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Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

by Tim Brunicardi on October 10, 2017

Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate Offers Opportunities

Growing up, did all of your favorite toys have a Tonka logo on them? Would you feel more comfortable working outdoors on a busy construction site than stuck in an office? Would you describe yourself as being “mechanically inclined"? If so, then perhaps it’s time for you to consider pursing a Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate at Hocking College!

heavy equipment operator | hocking collegeBy choosing this career path you would be following in the legendary footsteps of men and women whose hard work has helped to shape every aspect of our modern day lives- from the homes we live in and the places we shop, to the roads we travel on a daily basis. In addition, some of the unique benefits of becoming a heavy equipment operator include:

  • The opportunity to travel
  • The opportunity to work outdoors
  • The opportunity to work on a seasonal basis
  • Increasing job opportunities for women
  • A variety of alternative employment options
  • An estimated median salary of $43,810
  • Encouraging job prospects that project an estimated 43,200 potential heavy equipment operator positions by 2024

What Is A Heavy Equipment Operator?

"Heavy equipment" is a general term for various types of large machines like cranes, bulldozers, front end loaders, rollers, backhoes, drills, etc. 

In most cases, if a machine can push, pull, pump or lift material, rolls on tires or crawls on tracks like a tank, it’s "heavy equipment". Heavy Equipment Operators are the first workers on the job and the last to leave when it comes to construction and building. Their work is essential to a smooth-running project.

Advantages Of Getting A Heavy Equip Operator Certificate At Hocking College

Making the decision to pursue a Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate at Hocking College will provide students with the following advantages:

  • Qualified instructors with over ten years of experience
  • Smaller class sizes that allow students more one-on-one time with their instructors
  • Hands-on specialized training in operating the following pieces of heavy equipment: Backhoe, Bulldozer, Off-Road Dump Truck, Road Grader, Skid Steer, Tracked Excavator, Vibratory Compactor and Wheel Loader
  • Specialized training in the proper maintenance, pre-start checks, and shut down procedures regarding all pieces of heavy equipment
  • Specialized training in Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) enforced safety standards
  • Additional specialized training in the following related subjects: Global Positioning System (GPS), Optical and Laser Grade Checking Instruments, Natural Resources Welding, and Storm Water Management
  • The opportunity to obtain both a Forklift & Scissor Lift Certification
  • Training that can serve as credit towards an apprenticeship
  • The potential to become employable in the following additional fields: Commercial Trucking, Equipment Sales, Highway Construction and Maintenance, Landscaping, Mining, and Pipelines
  • The opportunity to obtain their Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate in only two semesters
  • The potential to be considered employable immediately after graduation

What It Takes to Become A Heavy Equipment Operator

become a heavy equipment operator | hocking collegeAnyone interested in becoming a professional heavy equipment operator should be aware that potential employers are primarily interested in those applicants who possess the following scholastic, work- related, and physical assets:

Scholastic Assets:

  • Math and Computer skills
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Vocational school-based background

Work-Related Assets:

  • 1-3 years work experience in the construction industry
  • Ability to pass a drug/alcohol screen
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check
  • Ability to travel for work
  • An understanding of electronics
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Experience involving power and hand tools
  • Familiarity with Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Keen mechanical abilities
  • Knowledge/experience pertaining to auto mechanics
  • Reliable transportation
  • The potential to move into a leadership, or management, role

Physical Assets

  • Ability to lift/carry 35 lbs
  • Ability to pull/push 50 lbs
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Good depth perception
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Good hearing
  • Good multi-limb coordination
  • Near and far vision acuity
  • No fear of heights
  • Physical agility
  • Physical stamina

become a heavy equipment operator