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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

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Austin
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Longview
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About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

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More Texas Construction Equipment Operator Training Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Lake Jackson
Bachelor
3,753

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Construction Equipment Operators

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Texas. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Construction Equipment Operators

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Construction Equipment Operators relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Austin 2690 $36,530
Round Rock 2690 $36,530
Abilene 190 $30,730
Amarillo 450 $33,690
Brownsville 260 $28,620
Harlingen 260 $28,620
Beaumont 890 $46,360
Port Arthur 890 $46,360
College Station 270 $37,430
Bryan 270 $37,430
Corpus Christi 690 $37,570
Dallas 7130 $38,010
Fort Worth 7130 $38,010
Arlington 7130 $38,010
El Paso 680 $31,340
Houston 10210 $38,840
The Woodlands 10210 $38,840
Sugar Land 10210 $38,840
San Angelo 190 $35,940
San Antonio 2810 $34,980
New Braunfels 2810 $34,980
Laredo 90 $29,210
Longview 470 $36,900
Lubbock 130 $37,350
McAllen 450 $28,350
Edinburg 450 $28,350
Mission 450 $28,350
Midland 450 $43,800
Killeen 520 $32,190
Temple 520 $32,190
Odessa 440 $45,000
Sherman 140 $33,960
Denison 140 $33,960
Tyler 170 $35,610
Victoria 160 $37,870
Waco 360 $33,010
Wichita Falls 100 $30,170

Sources:

  1. Construction Equipment Operators, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/construction-equipment-operators.htm, accessed October 2, 2016.
  2. How Can I Earn a Heavy Equipment Operator License?, Learn.org, http://learn.org/articles/How_Can_I_Earn_My_Heavy_Equipment_Operator_License.html, accessed October 2, 2016.
  3. Total Equipment Training, http://totalequipmenttraining.com/training/, accessed October 2, 2016.

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