, and with communication skill, you can be an operator.



How to Apply for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Ohio

How to Apply for CDL

  • Enroll in a school that offers CDL training - to boost your chance of passing the CDL written and practical tests, going to a CDL school and taking the course is the approach way about getting CDL. By enrolling, you will obtain the theoretical knowledge to be able to pass the written test. You will also do the practical training which is needed to pass the CDL skill test and pre-trip inspection.

  • Apply for a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) – A CLP is required for you to be able to obtain a Class A CDL. To apply for CLP, you need to be 18 years or older, and you need to have a drivers’ license issued in Ohio. Follow this link to apply for CLP.

  • Apply for CDL endorsement – getting a CDL endorsement involves passing the written test specific for that kind of endorsement. Prior to applying, know the requirements first for you to know what you need to prepare.

  • Take the skills tests – this involves hands-on exercises and actual demonstration on pre-trip inspection, basic controls and maneuvering, and finally the road test. The skills test can be done at CDL skill testing/location. You can choose your preferred location near you. If you passed the CDL skills test, you will then be issued with an actual CDL.

Complete the requirements for the application

  • Applicant must be 18 years old and above and be able to meet the requirements of an Ohio driver’s license.
  • Complete the Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness reports to be able to obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
  • Proof of permanent residency in Ohio state or legal status
  • For the purpose of applicant identification, you will need to submit your social security number.
  • You have to attest that you are in agreement with the state motor carrier safety regulations
  • A commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and an Ohio driver’s license



Salary of Heavy Equipment Operators Working in Ohio

After the hard work, effort, time and money you put in the training, you would be asking how much pay you could make being a heavy equipment operator in this state.

According to the March 28, 2023 report of Salary.com, the average annual salary of heavy equipment operators is $68,401. The salary range is between $57,198 and $77,596 depending on the other factors such as the town/city where you are working, the experience you have, the certification under your belt, and other skills relevant for the job.

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


Addyston $68,478 -- Lagrange 


Amelia $68,310   Lewis Center $68,644
Batavia $68,310   Martins Ferry $68,573
Beachwood $69,154   New Albany $68,700
Blaine $68,583   North Royalton $69,098
Canal Winchester $69,700   Orient $68,672
Chagrin Falls $68,598   Painesville $58,430
Derby $68,560   Plain City $68,588
Dublin $68,728   Rayland $68,583
Etna $68,588   Saint Clairsville $67,023
Galena $68,532   Solon $69,014
Grand River $68,506   Summit Station $68,672
Harrison $68,282   Tiltonsville $68,583
Iberia $68,364   Union City $67,539
Johnstown $68,476   Waterville $67,525
Lansing $68,583   Yorkville $68,583


You might also be asking what’s your future being an operator? What lies ahead is great. The trade is predicted to increase by 10% in the year 2026, according to US BLS. There’s a huge demand for the talents like you. You can have the best chance of employment in construction, where more operators work in.
I bet, the demand will continue to flourish in the next coming years or even decades as more and more baby boomers are retiring and more projects are sprouting.



To Make a Finalization

Heavy equipment operator training is important for you and your employer. Only when you are finished and certified will you be able to get a job as a heavy equipment operator in Ohio.

The initial training only takes about 4 to 12 weeks to complete depending on the course you are taking. The more comprehensive it is, the lengthier the course will be.

You will spend a good sum of money on the tuition, but don’t you worry, you can easily recuperate the investment you put in. The salary of equipment operators is considerably high in this state.

Take the initiative to take the training and always discouraged by the job you can be part of being in this profession.

We wish you good luck in your career!

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