How Do I Become A Heavy Machinery Operator?

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If you think operating heavy equipment is something you might like to do, there are an abundance of opportunities to learn.

Skills To Be A Heavy Machinery Operator

In Ontario, you can either become an apprentice and learn on the job or enroll in a college course such as the paid Ontario heavy equipment operator-training course.

Qualifications and attributes you’ll need to potentially excel at this career:

  • Excellent balance;
  • Good physical condition and good overall health;
  • Able to judge distances;
  • Coordinated;
  • Unafraid of heights;
  • Be able to focus for extended time periods;
  • Mechanically inclined;
  • Good at solving problems;
  • Able to work in inclement weather;
  • Experience with other equipment like tractors.

When you’re training to become a heavy equipment operator in Ontario you’ll be learning how to operate large pieces of machinery safely and in the right way. This sort of equipment can be used to build or to demolish.

What You’re Signing Up For

Programs offered at colleges and specialized private schools will teach you how to be proficient at working machinery like bulldozers, hydraulic escalators, backhoes and other heavy equipment. You’ll also be learning about the equipment itself with such courses as how to maintain equipment, working safely, etc.

Any Ontario college offering heavy equipment operating courses will usually require you to have a high school diploma that includes Grade 12 English and math credits.

In 2013-2014 more than 90 per cent of graduates of these programs found gainful employment, earning a starting salary of more than $55,000 per year. Financial assistance is available to become a heavy equipment operator.

You’ll Be Tested

Before graduating any of these programs you will need to show you can safely operate several types of heavy equipment properly and safely. But along with operation, you will also be required to perform inspections on machinery, provide preventative maintenance, be up to speed on any legislation regarding the equipment, know how to read site plans, manufacturer’s manuals, install equipment attachments and know how to load and unload the equipment. In other words, you’ll be very adept as you start your career in heavy construction.

Other skills you’ll have upon graduating: ability to interpret grade elevations, work in a team environment, prepare work logs and comply with all laws concerning the construction industry, including health and safety regulations.

You can gather more information and talk to industry pros at the Truck Loan Center. They’ll answer all your questions and point you in the right direction.


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