Heavy Equipment Operator 16-Week Certificate

Contact Information:

John Trim/Kurt Fleury, Instructors

(701) 477-7862 Ext. 2939


Program Description

The program is comprehensive, industry developed, and locally recognized by employers in the construction, earthmoving, and excavation industries. TMCC’s HEO students are taught to operate heavy equipment through in- the-seat operation of many types of heavy equipment and through classroom instruction, which includes simulation learning on our state- of-the-art simulators. TMCC’s heavy equipment training program is designed to give a person the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to operate equipment such as bulldozers, backhoe/loaders, scrapers, and motor graders. In addition to operating heavy equipment, students will learn grade reading, laser levels, soils, safety, site layouts, and heavy equipment maintenance. Our completers become certified in OSHA 10, Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Safety, MSHA, as well as ND Flagger Training. They also participate in a Job Readiness course, which is designed to prepare students to get, keep and excel at a new job. The curriculum aligns with level 1-3- Heavy Equipment Operator professional from NCCER course materials.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The median annual wage for construction equipment operators was $45,040 in May 2016. Overall employment of construction equipment operators is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected to vary across the construction equipment operator occupations. Spending on infrastructure is expected to increase, resulting in many new positions over the next 10 years. Across the country, many roads, bridges, and water and sewer systems are in need of repair. In addition, population growth will require new infrastructure projects, such as roads and sewer lines, which are also expected to generate jobs.

Pile-driver operators, the smallest of the three occupations in this profile, is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, this growth will result in only about 500 new jobs over the 10- year period. Workers with the ability to operate multiple types of equipment should have the best job opportunities. In addition, employment opportunities should be best in metropolitan areas, where most large commercial and residential buildings are constructed, and in states that undertake large transportation-related projects. Because apprentices learn to operate a wider variety of machines than do other beginners, they usually have better job opportunities.

As with many other types of construction worker jobs, employment of construction equipment operators is sensitive to fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, some areas may need additional workers during peak periods of building activity.

Required Courses

Required Courses

HEO 105Core Curriculum


HEO 110Heavy Equipment Level I


HEO 115Heavy Equipment Level II


HEO 120Heavy Equipment Level III


HEO 125Heavy Equipment Operation Lab


HEO 177Job Readiness


HEO 190Skid Loader


SAFT 104Work Zone Safety


SAFT 108H2S Gas


SAFT 110OSHA 10-Hour


Total Credit Hours: 17