Start or Enhance Job Skills in Heavy Construction
Become a heavy equipment operator and earn an NCCER industry-recognized credential! The Heavy Equipment Operator program has been developed to meet the growing employment demands for equipment operators. Start or enhance your career in the high-demand field of heavy construction.
- Nationally recognized credential
- Evening and weekend training available
- Short fast-track training to quickly gain skills
- Guarantee to interview with hiring companies
- Safe hands-on simulator learning
- Experience a variety of on-the-job circumstances and equipment
- Experienced instructors
- State-of-the-art simulators
- Training program endorsed by the Heavy Construction Contractors Association and Virginia 811 (VA811)
Information Session Replay
Students Gain Real-World Skills
Students gain real-world skills they need to operate heavy equipment safely. As a well-trained operator, they can dramatically improve machine productivity saving time and money. Our simulator training reproduces real excavator and loader behavior in realistic worksites. Watch below to learn more.
Guarantee to Interview
Upon successful completion of the Heavy Equipment Operator Training Program, individuals not currently employed in this field will be guaranteed an interview with HR personnel from several local construction companies.*
- Total Development Solutions, LLC
- The Anderson Company, LLC
- S.W. Rodgers Company, Inc.
- Superior Paving Corp.
- Shirley Contracting Company, LLC
- The Kauffman Group, Inc.
- William A. Hazel, Inc.
- Perry Engineering Company, Inc.
- Branch Civil, Inc.
- Wagman Heavy Civil, Inc.
- Atlantic Contracting & Material Company, Inc.
- Finley Asphalt and Concrete, Inc.
- Phillips Construction, LLC
*Guaranteed interviews are based on those companies actively recruiting new hires.
Our “guarantee to interview” opportunities with premier local employers are not only a great foot-in-the-door for successful students, but most of these employers also offer additional training for students/employees once they are on board at their organization.
What does a job in heavy equipment typically look like?
Student and Employer Success
There’s nothing like a hard day’s work, and for Jason and Colin, that work involves heavy machinery to help build Virginia’s infrastructure. Jason and Colin are Heavy Equipment Operator FastForward graduates, and they’re currently working as heavy equipment operators for S.W. Rodgers in Northern Virginia.
View current job postings, local salary and job market information here >>>
What funding options are available?
The heavy equipment operator program is a FastForward program and is also eligible for the G3 scholarship. Eligible residents who have been living in Virginia for at least one year may qualify for FastForward and pay only one-third of the cost of tuition. Since this is also a G3 program, you may be eligible for last-dollar funding, bringing your total tuition to $0. Please review the G3 information page, which outlines income qualifications and if you think you qualify or if you have any questions, please contact our operations team at 540-868-7021 to get registered.
Additional financial assistance, grant funding, and Sallie Mae loans are available here for eligible students.
Training Locations and Programs
Laurel Ridge Luray-Page County Center
200 College Drive, Luray, VA 22835
Laurel Ridge Vint Hill Site
4151 Weeks Drive, Warrenton, VA 20187
Laurel Ridge Middletown Campus
173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645
Heavy Equipment Operator Level 1
Fast-Track Career Training Program
This class serves as the first level of training in the Heavy Equipment Operator program. Students will learn the following content: orientation to the trade, heavy equipment safety, identification of heavy equipment, basic operational techniques, utility tractors, introduction to earthmoving, grades, and interpreting civil drawings, and using simulator exercises for equipment basic controls, loading and unloading, excavating, and trenching.
Also available: Heavy Equipment Operator Level 1 – Online Hybrid
During the online training, students will learn all Heavy Equipment Operator Level 1 topics online and also attend scheduled, in-person simulation lab classes for hands-on performance practice using simulators to perform exercises on excavator and wheel loader equipment.
Heavy Equipment Operator Level 2
Fast-Track Career Training Program
This class serves as the second level of training in the Heavy Equipment Operator program. Students will learn the following content: Introduction to the heavy highway trade, trucks, heavy equipment, cranes, and forklifts, below-grade construction, earthmoving, plant operations, paving, structures, and site work.
Download the Heavy Equipment Operator Career Guide to Learn More
Upcoming Information Sessions
Visit our locations to experience our heavy equipment operation simulators, meet with staff, and learn more. Click Here >>>