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Heavy Equipment Training: Do You Need It?

A lot of people who want a career in heavy equipment ask if they need to be trained or if on-the-job training (OJT) is available for heavy equipment operators. The short answer is, yes, heavy equipment operations training would be beneficial to your career. The longer answer is a bit more nuanced.

There are still some employers who offer OJT for heavy equipment operators, but not all of them. If your goal is to become a forklift operator, there are plenty of small companies that will train you and certify you on their premises. However, long-term, your career would benefit by attending a training school that is certified and that meets OSHA’s standards for training and certification.

When it comes to large heavy equipment like mobile cranes and backhoes, you are much better off seeking a career training school with a solid reputation.

Even among employers who train on-site, a lot of them use training schools like Associated Training Services to administer the training and certification programs. In that case, you are getting your training through your employer, but it’s not necessarily by your employer. That’s still a recommended path. Large heavy equipment and industrial employers come out ahead by training and certifying many new hires at once rather than paying travel expenses, housing, and training costs for each one.

In short, the best heavy equipment training schools will take individual students and perform on-site training and certification for large employers. Either way, your career is in good hands. Take OJT training from a small employer and you may end up having to boost your career with your own training anyway.

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