Heavy Equipment Operation

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The Heavy Equipment Operation Program is designed with NCCER (National Center for Construction Education & Research) standards nationally recognized by employers in the construction, earthmoving, and excavation Industries. Students will learn to operate heavy equipment through in-the-seat operation of several types of heavy equipment and through classroom instruction that includes simulators.


National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER)


Applicants must complete a SouthernTech Application for Admission. Additional information and applications are available at the SouthernTech campus and online at www.sotech.edu. Enrollment for this career major is open to partnering High Schools (juniors/seniors) and Adults.


High School Student: Free. Adult Student (in-district): $2.50 per hour; Adult Student (Out-of-District): $5 per hour; and Adult Student (Out-of-State): $7.50 per hour. Additional costs may include books, supplies, and miscellaneous fees.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial aid and scholarships are available for qualifying students.


Heavy Equipment Operation
Construction Core 145
HEO Level 1 380
HEO Level 2 240
HEO Level 3 240
Workforce Staging 45
Total Hours 1050
Estimated time to complete (Full Time) 1 year
Estimated time to complete (Half Time) 2 years


Targeted Certifications and/or Credentials

► NCCER Construction Core
National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC): WorkKeys 

Certifications may vary by Program and are subject to change without notice.

Student Organization:



Adults (Half Time) 8:00-11:00 AM or 12:45-3:45 PM; Adults (Full Time) 8:00-11:00 AM and 12:45-3:45 PM; High School Students 8:00-11:00 AM or 12:45-3:45 PM

Employment Options:

The following list is associated with the approved SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) for this program and does not necessarily represent immediate opportunities; additional training may be required for some options listed.

Back Hoe Operator, Engineering Equipment Operator, Equipment Operator, Heavy Equipment Operator, Loader Operator, Machine Operator, Motor Grader Operator, Operating Engineer, Operator, Track Hoe Operator. – Approximate Pay Potential: $13-38/Hour. (source: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/47-2073.00):

For Gainful Employment information, click here.