How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

Use of such equipment as excavator, bulldozer, and crane among others is exercise by personnel with specific skills and knowledge. It is a right path to construct a heavy equipment operator career, which requires lots of efforts and assures a good paid job. If you want to become a heavy equipment operator and work on constructing sites with large machines, find below how to get started with how to become a heavy equipment operator

Obtain an equivalent of a high school diploma such as GED.

The first check is to ensure that the minimum education level necessary is a high school diploma or GED. Although there could be limited job opportunities where one does not have to graduate to become an entry-level equipment operator, graduating offers one more opportunities and proves that one can gain basic educational skills to undertake a course. It is important to also ensure that you enroll in subjects like math, physics, mechanics, and computer lessons that can help you when operating the machines. 

Take an Operator Training Programs

Heavy machinery operators can be trained via several avenues and career paths. Some community colleges and technical schools provide vocational programs that can be completed in 6-12 months showing, for example, how to operate bulldozers, cranes, graders, and front-end loaders. Search for a program that has been certified and provides you with extensive training and practical experience on more than one machine. These programs include constructing safety measures, management of equipment, reading of construction plans and maps, and other working operations required by various machines.

Enroll in a Technical or Trade School

Another possible course is to go to a heavy equipment operation technical or trade school which takes 2 years. These schools focus on more complex aspects of construction, the earthmoving concepts, sophisticated equipments management, land surveying, materials management and laws that govern the sector. Earning an associate’s degree can be beneficial in seeking employment and proving to the employer that the employee has the complete training that is required for the job.

Get an Apprenticeship 

Paid apprenticeship gives you opportunity to learn directly from a professional heavy machinery operator at real worksites. You support equipment operators by assisting with equipment maintenance, learn from training materials, and progress to operating the equipment under supervision for an apprentice. It usually takes about 3 to 4 years of practice to graduate to a fully fledge operator through apprenticeship.

Earn Industry Certifications

Having nationally recognized certifications from organizations such as the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) placed on your resume would be an advantage. NCCER offers certifications for mobile crane operators, riggers, signal persons, lift directors and other skill specific categories. In order to get these certifications one needs to pass the theory test as well as performance tests. Others that are available include the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.

Obtaining a Commercial driver’s license (CDL)

The practical use of heavy construction machinery is towing it from one construction site to another on a flatbed truck. That is why most equipment operators have a CDL license In other words, most equipment operators have a CDL license. Class A CDL requires passing written tests on safety of certain classes of vehicles, as well as actual control of the vehicle in a road test. It means that by the time you complete your operator training, you will possess a CDL proving you are prepared to start your job immediately.

Begin your career in the contact centre as a Helper or Servicer.  

Beginning positions include equipment assistant, servicer, oiler, or even the lowly parts clerk, but with experience and dedication, the opportunities are tremendous. A helper role involves getting into position job sites, connecting tools and accessories to equipment, helping the operator in handling the machinery among other responsibilities of attending to the machinery. It makes you familiar with all operations procedures, safety and maintenance regulations, so that you can follow it in future to become an operator.

The ability to apply to Operator job openings is another rule that needs to be followed.

In order to find jobs for equipment operation, you need to get your operator qualifications, certifications, CDL, and some experience in the field once you are ready to apply for any available equipment operator positions. Those who seek construction equipment operator jobs work with excavation contractors, paving companies and firms, demolition companies, mining industries, large construction companies, and public works departments of the government. There are also job openings for with crane and dredging contractors.

Continue Your Training

Moreover, training should not stop once you secure an operator job , whether as aperformer or in any other capacity. Safety regulations, types of equipment, and methods of operation evolve continuously and thus, the expertise is gained through continuous learning throughout one’s career. Always ensure that you enroll for refresher courses to update your knowledge in the different areas of the course you are studying. You should consider working towards mastering on ways of controlling particular equipment such as cranes, digging machinery, paving machines or pile drivers in order to get a promotion. Other opportunities for advancement include transitioning to operator training, inspection, maintenance, or management positions with additional education or years under your belt.

This type of work involves managing large construction equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers, and other large construction equipment, which is very exciting, mechanical inclination, and being able to answer for the large machinery that is used in construction projects. Ensure that you exhaust all the training opportunities for operators in your region, acquire different certificates and be ready to dedicate a lot of time to turning yourself into a highly trained professional. If you follow these steps and keep on expanding your experience in your entire employment, you can make good money running heavy equipment on construction sites.