How can you become an Excavator Operator in Ontario?

Excavator operator removing debris for construction

Considering Training?

Are you thinking about becoming an excavator operator training in Ontario? An excavator operator is, quite simply, someone who runs excavators on construction sites and demolition projects. An excavator is a piece of heavy equipment that you’ve likely seen throughout your daily life. It has a long arm on the front with a bucket attached at the end.

Excavators are used for general construction, forestry work, grading and landscaping, mining, dredging, and snow removal. The bucket on the end can also be replaced with other attachments. These include pile drivers, hydraulic saw, hydraulic claw, and more. All these attachments are used for different types of work, but most work done with an excavator will involve digging.

Because excavators are used for so many different purposes, operators have a very flexible career path and are in demand. If you’re in good shape and love working outdoors, a career as an excavator operator might be right for you.

What Do They Do?

Excavator operators mainly work on construction sites operating heavy machinery. Many operators also have training in other types of heavy equipment, such as bulldozers, backhoes, graders, scrapers, skid-steers, and tractors. This can make them more valuable to employers and create more job opportunities in the heavy equipment industry.

Excavator operators are responsible for looking after their equipment. This involves regularly inspecting, making minor repairs, and ensuring that everything is in working order. Excavator operators also need to keep contractors aware of any potential issues with the equipment. If severe damage occurs, the machinery needs to be sent to a mechanic. An operator’s job includes the very important task of looking after equipment. Ensuring that the machinery operates well and minimizing downtime is the goal of looking after equipment.

Excavator Operator’s Still Have To Do Paperwork

An excavator operator’s job includes important aspects such as paperwork and site regulations. To ensure safety, every site has its own regulations, and operators must follow them. It may not be as exciting as operating, but filling out paperwork is a necessary task that must be completed for every worksite. It’s important for operators to stay aware of safety requirements and comply with them at all times.


Step 1: What You Need to Become an Excavator Operator in Ontario


Certification plays an important role in determining the machinery that an operator is qualified to operate in the heavy equipment operating industry. Getting extra certifications can expand career chances and increase value to potential employers, regardless of whether employers require specific certifications for the equipment.

Obtaining more certifications shows an operator’s flexibility, keeping work interesting and helping them stand out to potential employers. Starting with an excavator certification is a great beginning, but as experience grows, pursuing other certifications can broaden horizons and unlock greater job prospects.


Employers prefer excavator operators who can transport their equipment to job sites, so not having a driver’s license can limit job chances for them. Having a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) can show dedication to the job and improve your job chances, and obtaining an AZ truck driver’s license is even better.

An AZ license lets you operate heavy vehicles such as semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and dump trucks. While a CDL is not technically required to operate heavy equipment like excavators, some employers may still insist that you have one, and others will regard it as a sign of your dedication to this industry. It never hurts to have one and can help improve your standing and job opportunities within the industry.


Being at least 18 years old, preferably over 21, and in good physical shape is necessary for becoming a heavy equipment operator. Additionally, a high school education is necessary before thinking about excavator operating.

Being in decent physical shape is a necessity since the job of an operator is primarily physical. Whether it entails assisting others on the construction site or performing maintenance on equipment, being in good physical condition is crucial. Additionally, a high school education is necessary at the very least, so make sure to complete that before pursuing excavator operating.

Step 2: Getting Your Excavator Training in Ontario


On-the-job training is a way to obtain excavator training in Ontario, but it may be challenging to find an employer willing to provide long-term education. Apprenticeships are another option, providing on-site training and classroom instruction over a three-year program. Vocational schools and training institutes are the best way to earn education, providing professional training on the equipment and materials necessary to become a successful operator. However, they can be costly, though many offer flexible payment options.

If you cannot afford or find a suitable educational path, on-the-job training is an alternative route. But, ensure that you are prepared to work your way up and show your abilities to your employers every day. Additionally, speaking with more experienced workers on the job sites where you work is an excellent method to learn more about what you need to advance your career.


If you’re looking to become an excavator operator, consider an apprenticeship. This is the next best way to gain the necessary education. An apprenticeship is similar to on-the-job training. The advantage is being hired specifically to train for an operator role. During the three-year program, you’ll receive 6,000 hours of on-site training. You also require 144 hours of classroom instruction, with constant guidance from supervisors and managers. While apprenticeships are paid, they can be hard to find.


The best way to earn your education is through vocational schools and training institutes. Professional schools are dedicated to training people on the materials and machines that will make them successful operators.

Getting your training at a trade school  usually takes a few weeks to a few months. This will depend on exactly what equipment you’d like to be trained on. These schools have the benefit of being entirely self-contained. There you’ll earn everything you need (licenses, certifications, hours, etc.) all in one place. They cost the most, however, most have flexible payment options.

5th Wheel Institute's Excavator Training in Ontario

Excavator Operating In Ontario

Looking for excavator operator training in Ontario? Look no further than 5th Wheel Training Institute! We offer a range of courses for heavy equipment and vehicle work, including a complete course in excavator operating. Our short-term course is just two weeks long and includes 80 hours of training, making it the perfect way to jumpstart your career

We offer other certifications that can help you expand your skill set and increase your job chances, in addition to our excavator operating course . We design our top-of-the-line courses to help you quickly find a job and succeed in the industry.

Wanting to learn more? Join us for Demo Days and get an up-close look at what we offer. Start your journey towards a successful career as an excavator operator by signing up now

Is A Career as an Excavator Operator Right for You?

Even if you meet all the necessary qualifications to become an excavator operator, you may find that the position does not suit you. As with any career, it’s essential to understand the job’s duties before accepting it.

You can choose if this job is made for you by being sure you enjoy working outdoors and working with your hands. That you are comfortable working with mechanics, have excellent coordination, and are in great shape. If you have ever looked at an excavator and thought it would be exciting to operate it, this job is for you.