Heavy equipment operators are professionals who use machines to move heavy machinery, materials and other weighty objects, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of heavy equipment operators such as construction equipment operators is projected to climb 12 percent from 2008 to 2018, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is fitting in Alabama, where construction is one of the most popular industries in cities such as the capital Montgomery, according to City-Data.com. Average heavy equipment operator salaries in 2010 in Alabama were $29,000, reports SimplyHired.com. Just a few steps that include at least 80 hours of training can help you to obtain heavy equipment training in Alabama.
Take high school courses such as mechanical drawing and shop, according to CollegeBoard.com. In addition, perfect your driving skills in a driver’s education course, and take an auto mechanic class. These skills will prepare you for a heavy equipment training course in Alabama, during which you will have to operate mobile equipment and perform maintenance on equipment.
Look for a program in Alabama that will train you to become a successful heavy equipment operator. Consider a program that is accredited through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), according to Allied Career Training in Dothan. A certificate from this type of program shows employers you have the skills to successfully complete the job, reports Education-Portal.com. Look to see if your prospective Alabama training program offers job search assistance as well.
Prepare to learn how to operate various types of heavy equipment such as backhoes, trackhoes/excavators and bulldozers. Decide in which particular type of heavy equipment you would like to specialize while in your Alabama training program.
Practice loading dump trucks and clearing and grading land. Also, master how to prep building foundations as well as trench and lay pipe, according to Allied Career Training in Dothan. You should have the opportunity to practice these excavation and construction site-related duties on a simulated construction site.
Learn how to practice safety while operating heavy equipment to protect yourself, other workers and the quality of your equipment as well, according to the National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools. Also, master skills in repairing and maintaining this equipment through hands-on practice at your Alabama training site. Completing this training should prepare you to complete an NCCER written assessment test that leads to certification, which can improve your employment opportunities in this field.