What to Look for In Ontario Heavy Equipment Operator Training

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Are you interested in attending heavy equipment operator training in Ontario?  It’s a great idea for a career that will truly last for decades, with steady work and very little chance of displacement due to new technology.  It will be a long time before the general public accept heavy equipment working in their back yards or on public roadways without a human able to control the machine.  There are a lot of heavy equipment operator training schools out there, and they aren’t all equal.  Before you sign up, here are some of the things you want in a heavy machinery school.

Five Must-Haves in Your Heavy Equipment Operator Training

1 – Experience

How long has the school been in business?  Be very wary of outfits that have only been around for a few years.  The combination of a construction boom and lack of experienced operators has caused a lot of “fly by night” schools to pop up, which aren’t going to be worth the money.  It’s one thing to operate heavy equipment, it’s something entirely different to be able to teach an adult a new complex skill.  So when you are looking at experience levels don’t stop with the instructors, take a look at the education team that supports those instructors.  How long have they been developing and maintaining their curriculum so that it meets industry needs and government regulation.  Again, if you want to be sure to get your money’s worth, check and compare the entire school, that’s the only way you can be sure you are getting the maximum bang for your buck.

Speaking of which…

2 – Reasonable pricing

If your equipment operating school has class prices which are well below the industry average, you can be certain they won’t be a good choice.  This is truly a “you get what you pay for” situation.  It doesn’t matter if one of those cut-rate schools gives you a “certificate or diploma” – if you don’t have the skills needed to get hired, it’s just a piece of paper.  If a school makes you one offer, then decides to sweeten the deal with more pieces of equipment after you tell them about an offer from another school, ask yourself how?  Schools struggle to offer as much training as possible for the amount of money students can be awarded through government programs for training to remain competitive with one another.  The costs of providing this kind of training are very large and income from programs has remained at the same level for almost a decade due to government regulation of pricing allowed to private career colleges.  Because their margins are so low, you have to ask yourself, how can that much training be offered for so little? Can they really afford to give me all that?

 3 – Dedicated facilities outside of town

Another big giveaway that a heavy equipment training school isn’t worth your time is if they only have offices and small yards in the city.  How can you learn to work heavy equipment, if there’s nowhere to work the equipment?  You want a school with a big multi-acre dig site that can simulate a genuine work environment.   And yes, it is a simulated worksite that works best, we certainly know that because we have tried to work at real production sites alongside real construction production teams.  The problem with working inside someone else’s quarry or pit is that they don’t have time to have a trainee in their way.  Production is the key and the true operators are the priority.  You need to be an environment that can give you all the differing scenarios you will experience in the real world and nor lose any training time waiting for someone else to do their work.  That’s the experience you need to be prepared for an entry-level a job.

4 – Industry professionals on-staff

This one is simple:  Ask where your school got its instructing faculty from.  If they aren’t mostly or entirely taken from the construction industry, with years of experience under their belt, they won’t be fit to train you. Then ask them how do you train your trainers to be professional instructors?

5 – Industry hiring contacts 

Finally, look into what the school can do to help you get hired after graduation.  The best will already be known within the construction industry, with hiring contacts available for you to make use of.   Those schools will help guarantee your tuition money was a worthwhile investment.

Fifth Wheel Training is one of Ontario’s most-respected heavy equipment operator training schools, with dedicated facilities and plenty of job opportunities.  Contact us to learn more!


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