Both certificate and associate's degree programs are available for prospective students. These programs provide a comprehensive introduction to heavy equipment use through classroom-based and hands-on training.
Schools with Heavy Equipment Programs
Heavy equipment programs are typically found at technical colleges, such as the ones below:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees, In-State (2015-2016)*|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, NV||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,805|
|Pennsylvania College of Technology||Williamsport, PA||4-year, Public||Associate's||$15,810|
|Hawkeye Community College||Waterloo, Iowa||2-year, Public||Certificate||$4,466|
|Hazard Community and Technical College||Hazard, KY||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,624|
|Southern Maine Community College||South Portland, ME||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,694|
|Wake Technical Community College||Raleigh, NC||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,768|
|Butte College||Oroville, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,364|
|Central Arizona College||Coolidge, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,460|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Heavy Equipment Operation
- Truck, Bus and Commercial Driver
How to Choose a Heavy Equipment Training School or College
Below are important considerations when choosing a school:
- Students should ensure that the school has been accredited, and they may want to look for programs that have been recognized by professional organizations such as the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
- Students should consider how much hands-on training experience the program entails, through simulations, on-campus practicums or off-site internships.
- It is important to make sure that the school gives students the chance to train with up-to-date, industry-standard equipment.
- Prospective students may want to look for schools that provide specific training for the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) exam.
Certificate programs provide basic training in the use, maintenance and repair of heavy equipment such as forklifts, bulldozers, water trucks, dump trucks, backhoes and excavators. Students may also take business math and workplace communication courses to help prepare for jobs in the industry. An internship may also be required. Usually, certificate programs take one year to complete.
Associate's Degree Programs
Two-year associate's degree programs typically provide the same technical training as certificate programs, but they also include the general education courses necessary for an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Associate in Specialized Technology (AST) degree. In addition, some programs prepare students specifically for the CDL exam. Graduates may find jobs in construction, mining, logging or local government.
Heavy equipment operator training is available at the certificate and associate's levels. Various schools typically offer hands-on training through simulators and real equipment.