There are a few community colleges and career centers as well as a university in Ohio that offer diplomas, certificates and associate's degrees in heavy equipment. General education coursework is included in the associate's degree programs. Students must complete classroom hours and laboratory work.
Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County
Newark's Career and Technology Education Centers provide a 900-hour heavy truck mechanics program that trains students for careers as diesel mechanics in the heavy trucking industry. This program prepares students to take the ASE and National Occupational Competency Testing Institute certification exams. Courses cover topics like preventive maintenance, steering and suspension, braking systems and drive trains. Students can choose from a heavy truck or a heavy equipment track.
Edison Community College
Edison Community College in Piqua offers an associate's degree program in equipment maintenance technology with an industrial equipment supervision option that trains students to maintain and repair heavy equipment, such as tractors, excavators, backhoes and skid-steer loaders. Students in the program will receive training on mobile hydraulics and hydrostatics, mobile electrical systems, internal combustion engines, hydraulics, welding, and mobile electrical systems. The degree program requires at least 63 credits for completion and includes general education courses.
The heavy equipment management program at Hocking College in Nelsonville can be completed in 5 semesters. Students learn how to check, maintain and operate heavy equipment like dump trucks, excavators, dozers, backhoes, and graders. Topics covered in this program include job appraisal and bidding, soils, welding and construction basics. Students also can take a CDL permit preparation course.
Miami Valley Career Technology Center
Located in Clayton, Miami Valley Career Technology Center offers a heavy equipment operations course that trains students to operate various types of equipment, including backhoes, graders, excavators, scrapers and dozers. Instruction in this 900-hour program covers all aspects of heavy equipment operation, from safety and maintenance to earthmoving, grading and finishing. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the National Center for Construction Education and Research certification exam.
Owens Community College
Owens Community College offers 3 manufacturer-specific heavy equipment associate's degree programs, a diesel service certificate program and a diesel technology degree program at its Toledo campus. Students can also find CDL courses at this school. Aspiring heavy equipment technicians who want to work on a specific brand of heavy equipment can choose to enroll in a Caterpillar program, John Deere tech program or John Deere turf program. Students in each program learn to maintain and repair suspension and steering, brakes, engines, and electrical/electronic systems. Students in the manufacturer-specific programs receive work experience at either Caterpillar or John Deere, in addition to classroom instruction and laboratory training.
University of Northwestern Ohio
The University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima provides heavy equipment training through a 72-week diesel technician diploma program and a 90-week associate's degree program. Both programs have the same technical course requirements, and the associate's program adds general education courses. The curriculum for each program includes instruction on heavy equipment and vehicle-integrated electronics, welding, truck drive trains, hydraulic brake systems and diesel engine performance, diagnosis, and repair. High-performance engine machining and CDL courses are recommended but not required.
Heavy equipment operators typically need to have a commercial driver's license (CDL), and some states also require operators to have specific licenses to use particular types of equipment. Before Ohio residents can obtain a CDL, they must be at least 18 years of age and already possess a standard state driver's license. Students who are interested in fixing and maintaining heavy equipment might want to look into pursuing voluntary certification from a relevant organization, such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Overviews of six Ohio-based schools with heavy equipment programs are included below, as is a table that compares tuition rates.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Programs Offered||Costs (2018-2019)|
|Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County||2-year; public; small suburb||Heavy Truck Mechanics (Heavy Truck or Heavy Equipment track)||$8,544 program cost for heavy truck track; $8,904 for heavy equipment track**|
|Edison State Community College||2-year; public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Equipment Maintenance Technology with Industrial Equipment Supervision Option||$4,698 in-state, $8,608 out-of-state*|
|Hocking College||2-year; public; fringe rural||Associate of Technical Study in Heavy Equipment Management||$4,540 in-state, $9,080 out-of-state*|
|Miami Valley Career Technology Center||Less-than-2-year; public; fringe rural||Heavy Equipment Operations||$370 for 2019 graduates**|
|Owens Community College||2-year; public; large suburb|| Diesel Service Certificate,
Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science,
Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Associate of Applied Science,
John Deere Tech Major Associate of Applied Science,
John Deere Turf Major Associate of Applied Science
|$5,150 in-state per year; $9,062 out-of-state per year*|
|University of Northwestern Ohio||4-year; private, not-for-profit; small city|| Diesel Technician Diploma,
Associate in Applied Science in Diesel Technology
|$11,350 per year*|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **Schools' websites.