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Next Certificate Program Start: 06/06/2022

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Next Certificate Program Start: 06/06/2022
Next Associate Degree Program Start: 07/05/2022



Frequently Asked Questions About Heavy Equipment Operators

Deciding on a career is a big decision. Whether you’re just out of high school or you’re looking to change fields, it’s smart to do research on prospective careers. One career to consider is that of a heavy equipment operator. It’s okay if you don’t know much about the field. At Heavy Equipment Colleges of America (HEC), we’re experts in heavy equipment operation and we’re here to help. That’s why we’ve put together a list of FAQs to give you a better idea of the heavy equipment operation field.

What do heavy equipment operators do?

As you can probably guess from the title, heavy equipment operators use heavy equipment. Heavy equipment is a wide category of machines that are used for construction, landfill management, personal construction projects and other purposes. This class of machines includes bulldozers, loader backhoes, a variety of cranes and more. Operating heavy equipment requires specialized training to ensure machines are used properly and to maintain the safety of the operator and others on the job site.

What is the best way to become a heavy equipment operator?

The best way to become a heavy equipment operator is to enroll in a heavy equipment operator training program like the ones offered at HEC. At HEC, we’re proud to offer four different programs that cover a wide range of heavy equipment, including mobile cranes and lattice boom crawler cranes. In a heavy equipment training program, you’ll learn proper techniques for operating heavy equipment safely and effectively. HEC’s instructors have experience in the field and will help guide you through your training journey.

What kind of education do you need to be a heavy equipment operator?

Most heavy equipment operators earn diplomas or certificates from trade schools like HEC. Enrolling in programs like those at HEC equips you with the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience that you need to succeed in entry-level heavy equipment operator roles. Not only will you learn how to use heavy equipment in a construction site and other settings, you’ll learn proper safety techniques. At HEC, as in construction sites across the nation, workplace safety is our highest priority.

How long does it take to become a heavy equipment operator?

Depending on the trade school, you can become a heavy equipment operator in a matter of weeks. At HEC, our programs are three weeks in length, which allows you to enter the workforce sooner than other programs. Our campuses are also approved testing sites for the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), meaning you can take your certification exam on campus if you’re going into crane operation.

What is the job outlook like for heavy equipment operators?

The future for heavy equipment operators in America looks to be a promising one in the near future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12 percent increase in the number of construction equipment operator jobs through 2026 compared to 2016’s total. Completing a training program at HEC can help you gain the skills and knowledge to take advantage of this expected demand.

How much can you make as a heavy equipment operator?

Potential earnings for heavy equipment operators can vary depending on the type of equipment they operate, where they work and how much experience they have. Completing a heavy equipment training program can help you establish a foundation of skills upon which to build your career. Most entry-level heavy equipment operator roles involve a significant amount of on-the-job training to help you master the nuances of life in the field.

Now that you know more about what they do and the training involved, does a career as a heavy equipment operator pique your interest? If it does, HEC can help prepare you for a potentially rewarding career in the field. To learn more about HEC’s certificate programs and the resources we offer students, contact us today.


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Heavy Equipment Colleges of America endorses the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) and provides training to prepare candidates for CCO examinations.

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