Heavy Equipment Operation

Architecture and Construction


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.


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


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

Financial Aid and Scholarships

This program has not yet been approved for Federal Financial Aid; scholarships may be available.

Courses (Hours)

HEO Foundations (150)
Tractors, Earthmoving, and Grades (150)
Skid Steers, Loaders, and Scrapers (150)
Backhoes, Dozers, and Excavators (150)
Total (600)

Estimated time to complete half time: 1 year

Targeted Certifications and/or Credentials

NCCER Core Construction

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

Student Organization



Post-secondary: 8:00-11:00 AM or 12:45-3:45 PM
Secondary 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: $13-41/Hour. (O*NET source: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/47-2073.00):

Brian Brown

Brian Brown

Heavy Equipment Operation Instructor


Student Projects

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