Heavy Equipment and Tractor Training Programs

Find out about degree and certificate programs as well as stand-alone courses that can prepare you for a career working with heavy equipment. Get information about employment options and median salaries for those jobs. Schools offering Heavy Equipment degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in Heavy Equipment Training Programs?

In a heavy equipment operations certificate program, which usually takes less than two years to complete, you may learn to safely operate heavy construction equipment. In addition to studying operations, you may learn to prepare excavation and construction sites. You may need to demonstrate that you can meet performance standards affirming your driving skills and that you know how equipment is used. The program also includes practical, hands-on training.

In a 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology, you may study methods for servicing heavy operations and construction equipment. This includes running diagnostics to identify problems, repair procedures and rebuilding parts you don't have on hand. You may learn to test batteries, fix electrical systems and improve overall performance. Some classes pertain to tractors and other farm equipment, including their hydraulics and transmissions systems. You may also study:

  • Preventative maintenance techniques
  • Automotive welding
  • Equipment operations
  • Safety in mechanics

Program Levels Certificate program, associate's degree
Learning Environments Inside construction equipment and workshops
Possible Careers Heavy equipment service mechanic, construction equipment operator, diesel engine specialist
Job Outlook (2016-2026)8% growth (heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians)*
Median Salary (2018)$50,320 (heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do Programs Work?

Both program types are very hands-on. In heavy equipment operation certificates and classes, you get behind the wheel and operate construction equipment. In many cases, you must to log a certain number of program hours, demonstrating that you know how to operate the equipment. You may also need to meet the requirements for safety measures and learn to check your equipment. In diesel and heavy equipment technology, your instructors place you in a workshop, running tests and making repairs.

How Can I Use This Training?

With heavy equipment operation training, you can become a construction equipment operator and clear or grade land or roads to construct buildings or update highways. You could find a job operating specific equipment, such as a crane, dredge or excavation machine. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction equipment operators made a median annual salary of $47,810 as of May 2018. Dredge operators made $45,260, crane operators made $54,140 and excavators made $44,270.

With your associate's degree in diesel and heavy equipment technology, you may be prepared for a career as a heavy equipment service technician. This could involve working on farm equipment or construction equipment. According to the BLS, heavy equipment mechanics made a median annual salary of $50,320 as of May 2018. You could also become a diesel engine specialist, which involves providing mechanical services to semi trucks, buses and pickups. As of May 2018, these professionals made a median annual salary of $47,350.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Washington-Holmes Technical Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Chipley
  • Washington County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: Calais
  • Washburn Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Kansas: Topeka
  • Uintah Basin Applied Technology College

    Campus Locations:

    • Utah: Roosevelt
  • Southern Maine Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: South Portland
  • South Louisiana Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: Lafayette
  • Somerset County Technology Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Somerset
  • The University of Montana

    Campus Locations:

    • Montana: Missoula
  • Santiago Canyon College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Orange