A career as a heavy equipment operator is your first step toward establishing your future in this industry. You have to heavy equipment training in Kansas in order to get the right education.
This could be the right time for you to get into this type of work. There’s a high demand for skilled individuals. There’s a lot of work needing people to build infrastructures. The demand for people like you is climbing and will continue to grow in the next coming decades.
The industry is looking for competent and experienced. Both the private and public sectors are in need of qualified people to man the heavy equipment to construct roads, bridges, tall buildings, and many other civil projects.
If you are really decided that this job is the one that you want to do in the next coming years, then pursue it.
Here’s what you need to do:
How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator
- Before anything else, you must complete/have all the requirements in order to get accepted for the enrollment. The entry requirements to become an operator and apprentice (if you want to follow this route) are listed below.
- Complete the initial heavy equipment training and get formal education. There are several ways to become an operator and one of the ways is to go to a heavy equipment training school in Kansas. The list of training schools is listed below, contact them and make an inquiry. The initial training course may last for 8 to 12 weeks depending on the number of machinery you want to have training on.
- Earn the certification and licensure. In Kansas, there’s no strict requirement to become an operator though having an NCCER certificate will definitely boost your chance of landing a job and offer good pay. Another thing that you must have is a CDL, many employers will require it from you. If you want to be a crane operator, Kansas does not require NCCCO certification.
- Taking the apprenticeship program is a sure-fire hit if you want to extend your knowledge. You can earn while you’re on the on-the-job training. The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) does have a local in Kansas. Check out their Local 101, if you want to apply. The apprenticeship program may take up to 4 years to complete. You, as an apprentice, will learn your trade by working with skilled professionals on actual work sites and taking the necessary classroom and in-field training. An apprenticeship is a great opportunity for you to earn while you learn.
- Finding a job as a heavy equipment operator. It could be easy or difficult for someone. If you have attained the certification and licensure and completed the apprenticeship course, finding the right job and receiving a good offer could be a piece of cake. The employer will seek after you. But not all individuals are as lucky as you. Finding a job could be hard for them. If you can’t still find a job that suits you, you may ask the help of the training school where you graduated from, they have a large network of hiring managers needing talents like you.
Entry Requirements That You Must Have
- High school diploma – it is certainly a prerequisite that you must have in order to get enrolled in a heavy equipment operator training course. If you don’t have a high school diploma, GED certificate will be fine.
- You be 18 years old or older – if you are a youngster then you may already know that you must be at the right age before being an operator.
- A commercial driver’s license (CDL) may also be needed. Though depending on the type of machine you will be operating, CDL may or may not be required.
- You must in good health and physical condition. The nature of the job is physically demanding. You may have to work for long hours and extended time. Thus, it demands great body conditioning. The employer may ask you to undergo a DOT physical test, though it may not be a strict requirement, the employer or the union (if you will take an apprenticeship program) may ask for it.
Heavy Equipment Operator Training Schools in Kansas
Find a school in Kansas that offers heavy equipment training. Know more about the course and other requirements by making an inquiry. There are a handful of technical and community colleges in Kansas that offer such courses. Here they are:
- Washburn Institute of Technology
5724 SW Huntoon, Topeka, KS 66604
Phone: 785.670.2010 or Toll-Free 877.588.7140
- North Central Kansas Technical College
3033 US Hwy 24, Beloit, Kansas 67420
Phone: 1-800-658-4655 , 785-738-2276
- International Union of Operating Engineers Location: 101
3830 South Meridian, Suite B-40, Wichita, Kansas 67217
Phone: (316) 529-1012
- Muddy River Training Center
30957 T Road, Netawaka, KS 66516
Phone: (785) 933-3598
Here are some tips for choosing heavy equipment training school:
- Choose a school that has modern and up-to-date pieces of heavy equipment. You don’t want to get trained on a rusty and old piece of equipment.
- Ask the school if they can provide or at least assist you in obtaining the other certifications and licensures in order to become a full-pledged heavy equipment operator such as the NCCER certification, CDL, etc.
- Find a school that will assist you in finding a job as soon as you graduate. They have a large network of employers where they can refer you to.
- Find a school that will provide you with career counseling and employment guidance. The counseling will guide you through the ins and outs of the trades.
Applying for Heavy Equipment Apprenticeship in IUOE Local 101
You must have with your all the requirements, as of this writing, here are the requirements you need to attain/have to apply for an apprentice:
- You must be at the right age, 18 is the minimum age
- You must have a copy of your birth certificate
- You must have with you your high school diploma and transcript of records; if the diploma is not available, you must have GED certificate and its test scores
- If you are veteran, you need to provide your DD-214
- You must show your proof of residency in Kansas in the last six (6) months
- Your valid driver’s license
- Your social security card
You may call 816-640-2336 to apply for the heavy equipment operator apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship program is a three-year paid on-the-job training course. You will be learning to operate different heavy machineries such as cranes, dozers, backhoes, graders, scrapers, trenchers, loaders, compactors and many other types of heavy equipment.
The subjects to cover are safety, labor history, grade stakes, rigging and signaling, first aid CPR training, pre-start operational procedure, use of GPS, station markers, right-of-way stakes, grades, and slope stakes. The apprenticeship training course will consist of 144 hours of classroom training every year.
Salary of Heavy Equipment Operator Working in Kansas
According to Salary.com’s latest report of March 28, 2023, the average yearly salary of operators in this state is $66,481. Here are the cities and towns of Kansas that offer the best salary:
While in the state of Missouri, the neighboring state, the wage is almost the same.
The boom in the construction and agricultural industries will flourish. Thus, it is expected that the demand for heavy equipment operator will rise in the next coming years. The US BLS projected that there will be a huge climb for skilled individuals in these industries. As a matter of fact, the demand is much faster than the average for all occupations.
Contacting the Authorities
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Address: 100 N Broadway St Suite 470, Wichita, KS 67202, USA
Voice Mail: (316) 269-6646
Fax: (316) 269-6185
Toll Free: (Kansas Residents Only): 1-800-362-2896
National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
Call customer service at 888.622.3720 to find an assessment provider
Kansas State DMV
1873 W 21st St, Wichita, KS 67203, USA
If you want to apply for CDL, call +1 316-337-6066 for assistance
To Wrap This Up
There is a lot of work to be done in construction and agriculture that cannot be done by bare hand. This is where, you as a heavy equipment operator, come in.
You could expect long-term employment and security of tenure in this industry. The demand for qualified individuals will continue to grow and will be in the continuous increase.
If you are eyeing to get into this field, you need to have what it takes to be an operator. You have to take the heavy equipment training in Kansas and complete the certifications and other licensures.
It takes an amount of investment and time to complete the training and earn the necessary requirements. Once you’ve done it all, you could expect a better career and a good job outlook.
Operators do play a big role and perform an important job that cannot be done by an untrained individual.