What to expect from a career in Heavy Equipment Maintenance and Operation
Working with heavy equipment, whether operating or servicing, requires a unique skill set. Heavy equipment programs at Ontario colleges combine hands-on equipment training with knowledge in maintenance, systems theory, workplace safety and more, to ensure students have the skills they need for a successful career.
If you’re interested in operating or repairing and maintaining heavy equipment, from trucks to bulldozers, backhoes and more, here’s what you need to know.
Heavy Equipment Courses
Heavy equipment programs typically fall into one of following two categories:
- Heavy Equipment Operator. Heavy equipment operator programs train students to operate bulldozers, tractor loader backhoes, hydraulic escalators and other heavy equipment. Theory courses in equipment maintenance, operating techniques and workplace safety are complemented with equipment operation and maintenance techniques.
- Heavy Equipment Techniques / Technician. One-year heavy equipment techniques programs focus on the foundations of servicing heavy equipment systems, from brake and drive train to electrical and fuel systems. Techniques such as welding, precision measuring and more are practiced in on-site facilities and through work placements. Two-year technician programs build on these foundations with further equipment and system training and theory, such as advanced control system diagnosis, logistics and more.
The training received in many heavy equipment programs counts as credit toward apprenticeships in the industry.
General Heavy Equipment Program Requirements
Ontario college heavy equipment programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Additional credits will vary by program, but may include a grade 12 English and / or senior math credit.
Heavy Equipment Jobs and Salaries
Graduates from heavy equipment programs have a number of avenues open to them in many different industries, such as forestry, mining, automotive and construction. Possible positions include (but aren’t limited to):
- Heavy Equipment Technician
- Truck and Coach Technician
- Heavy Equipment Operator
- Service Manager
- College / Industry Teacher
Salaries will depend on the position and industry, but heavy equipment technicians and operators typically start off with average salaries between $35,000 and $40,000 per year.
Ontario Colleges Offering Heavy Equipment Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of heavy equipment programs at Ontario colleges.