More and more Canadians who want to explore a new career are looking to attend a heavy equipment operator school. This is hardly a surprise. Many cubicle-type jobs are coming to be seen as “dead end” or in danger of being replaced by computers, as well as being stifling and unfulfilling. Plus, qualified heavy machine operators are paid extremely well – an average of over $24/hr.!
That sort of specialty job training can turn into a great new career, and the potential to start saving money for a change. However, heavy equipment operator school is not for everyone. Some people just aren’t fit for the job, and others may go into it with unrealistic expectations.
Based on our own decades of experience in the trucking and heavy machine industry, we’d like to offer some tips to help you decide if a move into heavy machine operation is right for you.
What You Should Know About Becoming a Heavy Machine Operator
- You got to love the outdoors, in almost all weather
First and foremost, heavy machine operators spend the clear majority of their time outdoors. While many heavy machines come with enclosed cabs and air conditioning, this isn’t always the case. Likewise, they may be called to work when it’s raining or snowing – depending on severity – and simply must deal with any discomfort this causes.
This is probably the #1 reason people decide against becoming machine operators. People who prefer the indoors should not apply.
- You can’t be needed home at regular hours
Heavy machine operation is an irregular job, and it’s entirely possible you will be called upon to work extra hours, or potentially even stay away from home at job sites for an extended span of time. This does not preclude having a family at home, but it does require them to be understanding and able to sometimes get by without you there.
- Are you willing to start as a laborer?
In many areas, machine operator jobs are a coveted gig and you are not guaranteed to land a machine job straight out of heavy equipment operator school. Many people will have to start at the true bottom, digging with shovels and carrying rocks around, until an opportunity arises for them to start running the heavy equipment.
- Can you admit when you don’t know something?
There are few ways a machine operator can cause more trouble than by pretending he knows more than he does. “Fake it ’til you make it” is not a viable strategy when you’re operating a ten-ton excavator and expected to keep your coworkers safe. Know what is and is not within your range of experience, and be willing to ask for help when you need it.
Come To 5th Wheel Training Institute Heavy Equipment Operator School
5th Wheel Training Institute is one of the oldest and most-respected trucking and heavy equipment schools in the country, with contacts throughout the industry. Contact us today to learn more about our excellent training programs!