Heavy Equipment Operations, Pre-Apprentice

Heavy Equipment Operations, Pre-Apprentice

Potential earnings range:
Per year after graduation

Are you a problem solver and a team player? Interested in working with your hands on large machines? Detail-oriented and conscientious? 

Then you may be a good fit for Job Corps’ Heavy Construction Equipment Operations, Pre-Apprentice training program. Pre-apprenticeships are focused on preparing students for a successful experience in a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). That means your hands-on training will be based on industry standards in order to prepare you for high-skill, quality employment.  

On the job, you will ...

  • Drive, maneuver or control heavy machinery, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors or front-end loaders 
  • Construct roads, buildings and other structures 
  • Build structures via pouring concrete and coordinating machine actions with crews in response to hand or audio signals 
  • Clean, maintain and make basic repairs to equipment 

Some of the career options you will have ... 

Individuals with credentials in Heavy Construction Equipment Operations go to work for construction companies or contractors. Heavy equipment operators typically work outside in almost every climate and weather condition. Some operators work in factories, mines or remote locations, or on large construction projects like highways and dams. Most work full time. 

Students should also consider pursuing Advanced Asphalt Paving and other Advanced Training programs at Job Corps as part of their career pathway. 

The credentials you will earn ...  

The Heavy Construction Equipment Operations, Pre-Apprentice program, which is operated by our industry training contractor International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), offers industry credentials and certifications to students who complete the program. Students should also earn a state-issued learner’s permit and driver’s license upon completion of the program. 

What you’ll need to start training ...  

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent (can be earned at all Job Corps centers) 
  • Completion of all introductory and career preparation courses 
  • Passing scores on all written and performance tests 
  • Meet academic (math and reading) requirements 
* Salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Program and is provided for planning purposes only. Actual salary will depend on student skill level, credentials earned, experience level and location.
Meet your instructors

Meet your instructors

Jason Keith
Jason Keith is the lead Heavy Equipment instructor at Mingo Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center. Jason is a third-generation union heavy equipment operator and a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers for more than two decades, with experience working on numerous projects in Missouri and Illinois. In his role, Jason is proud to work alongside a team that offers innovative training in GPS grade control technology and an entry-level driver training program for students pursuing their commercial driver’s license.
Charlie Bess
Charlie Bess is a Heavy Equipment instructor at Mingo Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center, bringing more than two decades of heavy equipment experience to the classroom. He is also a 15-year member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, continuing a family legacy of operating engineers to the third generation.