The program is comprehensive, industry developed, and locally recognized by employers in the construction, earthmoving, and excavation industries. SBC’s HEO students are taught to operate heavy equipment through in- the-seat operation of many types of heavy equipment and through classroom instruction. SBC’s heavy equipment training program is designed to give a person the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to operate equipment such as bulldozers, backhoe/loaders, scrapers, and motor graders. In addition to operating heavy equipment, students will learn grade reading, laser levels, soils, safety, site layouts, and heavy equipment maintenance.
- The student will demonstrate the basic operational techniques for the various equipment.
- The student safely operate heavy equipment such as dump trucks, loaders, excavators, backhoes, and skid steers.
- The student will demonstrate and engage in grading and safe earthmoving practices.
- The student will use critical thinking to describe basic mechanical operations and implement maintenance procedures and to demonstrate knowledge of laws, regulations, and safety requirements.
- Students will demonstrate familiarity with the realities of employment in the heavy equipment industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual wage for construction equipment operators was $45,040 in May 2016. Overall employment of construction equipment operators is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected to vary across the construction equipment operator occupations. Spending on infrastructure is expected to increase, resulting in many new positions over the next 10 years. Across the country, many roads, bridges, and water and sewer systems are in need of repair. In addition, population growth will require new infrastructure projects, such as roads and sewer lines, which are also expected to generate jobs.
Workers with the ability to operate multiple types of equipment should have the best job opportunities. In addition, employment opportunities should be best in metropolitan areas, where most large commercial and residential buildings are constructed, and in states that undertake large transportation-related projects. Because apprentices learn to operate a wider variety of machines than do other beginners, they usually have better job opportunities.
As with many other types of construction worker jobs, employment of construction equipment operators is sensitive to fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, some areas may need additional workers during peak periods of building activity.