Where Can I Find a Heavy Equipment Operator School?

Heavy equipment operators need to balance mechanical skills with caution to control large machinery like bulldozers, forklifts and more. Read on to learn about popular U.S. schools that offer training to operate such machines. Schools offering Heavy Equipment degrees can also be found in these popular choices.


Most heavy equipment operator programs feature extensive hands-on training. That means you'll be working with real heavy equipment and gaining practical experience while you complete your certificate or degree. As these programs are usually designed to prepare you for a career, some of them also offer commercial driver's license (CDL) training, or the opportunity to gain professional certification with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).

Important Facts About Heavy Equipment Operator Programs

Degrees/Certificates Certificate, associate of applied science
Prerequisites Students may have to provide their own personal safety equipment, such as hard hats, gloves, goggles and boots. A physical/drug screen may be required before admission.
Common Courses Equipment operations and maintenance, first aid and safety, OSHA regulations, environmental laws and compliance, construction measurement/mathematics
Possible Careers Heavy equipment operator or mechanic, engineer, commercial truck driver, excavator, logger
Median Salary (2018) $47,810 (for operating engineers and other construction equipment operators)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 12% (for operating engineers and other construction equipment operators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Lansing Community College in Michigan

Lansing Community College (LCC) offers a heavy equipment repair program. According to LCC, students can pursue either a certificate of completion or an associate's degree. LCC has partnered with AIS Construction Equipment, a leading supplier of heavy equipment, to offer practical and academic training to aspiring heavy equipment operators. The program prepares students for careers with starting salaries of $10 to $25 an hour, LCC reports. Students enrolled in the program will learn how to repair various pieces of heavy equipment, including the following:

  • Wheel loaders
  • Skid steers
  • Backhoes
  • Bulldozers
  • Excavators
  • Forklifts

Central Arizona College in Coolidge, AZ

Central Arizona College offers an associate's degree and a certificate program for aspiring heavy equipment operators. The hands-on training programs teach students to operate both new and older equipment. Students who complete these programs are prepared to work for highway departments as well as mining, logging and construction companies. The school reports that students who complete the associate's degree program are better equipped to pursue management construction positions. Both programs teach students to operate various types of heavy equipment, which include the following:

  • Motor graders
  • Front-end loaders
  • Scrapers
  • Bulldozers
  • Dump trucks
  • Water trucks
  • Excavators

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