How Do I Choose the Best Heavy Equipment Classes?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
A heavy equipment operator may be certified to operate excavators.
A heavy equipment operator may be certified to operate excavators.

The first step you must take when choosing heavy equipment classes is determining in what capacity you want to work with heavy machinery. You can, for example, take courses that will teach you to become a heavy equipment operator, but you can also take courses that will teach you to become a heavy equipment maintenance mechanic. Set your career goals so you can figure out which heavy equipment classes will be most appropriate for you. It will also be important to find classes that are recognized and approved by various governing bodies in your area.

A heavy equipment class might offer crane operator certification.
A heavy equipment class might offer crane operator certification.

Various types of certifications exist, and some are specific to the type of heavy equipment you intend to operate. Crane operator certification, for example, will require different heavy equipment classes than a HAZMAT certification. The former certification will qualify you to operate various types of cranes, while the latter will train you to deal with various types of hazardous materials you will encounter on the job. If you are currently employed, you will want to check with your employer before enrolling in any heavy equipment classes to ensure the ones you choose will fulfill the training requirements your employer has tasked you with.

If you want to become a heavy equipment mechanic, you will need to find heavy equipment classes specifically designed to train you in this field. Be ready to enroll in several classes, not just one; if you enroll in a training program, you will be given the opportunity to choose a training schedule that works best for you. Think carefully about your schedule when enrolling to ensure you choose classes that you can take while working full-time if necessary. The training program can last several months to several years, so be sure you are prepared to commit both the time and the money to such training.

Enrollment costs and tuition rates may apply, so you should be sure to research such costs when choosing heavy equipment classes. In some cases, employers will help pay for training, or even cover all costs of training, but you will need to consult with your employer to find out if such assistance applies to you. Training costs can vary significantly both by institution and by subject, as well as by the duration of the training.

Vocational schools often offer the necessary training, as do heavy equipment training schools. When researching schools, try to find institutions that are accredited or otherwise recognized by local, regional, and national governing bodies. This will ensure you get the best education possible and any certifications you earn will be recognized and respected.

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    • A heavy equipment operator may be certified to operate excavators.
      A heavy equipment operator may be certified to operate excavators.
    • A heavy equipment class might offer crane operator certification.
      A heavy equipment class might offer crane operator certification.