Heavy Equipment Operator

Admission Requirements Tuition and Fees Program Structure

We offer a five-week Heavy Equipment Operator course, which provides you with the skills and training needed to safely operate heavy equipment in various industries. The course is made up of theoretical learning, computer module learning and practical training through simulations in a controlled environment. You can focus your skills on different pieces of equipment, including wheel loaders, dozers, graders, excavators, articulating trucks and off-highway trucks.

By completing the course, you will be ready for an entry level position as a heavy equipment operator. You will be able to:

  • Perform thorough pre-use inspections safely and efficiently
  • Work in a team environment to communicate safely with others
  • Complete all required paperwork according to industry standards and the Alberta OH&S
  • Safely operate the following equipment for entry level employment in the construction industry:
    • A track type excavator 
    • An articulated truck (wiggle wagon/rock truck)
    • A motor grader
    • A wheel loader (front-end loader)
    • An excavator
  • Build and effective resume and demonstrate professional skills and conduct

For more information email our Trades and Programming Coordinator. 

Qualities of a heavy equipment operator

How do you know if the course is right for you?  If you:

  • Are interested in learning how to operate heavy equipment
  • Can work outside in all types of weather, including extreme heat and cold temperatures
  • Have a normal range of vision and hearing
  • Have a mechanical aptitude and enjoy working with machines
  • Follow instructions and take directions well
  • Can stay alert while performing repetitive tasks
  • Can concentrate in a fast-paced working environment
  • Have strong communication skills and can understand and communicate in English
  • Can work alone and in a team environment
  • Are flexible to work a variety of shifts and schedules
  • Value safety and are committed to following all safety procedures
  • Are physically fit and have a full range of body motion, including bending, stooping and climbing
  • Can perform repetitive tasks and actions and tolerate sitting for long periods of time
  • Can handle exposure to vibrations and bounces from operating heavy equipment
  • Can perform moderate physical labour when required
  • Can carry items up to 50 pounds
  • Have strong manual and finger dexterity, hand-eye and foot coordination
  • Can work in many different environmental conditions, and handle exposure to noise, dust, dirt and mud
Admission requirements

In order to register for the program, you must:

Application process
  1. Print and complete the above Heavy Equipment Operator Application and Applicant Profile.
  2. Sign your name on each document.
  3. Indicate which date and training location you prefer.
  4. Submit your completed forms through one of the following ways:
  • Drop them off in-person at the Office of the Registrar - Heavy Equipment Admissions at the Clearwater Campus in Fort McMurray
  • Mail them to 8115 Franklin Ave., Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2H7
  • Email scanned copies to our instructor. 

You will be contacted about your acceptance status after we review your application. If you are accepted, you will be registered and receive further instructions.

 Current Employment Opportunities

Current employment opportunities within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo can be found on Indeed.

Tuition and fees

Tuition for the Heavy Equipment Operator program is $8,405.00 (GST included). We require a $250.00 deposit upon your acceptance into the course. Full tuition is due six weeks before your start date.


You must provide your own CSA-approved, steel-toed safety boots with an eight-inch upper and anti-skid grips before the program begins. 

Program structure

Within the program, you will take part in a mixture of instructor guided and computer based learning, and use practical simulations to gain necessary training. You will have the opportunity to focus your skills on different pieces of equipment, including wheel loaders, dozers, graders, excavators, articulating trucks, and spend one week on each piece of equipment, then rotate to the next. In addition there will be hands on in-field training included within the program. 

We provide a controlled environment where you will receive complete, objective feedback on your performance. Training is provided by experienced instructors and equal time is allotted to theory and practical training.

Schedule and location

Our simulator lab is mobile and we can provide this program remotely to areas within Fort McMurray, Anzac, Fort Chipewyan, Fort McKay, and across the Wood Buffalo region.