Heavy Equipment Operator Degree Options
Are you looking for a construction career and a formal education? Then you should consider earning a 2-year degree and becoming a heavy equipment operator. Through an associate's degree program, you can learn to operate bulldozers, excavators and other heavy equipment. This article can tell you more. Schools offering Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What are the Most Common Heavy Equipment Operator Programs?
Most heavy equipment operator programs award certificates or diplomas. However, you also can earn an associate's degree in heavy equipment operation and maintenance, heavy equipment operations or heavy equipment technology.
What Can I Learn?
In a degree program, you'll learn to work with heavy construction equipment safely and as part of a project team or group of independent contractors. You also might learn to service equipment, read technical manuals and operate additional equipment, such as pile-drivers and pavers.
Heavy equipment courses usually take the form of classroom instruction before you're allowed to operate equipment under the supervision of experienced professionals. You'll learn to evaluate the needs of projects, including calculating the amount of materials that need to be moved and estimating costs. Other coursework might cover:
- Diesel equipment servicing
- Preventative maintenance
- First aid
What Should I Know About Applying My Skills in the Workforce?
In the workforce, you can expect to apply your degree in construction, civil engineering, mining, power generation, oil, water or sewer projects. Many heavy equipment operators receive their training through apprenticeships or paid work experiences if they don't earn a degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the minimum educational requirement to enter this field is a high school diploma before you can seek training on the job (www.bls.gov).
Overall, the BLS expected the number of heavy equipment operations positions to grow 12% between 2008 and 2018. Much of this increase was attributable to federally funded projects and the need to maintain existing infrastructure. You also might find work on projects that involve alternative energy or existing energy generation technologies.
In 2009, BLS data indicated that operating engineers and other equipment operators received median earnings of $39,770. This doesn't include paving equipment operators, who received a median salary of $44,650 in 2009, or pile-driver operators, who earned a median of $46,270 during the same year.
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: