What Are Some Requirements for Being a Heavy Equipment Operator?


Quick Answer

Heavy equipment operators must have high school diplomas or have passed the General Education Development test. An operator needs a valid driver's licence and is required to be physically fit with good hand-eye coordination. Operators must possess some mechanical skills.

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Full Answer

Some states require heavy equipment operators to possess specialized licenses for operating equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes and loaders. In many work environments, operators must obtain commercial driver's licenses for transporting equipment to work sites.

Some employers may require applicants to possess educational experience in heavy equipment operation. Education opportunities include equipment training courses at private vocational schools. Operators often have education in automobile and engine repair because it is frequently necessary to repair equipment on-site.

To be eligible for employment, some operators must complete three- to four-year apprenticeship programs. Paid apprenticeships include on-the-job training for operation and repair of actual machines. Apprentices also study map reading, safety procedures and first aid in classroom settings.

Operators must also have good vision and possess the capacity to lift heavy loads. Operators must be able to function in work environments that are noisy and exposed to weather conditions. In some situations, operators are required to work in hazardous environments involving high voltage and dangerous chemicals.

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