If you want a job that pays well and can last long being a heavy equipment operator could be one of your options.
Where can you go then to learn heavy equipment operation? This is a common question we hear from students.
You bet, you can learn the skills by taking a course at a heavy equipment operator school.
There are many training schools throughout the U.S you can register in to start this career. We have prepared all that for you. We have directory of training schools categorized by state. Just choose the state where you are in, there you can browse through the list of training schools.
You might already know that taking a training course takes a considerable amount of time and consumes a lot of money. The course is lengthy and the tuition is costly. You need these resources to be able to transition into this profession.
But will it be worth it? The time, effort and investment you will put in are worth it. Being a heavy equipment operator is one of the trades that pay well. You can start an annual salary of $50,000 and it increases as you gain more experience and more skills.
And you can easily recuperate the investment you spent in the tuition is just short period of time.
Another thing what’s good about this trade is that you can get certified in just few months or so unlike with other trades and occupations that takes years to complete.
You Can also Learn to Operate Heavy Equipment by Taking an Apprentice Program
Aspiring individual who wants to learn heavy equipment operation can apply for an apprenticeship in the nearest local of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) in your area. The association such as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) also offers such program. Some technical schools also offer apprenticeship course.
The apprenticeship program takes about 3 to 4 years to complete. It is an opportunity to earn while you learn operating heavy equipment. The program typically consists of classroom instructions and on-the-job training.
When applying for apprenticeship, typically requires you to finish an initial heavy equipment training course, possesses a certification such as NCCER and NCCCO, be at least 18 years old and above, be in a good physical conditioning and health.
If you aspire to be an apprentice, you may inquire with the nearest IUOE local, they normally accepts applicant in an on-going basis. To contact the IUOE local nearest you, click the state where you are on menu located on the left or bottom of the screen. There you can find the contact details of the IUOE local.
You Can Also Learn in Simulation Program
If you don’t have yet the confidence in machine operation, simulation program is a way to go. CAT simulators and Sim Log are equipped with such technology.
Simulation offered several benefits. It is a cost-effective and safer way to learn the skills of machine operation. Heavy duty vehicles are expensive, you wouldn’t want to break it, and hence simulation is the best solution.
Simulation is a useful alternative to an on-the-job training. With advances in computer technology, the graphics and design have become realistic. The controls and functions are the same as of the real machines.
Advantages of the simulation are it reduces the training risks, safer worksites, faster training delivery, reduced cost of operation, and you don’t have to pay that much in tuition.
Once you got the confidence and established your muscle memory, transitioning to real machines and actual worksite can be easier and safer. As an outcome, the actual time needed in actual heavy equipment training is considerably shortened.
You Can Learn the Trade by Getting an Entry-Level Job
You could try to get a job as a laborer. You can apply for a job in an excavating, small construction or landscaping company. Put your time and effort to work hard for the company. During your employment, watch operators how they operate the machines. Ask humbly if you could try driving the equipment.
If you’ve proven your worth for the company, the owner may assign you for a higher role of being an operator. You can start from small equipment. When you earn ability and advance your operating skill, the company may train you to be part of the fleet of operators. That’s how many trades people started their career.
Having an entry-level job can be considered as the foundation of professional career as a heavy equipment operator. This is when you develop your skill by experience. So take time to do it properly, you will be rewarded later on.
Common Pieces of Construction Heavy Equipment
These pieces of heavy equipment are commonly found in a construction site and these are what you going to learn to operate when you are enrolled in a training course.
Backhoes – are primarily used in the excavation work. It is a type construction digging equipment consisting of a bucket at the end of articulating boom arm. You may confuse backhoe from an excavator. Backhoes are usually used in the light to moderate construction work while excavators are the heavy muscle that can dig and transport large amount of soil materials.
Wheel loaders – are mobile shovels that can scoop large amount of materials from stockpile to a dump truck. It can also be used to carry other materials around the worksite. With its big wheels, it is a versatile piece of construction equipment that can go almost any terrain.
Bulldozers – are powerful machines that are used in pushing earth and rock materials and other debris and for leveling the ground. This equipment is used for shallow digging and ditching.
Excavators – When you need to get large excavation and digging, use excavators. The primary uses of excavator are digging trenches, holes, and foundations. It is considered as one of the valuable piece of heavy equipment used in construction. It can easily get the job done very easily and efficiently.
Road graders – This equipment are used for road building and maintenance. It level and flattens the surface that the asphalt can be laid on top. Aside from its use in construction, it can also be used for flowing snow. It is a versatile piece of equipment for road surface leveling.
Dump trucks – large volume of soils, rocks, and other materials can be transferred efficiently with the use of the dump truck. Dump trucks can also be used to transport construction materials from and to the worksite.
Skid steers – it is also called a skid steer loader. This small piece of equipment allows the operator to add different tools and attachments to the front for hauling, moving, and lifting things.
To Conclude This
Now is the time to learn heavy equipment operation. With the retiring baby boomers and rising shortage in workforce, the industry is in need of qualified individuals to man these machines.
If you don’t have confidence yet to operate these machines, where can you learn to operate the heavy equipment? We’ve mentioned several ways as stated above. But the best way to learn is by taking a professional training offered by a school.
There are operator training schools in your area where you can enroll in for a course.