Construction equipment operators work with heavy equipment, including excavators, loaders, trenchers, and much more. Aside from driving this equipment, they may also transport, clean and maintain it.
These machines are used to clear materials from job sites, as well as deliver construction materials. Equipment operators also grade surfaces to prepare them for roadwork, or erect new homes and commercial buildings.
Texas Construction Equipment Operator Schools
In addition to learning how to operate the equipment, training courses focus heavily on safety and developing an understanding of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.
- Brightwood College: This school has several campuses around Texas, including Arlington. It offers flexible course loads and a work-life balance to help students with commitments to family and/or a full-time job.
- Vista College: While the main campus is located in El Paso, Vista College has several locations around Texas for those pursuing construction equipment operator training. It also offers financial aid for those who require assistance.
- Southern Texas Vocational Institute: Located in Corpus Christi, STVI offers several programs and courses for those looking to pursue careers in construction.
- Brazosport College: Located in Lake Jackson in the Greater Houston Area, this school's construction management program offers a thorough look into the industry for those looking for an in-depth study.
- Remington College: For those wishing to attend a non-profit school, Remington College may be a perfect fit. Its Dallas campus, like its other locations, provides career-focused training for those looking to excel in the trades.
OSHA requires that any person operating heavy equipment receive training through an OSHA-approved training or certification program. Before registering for any course, make sure the school and course have the appropriate credentials to be compliant with OSHA guidelines.
What to Expect From Construction Equipment Operator Programs
Like most trade schools, the goal of construction equipment operator programs is to provide both a practical background of experience in addition to a high-level, theoretical look into the construction industry.
Unlike other vocational programs, a large focus of operating construction equipment revolves around safety for the operator, due to the nature of the work involved. Some examples of courses you can expect from one of these programs include:
- Safety courses and related certification
- Fundamentals of operating heavy equipment
- On-the-job (sometimes paid) training in construction
- Management and high-level education about the industry
- Texas Construction Equipment Operator License
Licensing Requirements for Construction Equipment Operators in Texas
For most heavy equipment operators, all that is required is a valid driver's license. However, those who wish to pilot extremely heavy construction equipment or cranes are required to:
- Complete an approved OSHA safety course
- Obtain certification from National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators
- Special driving license for machinery weighing over 26,001 pounds
In addition, many construction companies want their heavy equipment operators to have a commercial driver's license (CDL). You may not require a CDL to operate the equipment, but operators typically double as equipment transporters -- getting the machine to the job site -- which often requires a CDL.
Resources for Construction Equipment Operators in Texas