Advanced Heavy Equipment Operator

The Advanced Heavy Equipment Operator program at PCTC – Advanced Career Education extension campus located at Buffalo, West Virginia, builds on the industrial safety foundation knowledge acquired in the Heavy Equipment Operator Program. It advances the skills and operation of various additional pieces of heavy equipment through simulation instruction and field site work and provides specific equipment endorsements and career opportunities.

What skills will students learn?

This course will enhance the knowledge and ability to operate heavy equipment to include classroom and simulation training and field training on grade, on-highway dump truck, bulldozers, hydraulic excavators and a compactor/roller.

What Certifications are available?

  • All students are given the opportunity to earn NCCER Level 2 and Level 3 Certifications.
  • Students will have the opportunity to earn IVES equipment endorsements.

What jobs/job titles are available to the students after graduation?

Students that complete the Advanced Heavy Equipment Operator course at PCTC-ACE and attain demonstrated competency in the operation of the bulldozer, hydraulic excavators, dump truck and compactors/rollers could qualify for an entry level equipment operator position.

What work skills will be needed for these jobs?

  • Basic Mathematical Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Collaboration Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Ability to perform outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Ability to withstand exposure to high level of noise, grease and dust that is typically associated with a worksite.
  • Ability to work near and around other heavy equipment and moving machinery.
  • Ability to be exposed to a variety of substances commonly found on construction sites such as oil, grease, curing compounds gasoline, diesel fuel and ready mixed concrete.
  • All site instruction will occur in a variety of weather settings.
  • Students may be exposed to loud noise during site training while working near moving heavy equipment. Hearing protection, hard hat, safety glasses, and high visibility reflective vest will be provided to participating students.
  • Ability to operate hand and foot controls and open and close cab door
  • Ability to climb onto and exit equipment
  • Ability to maneuver equipment on uneven terrain.
  • Ability to crawl, squat, bend or kneel to perform inspection of equipment.

What skills should a student have to be successful in your program?

To be successful in this program, requires an individual that is drug free and works safely within a construction environment with various pieces of equipment in all weather and environmental conditions.


Applicants must have completed the Heavy Equipment Operator program to enroll in the Advanced Heavy Equipment Operator Program.

Program Requirements

Adult General Admission Requirements

Heavy Equipment Operator Admission Requirements

Simulated Workplace Requirements

This program participates in the West Virginia Department of Education Simulated Workplace environment. 
Simulated Workplace Information and Requirements

Technology Requirements

Students will be provided with any technology instruction, devices and software required.

Program Length

Advanced Heavy Equipment Operator: 9 Weeks – 270 clock hours (Adult full-time enrollment)
Consisting of two (2) 135 clock hour courses

Schedule of Courses

Course Frequency: Each course offered twice each academic year
Adult Full-time schedule shown below.


  • 9298 Heavy Equipment Operator III
  • 9299 Heavy Equipment Operator IV

Eligibility Requirements for Certifications

Throughout the completion of courses, students are eligible to qualify for equipment endorsements offered through IVES.

Program Costs*

There are no tuition or fees. Students must provide steel-toe boots to wear during training as approved by the instructor to ensure safety measures. Applicants will assume all costs related to a Division of Transportation physical or medical release. All Jobs and Hope applicants are eligible for a scholarship to cover these costs.

* Program costs subject to change

Course Descriptions

9298 Heavy Equipment Operator III

The skill sets in this course focus on the fundamentals if earth moving. Concepts include earthmoving operations, stabilizing soils, types of soils (sand, silts, and clays), trenching, water directional control, reading drawings, and excavation math. Students will participate in classroom training and practical application.

9299 Heavy Equipment Operator IV

This course educates students on the concepts of operating heavy equipment machinery. Students will learn to properly operate a bulldozer, excavator, dump truck, compactor/roller and laser level equipment. Other topics include tree/stump removal, loading/unloading equipment for transportation and site layout/preparation. Students gain theoretical knowledge and perform learned skills through operating practice.