Which Schools Offer Heavy Equipment Training in Florida?
Learn about heavy equipment training in Florida. Get information about programs available and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What You Need to Know
Persons interested in operating heavy equipment in the State of Florida are not legally required to complete a formal education in the field. However, for those desiring to train prior to employment, a number of certificate programs are available in the state, in addition to at least one apprenticeship program. Applicants to such programs may be required to provide copies of their driver's licenses, birth certificates, and/or social security cards to schools. Basic education tests are also often part of the application process.
Heavy Equipment Apprenticeship in Florida
Mid Florida Tech in Orlando
- Program Name: Heavy equipment operation apprenticeship
- Program Length: Four years full-time
- Tuition: Tuition exempt
- Admission Requirements: Have driver's license for Florida; be 18 years old; have birth certificate, social security card and two recommendation letters; and meet basic skills requirements
- School Type: 2-year, public (about 2,000 undergraduates)
- Address: 2900 W. Oak Ridge Rd., Orlando, FL 32809
- Phone: 904-783-6181
This program combines hands-on training and classroom lectures and should prepare you to become a journeyman upon completion. In your first year, you study to become a heavy equipment maintenance technician. You then learn to be a tractor operator in your second year. Lastly, you take instruction in off-road equipment operation and crane operation in your third and fourth years.
Heavy Equipment Certificate Programs in Florida
Florida State College at Jacksonville
- Program Name: Medium and Heavy Duty Truck and Bus Technician (Diesel Technology) Workforce Certificate
- Program Length: Fifteen months full-time
- Tuition: $86 per credit hour in-state resident; $345 per credit hour out-of-state resident (2012-2013)
- Admission Requirements: Driving record, assessment test for basic education and assessment test mechanic aptitude
- School Type: 4-year, public (about 31,000 undergraduates)
- Address: 501 W. State St., Jacksonville, FL 32202
- Phone: 904-633-8334
This 1,800-hour certificate program includes hands-on lab experiences and classroom instruction. Courses include hydraulic systems for heavy and medium trucks, diesel drivetrains and transmissions, diesel brakes systems, diesel electronics and preventative maintenance for a diesel engine. This certificate program trains you to become a service technician.
Immokalee Technical Center
- Program Name: Heavy Equipment Mechanics Certificate
- Program Length: Four semesters full-time
- Tuition: $8,766 total cost for the program (2012-2013)
- Admission Requirements: Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE), Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test, liability insurance and interview
- School Type: 2-year, public (about 400 undergraduates)
- Address: 508 N. 9th St., Immokalee, FL 34142
- Phone: 239-377-9900
In this program, you should gain the knowledge and skills needed to repair, diagnose and maintain heavy equipment systems. You will learn how to use web-based service software. In addition, you receive training in creating service reports and ordering parts. You may choose an area of focus such as electronics, engine rebuild, hydraulic system operation or transmissions.
Palm Beach State College
- Program Name: Heavy Equipment Mechanic Postsecondary Adult Vocational (PSAV) Certificate
- Program Length: Approximately 18 months taken in the evening
- Tuition: $83 per credit hour resident; $327 per credit hour non-resident (2012-2013)
- School Type: 4-year, public (about 29,000 undergraduates)
- Address: 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33461
- Phone: 561-993-1187
After completing this program, you may seek a job as a mechanic fixing diesel, truck and bus engines, mobile heavy or construction equipment or industrial trucks. For this program, which doesn't require a GED or high school diploma, you take courses in heavy equipment drive train systems and hydraulic systems. You also learn about diesel suspension and steering, heating and air conditioning, brake systems and engine systems.
Career Information for Heavy Equipment Mechanics and Operators in Florida
Many heavy equipment operators learn their skills through on-the-job training or apprenticeships, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you want to attend a postsecondary training program, however, you can find them available through community and vocational colleges.
Earning certification as a heavy equipment mechanic is voluntary, but can make it easier for you to find a job and may result in higher pay. You may earn a manufacturer's certification to prepare you to repair particular equipment. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence also offers various diesel certifications. Operators need a commercial driver's license to move equipment from site to site. Florida does not require crane operators to obtain certification.
Salary and Employment Outlook for Heavy Equipment Mechanics and Operators
The BLS reported about 63,000 tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers working in Florida made a mean wage of about $36,000 as of May 2011. Additionally, the BLS found about 5,000 mobile heavy equipment mechanics made a mean salary of about $43,000 as of May 2011. The BLS expected jobs for mobile equipment and heavy vehicle service technicians to increase by 16% between 2010 and 2020 and increase by 23% for construction equipment operators during the same time period.
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