Earning a heavy equipment certificate prepares individuals to use a variety of heavy machinery in construction and trucking positions. Students enrolled in a heavy equipment certificate program learn how to handle and operate bulldozers, backhoes, excavators, front end loaders and more. Although heavy equipment diploma programs are available, they are less common than certificate programs.
In other cases, prospective students can pursue an associate's degree. Typical prerequisites include a high school diploma or equivalent. Some similar programs include those related to crane operating and trucking. Certification options are available for those who complete heavy equipment training.
Heavy Equipment Certification
A certificate program in heavy equipment prepares students for heavy equipment operator and technician careers. Students will develop entry-level training through courses such as the following:
- Motor Graders
- Excavators and tractors
- Introduction to blue prints
- Tractors and bulldozers
- Basic surveying and rigging
- Heavy equipment safety and basic operational techniques
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of a heavy equipment certificate program may have the technical and diagnostic skills necessary to obtain employment in construction equipment operations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), faster-than-average job growth of 10% is expected for construction equipment operators from 2014-2024. In May 2015, the average hourly wages for operating engineers and other construction equipment operators were $23.61.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education
Upon successful completion of a heavy equipment certificate program, students may be prepared for national certification, which is offered through the National Center for Construction Education and Research and the National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools.
Heavy equipment certification may not always be required in the workplace but can provide workers with a competitive edge over other job seekers in the field.
Associate's degree programs in heavy equipment are available, including the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Heavy Equipment Technology and the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Heavy Equipment Maintenance.
Prospective heavy equipment operators now have a firm grasp of what they will learn in a certification program, as well as what salary and career opportunities lie ahead after certification completion.