Industrial Technology Department

Heavy Equipment Operation
Certificate of Applied Science

Students in the Heavy Equipment Operation program are trained to safely and properly operate and maintain a variety of heavy equipment. They learn to operate equipment including crawler-tractors, graders, scrapers, front-end loaders, excavators, backhoes, and dump trucks. Students develop an understanding of basic surveying techniques, receive extensive training in safety regulations and procedures, and learn how to handle controls precisely and judge distances accurately. Instruction occurs at the West campus, 3639 South Avenue West.

The program often has a waiting list for admittance. Interested persons are encouraged to apply one year prior to anticipated school attendance.

Most employers require heavy equipment operators to have a Commercial Driver's License. The ability to acquire a license is often subject to age and insurance requirements. Students may opt to take TRK 106T to gain the skills necessary to take the Commercial Driver's License examination. This course has an additional fee. Students may enter in the autumn semester only.

Length of Program: 2 Semesters
Award Upon Graduation: Certificate of Applied Science
Entry Times: Fall Semester


Consumer Information on Gainful Employment
Program: Heavy Equipment Operation  
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP):   49.0202
CIP Description: Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation    
Level of Program: Certificate of Applied Science    
Program Length (months):   9
Program URL:    
Related Occupations:   SOC Code
Logging Equipment Operators   45-4022.00
Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators   47-2071.00
Pile-Driver Operators   47-2072.00
Operating Engineers anf Other Construction Equipment Contractors   47-2073.00
Highway Maintenance Workers   47-4051.00
Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators   47-4061.00
Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas   47-5021.00
Continuous Mining Machine Operators   47-5041.00
Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operators   47-5042.00
Mining Machine Operators, All Other   47-5049.00
Extraction Workers, All Other   47-5099.00
Crane and Tower Operators   53-7021.00
Dredge Operators   53-7031.00
Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators   53-7032.00
Hoist and Winch Operators   53-7041.00
Estimated Cost of Completing the Program Montana Residents Non-Residents
Tuition and Required Fees (attending full time in both fall and spring semesters)
Cost for Books and Supplies (estimated annual costs)
Annual Room and Board
Number of completers between July 1 , 2009 and June 30, 2010
Number of completers with any student loan debt
Median cumulative debt for:
Federal Student Loan Debt
Private Loan Debt
Institutional Financing Plans
Normal time in months to complete program 
Of the completers, the number completing in the normal time
Job Placement Rate for program completers
Job Placement Rate for program completers Students who completed a Federal Perkins Grant Program-approved Certificate in FY2010-2011
What types of jobs? Jobs in or closely-related to the field of study
When were they employed? Students who were employed from October to December of the year they graduated
How were graduates tracked? Student data is submitted to the US Department of Labor who then matches that information with income records from the Internal Revenue Service
What agencies (state or accrediting), if any, is this rate reported to? Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and accrediting body


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