Heavy Equipment Operator Fast-Track Career Training Program

Start or Enhance Job Skills in Heavy Construction

Become a heavy equipment operator and earn an NCCER industry-recognized credential! The Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) 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.

Training Benefits

  • 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)

Students Gain Real-World Skills

Students gain real-world skills they need to operate heavy equipment safely. As 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.*

Companies Include:

  • Shirley Contracting
  • Allan Myers
  • Muller, Inc
  • Chemung Contracting
  • Wm. Hazel
  • E-Contracting
  • S.W. Rodgers
  • Branch Civil

*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. For more information about the Heavy Construction Contractors Association (HCCA) and participating members, please visit: https://hcca.net/.

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.

FastForward attracts people to enroll in workforce training programs aimed at earning industry-recognized certifications and licenses for a wide variety of in-demand careers. Check out the interview with the folks at S.W. Rodgers about their experience hiring FastForward graduates.

Employment Outlook

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 Fauquier Campus
6480 College Street, Warrenton, VA 20187

Laurel Ridge Middletown Campus
173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645

Heavy Equipment Operator Level 1 Program

Become a heavy equipment operator and earn an industry-recognized credential. The Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program was developed to meet the growing employment demands for equipment operators.

This class serves as the first level of training in the Heavy Equipment Operator program. Students will learn the following content: core craft skills, orientation to the trade, heavy equipment safety, identification of heavy equipment, basic operational techniques, utility tractors, introduction to earthmoving, interpreting civil drawings, and using simulator exercises for equipment basic controls, loading and unloading, excavating, and trenching.

Upcoming Information Sessions

Visit our locations to experience our heavy equipment operation simulators, meet with staff, and learn more. Click Here >>>