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The Best Heavy Equipment Operator Schools

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If you have decided to become a heavy equipment operator, you are making a great choice.

There are so many opportunities to those that are skilled operators of these construction vehicles. Heavy equipment operator schools can be exclusively focused on operator training, or may be part of a community college.

Typically courses will last under 1 year and include a mix of classroom education and actual driving classes. Some of what you may leave a program with includes:

  • Knowledge of safety requirements and certification via OSHA
  • Certifications for CPR, First Aid, and Red Cross
  • Operations of a variety of heavy equipment
  • Maintenance of basic components of various equipment

You may practice on a variety of construction vehicles including bulldozers, backhoes, trucks, and more.

Heavy Equipment Operator Schools

Looking for a heavy operator school that is near you?

Our map and list of of schools to receive heavy equipment training will definitely help.

The schools on this list are compiled from the IPEDS database and a manual search. When available we have provided data regarding graduation rates, housing, costs, and more.

Use our map, or scroll the page to find heavy equipment training schools near you.

Filter Schools by State:

Forestry Works

Address: 555 Alabama Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
Housing: No


If becoming a logger is your thing, then Forestry Works is the school for you. As a logging equipment operator school you will leave understanding all of the concepts around logging. Learn how to use equipment like skidders, dozers, grades, and feller-bunchers.

This four week program will have you ready to start a logging career and allow you to receive a Professional Logging Manager status.


Polytech Adult Education

Address: 823 Walnut Shade Road, Woodside, Delaware 19980-0000
Enrollment: 526
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 93%
Average Net Price: NA

National Training Incorporated

Address: 5660 County Rd 209 S, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Graduation Rate: 98%
Cost Range: $7,500-$13,000


Get your CDL and specialty training on National Training’s 350 acre CDL training property located in Florida. Learn to drive heavy equipment or a semi-tractor-trailer on their private highway and simulator. The school is approved by the State of Florida and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Since 1978 they have trained over 40,000 students and have maintained a 100% job placement rate! They offer several options for tuition assistance including income sharing, which allows you to pay down your tuition after you gain employment.


Washburn Institute of Technology

Address: 5724 SW Huntoon, Topeka, Kansas 66604-2117
Enrollment: 1233
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 59%
Average Net Price: $12,807.00

State Technical College of Missouri

Address: One Technology Drive, Linn, Missouri 65051-9607
Enrollment: 1855
Housing: Yes
Graduation Rate: 74%
Average Net Price: $7,361.00

Southern Oklahoma Technology Center

Address: 2610 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401
Enrollment: 633
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 33%
Average Net Price: $1,378.00

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics

Address: 5 Allegheny County Airport, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania 15122
Enrollment: 609
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 67%
Average Net Price: $25,250.00

Schuylkill Technology Center

Address: 101 Technology Dr, Frackville, Pennsylvania 17931
Enrollment: 58
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 85%
Average Net Price: $7,454.00

Bridgerland Technical College

Address: 1301 North 600 West, Logan, Utah 84321
Enrollment: 1704
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 67%
Average Net Price: $7,845.00

Caterpillar Operator Training

Address: Various


Caterpillar offers hands-on and classroom training in their Edwards, Illinois and Tinaja Hills, Arizona facilities.


Heavy Equipment Colleges of America

Address: Various Locations


The Heavy Equipment Colleges of America offers 4 locations across the US and provides heavy equipment operations training using the Adaptable Equipment Proficiency Test program. This program is a recognized certification for most heavy equipment. Crane operators will be certified under the Certification of Crane Operators.

The school offers financing, grants, and VA benefits and offers job placement assistance.


International Union of Operating Engineers



With over 1,000 instructors and many locations throughout the United States and Canada, IUOE is a great choice for learning how to handle heavy duty equipment. Each location offers different types of opportunities for training and apprenticeships. Classroom instruction, simulators, and working onsite with an experienced journeyman are all parts of the training you will receive.


Performance Training Solutions



Performance Training Solutions has several locations where students can receive heavy equipment training. In just a few weeks you can be ready to work as an entry-level skid steer, wheel loader, or backhoe operator. Classes are taught by NCCER craft instructors or master trainers.


APC Crane Training

Address: Various
Cost Range: $3,000-$6,000


APC Crane training offers classroom and field training in classrooms across the country in a variety of cities. They only offer training and certification for crane operators.


Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB)

Address: Various
Housing: No


CICB has been training crane and rigging professionals since 1969. They have locations in Florida, Texas, and Arizona.


West Coast Training

Address: 3805 Dike Road, Woodland, WA 98674-9725


Learn how to master a variety of heavy equipment like dozers, cranes, excavators, loaders, and more at West Coast Training’s California trade school. Their courses meet all guidelines set by the NCCER and NCCCO.

Most courses included classroom and hands-on instruction for a length of 4-28 weeks, depending on the program you select. A variety of financial aid and career services are available to students.


Mid-State Technical College

Address: 500 32nd St N, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin 54494
Enrollment: 3006
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 46%
Average Net Price: $9,316.00

Nicolet Area Technical College

Address: 5364 College Drive, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501-0518
Enrollment: 1224
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 44%
Average Net Price: $5,933.00

Northwood Technical College

Address: 505 Pine Ridge Drive, Shell Lake, Wisconsin 54871-8727
Enrollment: 2656
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 58%
Average Net Price: $11,008.00

Fox Valley Technical College

Address: 1825 N Bluemound Dr, Appleton, Wisconsin 54912-2277
Enrollment: 11664
Housing: No
Graduation Rate: 56%
Average Net Price: $9,836.00

Associated Training Services

Address: 7190 Elder Lane Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries

The salaries for heavy equipment operators will range greatly based on experience, skill level, and location.

Many construction equipment operators do make over 6-figures but these are in locations that may be more dangerous, or require a higher level of skill.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all equipment operators is $48,290. The lowest 10% earn roughly $35,7770 while the top 10% earn around $85,000 annually.

Lowest 10% Wages:
US Median Salary:
Highest 90% Wages:

Choosing A Heavy Equipment Operator Trade School

Choosing the right trade school is important for your career!

The schools above include community colleges and trade specific schools so that you can find options that fit your specific needs. But, if we had to make a recommendation, we would highly recommend attending a school that solely focuses on heavy equipment operations training.

These schools will usually offer a deeper level of education and specific certifications that will help set you apart from other candidates.

Two popular certifications include:

  • Adaptable Equipment Proficiency Testing (ADEPT)
  • National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCC)

Trade specific schools can also offer job placement opportunities that a community college may not have.

No matter which path you choose, you are still setting yourself up for a great career!