Heavy machine operators run and repair equipment such as tractors and excavators. Aspiring operators typically earn a diploma, certificate or associate's degree.
Schools with Heavy Equipment Programs
The following schools offer heavy equipment programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Flathead Valley Community College||Kalispell, Montana||2-year, Public||Certificate|| $3,964 In-district
|Hawkeye Community College||Waterloo, Iowa||2-year, Public||Diploma|| $4,466 In-state
|Southern Maine Community College||South Portland, Maine||2-year, Public||Certificate|| $3,694 In-state
|Pennsylvania College of Technology||Williamsport, Pennsylvania||4-year, Public||Associate's|| $15,810 In-state
|South Seattle College||Seattle, Washington||4-year, Public|| Certificate
| $4,130 In-state
|Wake Technical Community College||Raleigh, North Carolina||2-year, Public|| Diploma
| $2,768 In-state
|Butte College||Oroville, California||2-year, Public||Certificate|| $1,364 In-state
|Central Arizona College||Coolidge, Arizona||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $2,460 In-state
|Hazard Community and Technical College||Hazard, Kentucky||2-year, Public|| Diploma
| $3,624 In-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator
School Selection Criteria
Heavy machine operators can find training programs at 2-year community and technical colleges throughout the U.S. Students should consider the following:
- Diploma and certificate programs can be completed in as little as one semester whereas associate's degree programs are longer and include a wider variety of courses.
- Some programs may focus more strongly on repair techniques, so students should look for a curriculum that includes this content.
- Students may want to consider enrolling in programs that offer a great deal of hands-on opportunities and access to a wide variety of heavy equipment.
- Schools with high placement rates may offer programs for direct employment upon graduation.
Diploma in Heavy Equipment Operation
Diploma programs incorporate coursework in servicing and operation of heavy machinery, safety procedures and blueprint reading.
Certificate in Heavy Equipment Operation
A certificate program in heavy equipment operation typically takes less than one year and includes hands-on experiences working with heavy equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers and excavators via internship opportunities.
Associate's Degree in Heavy Equipment Operation
Associate's degree programs in heavy equipment operation include general education courses that students can transfer to bachelor's degree programs. Prior to entrance into some programs, students must submit to a physical and drug screening.
Heavy equipment operation programs are available at the diploma, certificate and associate's degree levels. These programs cover topics such as mechanical theory, welding, safety procedures, math and blueprint reading.