Heavy Machinery Courses and Education Programs

Find out about training courses for operating heavy machinery, such as construction or mining equipment. See what you'll be taught, and learn about career options and licensing requirements in this field. Schools offering Heavy Equipment degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Heavy equipment operator training programs are available at many schools and universities across the United States. At the conclusion of some of these training programs, you will have the opportunity to take a heavy machinery certification exam, which some employers require. Additionally, you can also enroll in a degree program and earn your Associate of Applied Science degree in heavy equipment operation. An associate's degree will help if you ever aspire to work in a more managerial position.

Courses Electrical systems, fuel injection, steering, suspension and frames
Degree Associate's degree in heavy equipment operation
Training Proper safety techniques

What Can I Expect From These Programs?

These training programs are designed to teach you the proper and safe way to operate heavy machinery. You can expect to be working hands-on with many different pieces of machinery, including motor graders, front-end loaders, water and dump trucks, backhoes and excavators. When looking for training programs, be sure to find one that has both older machines, often still used in the industry, and newer ones. Also, keep in mind that some schools require you to purchase your own tools.

What Kinds of Programs Are Available?

An Associate of Applied Science in Heavy Construction Equipment Technology with an operator emphasis might be offered. A heavy equipment technology associate's degree program could be another option. You could also enroll in a high performance technology certificate program.

What Types of Courses Can I Expect to Take?

Whether in a training program or on a degree track, you can expect to take similar courses. If you are enrolled in a degree program, you will most likely have to take foundational courses. These courses include basic math, English and science. The following topics may also be studied:

  • Basic maintenance
  • Welding operations
  • Traction
  • Components
  • Tools, hardware and basic safety
  • Diesel engine fundamentals
  • Heavy equipment electrical systems
  • Site preparation and layout
  • Hydraulics
  • Operation of trenching equipment

What Can I Do for a Career?

There are many different places you can work as a heavy machinery operator. These places include your state or county highway department, construction companies and mining companies. Just be sure to remember that heavy machinery operators are also required to have a commercial driver's license. This is necessary because you will likely be driving this machinery back and forth to job sites. To learn about requirements and mandates for earning a commercial driver's license, contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

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