Almost everything you see around you is created with the help of a backhoe. Construction of residential buildings, commercial buildings, pavement and roads, and bridges were all constructed with the help of a backhoe. This versatile machine can excavate, move materials, push soil or snow, break asphalt, and more. Because it is such a common machine in the construction industry, the need for backhoe operators is always present—and as of late, growing. If you’re considering getting your backhoe license, now is the time.
The Backhoe’s Role In The Construction Industry
A backhoe is also known as a rear actor or back actor. It consists of a standard tractor with a boom connected to it and a digging bucket attached to that arm. This digging bucket is what makes it so useful and essential to the construction industry. The versatility of a backhoe is unmatched, which is why its use is so widespread in the construction industry.
Backhoes are used for many things. They dig up holes and trenches, move light construction materials, push around rocks, soil, dirt, or snow, and break asphalt when repaving a road. Their narrow frames and easy maneuverability makes them favorable in the construction industry for all types of projects, from road construction to residential projects.
Education and Basic Requirements
The first step in obtaining a backhoe operator license is to ensure that you have your high school diploma or equivalent. Most jobs in the construction industry require you to have a diploma or a GED certificate. A college degree is not required.
You can become a backhoe operator whenever you want, although the age requirement is to at least be 18 years old. Working with heavy machinery is physically demanding, so before you begin to apply to a training course, make sure you are in good physical condition and health. Some courses and certifications might require you to undergo medical tests to verify your health.
Backhoe Training: How to Operate like a Pro
Heavy Equipment Training Course
If you meet the basic requirements, then you are all set to get started on becoming a backhoe operator. You will need to enroll in a backhoe training course. These types of courses are offered at heavy equipment operators schools. In a backhoe training course, you will learn all about how to operate a backhoe and basic backhoe safety. Topics in a course could include:
- Walkaround inspections
- Operator compartment
- Startup and shut down procedures
- Basic operating procedures
- Earthmoving fundamentals
Usually, training courses start in the classroom listening to an instructor. The remainder of the course will take place in the field where you will get practical training.
Certification and Licensing
You can train on a backhoe and a number of other machines to receive your Certificate of Heavy Equipment Operations – Level I. Completing a course and getting certified or licensed takes 3 weeks. Once you have your certification and license, you have the green light to begin applying to backhoe operator jobs. Usually, the school you took your course at can assist you in getting an entry-level job.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, backhoe operators are in great demand. They also project a boom in construction in the upcoming years. This means that there will be many options for you to get hired. You can also expect good pay in the heavy equipment industry. The average annual salary for a backhoe operator is $54, 210. The best-paying states for heavy equipment operators are North Dakota, Nevada, and Montana.
As a backhoe operator, you will be working outdoors and in different weather conditions. Oftentimes you will be working at construction sites and similar projects. You could be working in the construction and maintenance of roads, developments of tunnels and buildings, or even in mining.
Get Trained At Heavy Equipment Colleges of America
The Heavy Equipment Colleges of America has a comprehensive backhoe training program to equip you with everything you need to get started in your new career. There are six locations nationwide to suit people all over the country, from California to North Carolina. Interested in learning more? Contact us today.