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What education levels do heavy equipment operators look for in a person they are hiring?

high school diploma holder
working on secondary education

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Mark’s Answer

A big thing that Heavy equipment operators look for is experience. It's good to have proper training in various equipment. Thing that I've noticed is if a person has been cross trained in different pieces of equipment they have a better chance of being hired. I personally have certifications in most heavy equipment operations. I got mine by being part of the US ARMY CORP of Engineers. I started on Propane forklifts, moved up to heavy lift cranes . Then on to Big Mac Dozers. In 4 years of Service I got expert rated in 9 different heavy equipment categories. I also grew up on a farm which helped. Experienced driving/operating tractors/combines/graders/backhoes/so on of all sizes & power levels.
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Steven’s Answer

Chances are you won't start right off on machine, likely you'll be on a shovel, or a flag crew, or as a rigger, learning the job and how the company operates while the experienced workers are running equipment. There are many different types machine operating jobs as well, from forklifts and cranes at docks, to construction, rail yards, factories, etc. My personal experience comes from construction, and if you are looking to make a career in the field then a good place to start from a higher education standpoint would be in civil engineering or construction management. You don't need higher education as operating is a trade and a skill that is learned from experience, but education in the area can definitely provide a benefit in hiring, promotion opportunities, and earning potential. The more skills you have, the more you will be valued.
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Kris’s Answer

It's time to obtain your Commercial Driver's License! Keep in mind that certifications may vary slightly based on your country or state. Aim for the highest class available, complete with a tanker endorsement. Many community colleges offer training courses to help you succeed. The bureau of motor vehicles is a great resource to guide you on the right path.

Consider starting your journey by working in a warehouse, where you can gain valuable experience operating a forklift. Gradually, you'll be able to transition to handling heavier and more advanced equipment.

Don't forget to apply at your local Heavy Equipment Operator Labor Union for even more opportunities.

To excel in this field, it's essential to have some knowledge about troubleshooting and maintaining your equipment, such as diesel engines and hydraulic lines. With determination and the right skills, you'll be on your way to a rewarding career!
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