Though formal education is not always a prerequisite to beginning a career as a heavy equipment operator, Massachusetts-based individuals looking to start out in this field might consider enrolling in a training or degree program at a community or technical college. Currently, there are two not-for-profit schools in Massachusetts that offer courses in heavy equipment operation or diesel technology. Students learn through classroom and laboratory instruction as well as through cooperative work experiences. Program information and a table that outlines tuition rates can be found below.
Greenfield Community College
In Greenfield'sGreenfield Community College, individuals can complete courses related to heavy equipment operation through the college's continuing education department. These courses are not always available, but students can sometimes find courses to prepare for licensure in forklift and cranes, excavators and hoisting. In the forklift and cranes course, students learn about parts of cranes, forklifts and hydraulic theory as well as safety and professional requirements to work with these machines. The excavator course explores excavator machines and their limits, hydraulics, mathematic calculations, inspections and hand signals. The hoisting course teaches students about operation of a variety of equipment, from front-end loaders and excavators to a hydraulic boom operated with no cable, forklifts and lulls.
Massasoit Community College
At Brockton-based Massasoit Community College, students can pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology with two concentration options. The Diesel option is designed to provide students with the training necessary to repair and maintain diesel engine systems. The program combines classroom and laboratory instruction and covers topics such as electrical systems, diesel engines, engine machining, stand-by power, multi-cylinder overhaul and fuel systems. In the heavy equipment apprentice option, students take many of the same courses as in the diesel option, but also provides students with an additional level of training in the operation and handling of heavy equipment machines. Students are required to complete a cooperative work experience where they gain hands-on training in the field. They are also expected to complete safety courses that inform them of the proper way to handle diesel engines in heavy equipment machines.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Heavy Equipment Operation Degree Programs and Courses Offered||Tuition & Fees 2015-2016|
|Greenfield Community College||2-year; public, distant town|| 2A Excavator License Prep,
Forklift and Crane License Prep,
Hoisting License Prep
|$195-$295 per course*|
|Massasoit Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology||$4,488 (in-state); $9,432 (out-of-state)**|
Source: *Greenfield Community College, **NCES College Navigator.