Heavy Equipment Operator

Admission Requirements Tuition and Fees Program Structure Schedule

This 8-week course is designed for students seeking entry level positions in the heavy equipment operator field.  Students are provided with training required in the basic and safe operation of heavy equipment.  The program includes computer-based training modules in combination with simulators for practical application and hands on in-field training. Students will have the opportunity to focus their skills on various pieces of equipment including wheeled loader, dozer, grader, excavator and articulating truck. 

The students are trained by qualified and experienced instructors and have virtually equal time doing theory and practical training. The maximum class size is 10 participants with 240 hours (less 6 hours per statutory holiday) taking place over an 8-week period.

Qualities of a heavy equipment operator

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

  • I am interested in learning how to operate heavy equipment. 

  • I am able to work outside in all various weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold temperatures. 

  • My vision and/or corrected vision and hearing is within a normal range. 

  • I have a mechanical aptitude and I enjoy working with machines. 

  • I follow instructions and take directions well. 

  • I can stay alert while I perform repetitive tasks. 

  • I have the ability to concentrate in a fast –paced work environment. 

  • I have good communication skills.  I have clear comprehension of and the ability to communicate in the English language. 

  • I can work alone and in a team environment. 

  • I am flexible to work a variety of shifts and schedules. 

  • Safety is important to me and I’m committed to following and adhering to all safety procedures. 

  • I am physically fit and have a full range of body motions.  I am able to bend, stoop and climb. 

  • I can perform tasks with repetitive action and can tolerate sitting for extensive periods of times. 

  • I will be exposed to vibrations and bouncing from operating heavy equipment. 

  • I am able to perform occasional and moderate physical labour when required. 

  • I am able to lift or carry items up to 50 lbs. 

  • I have good manual and finger dexterity, as well as eye-hand and foot coordination. 

  • I have the ability to work in a variety of environmental conditions including exposure to noise, dust, dirt and mud. 

Admission requirements
  • At least 18 years of age
  • High School Diploma (Grade 12 - site specific) or GED
  • Valid Driver's License, unrestricted, at least class 5 or equivalent - not GDL
  • Driver's Abstract with no more than 2 violations within the last 3 years, and no suspensions

Please note: A physical demands assessment may be required at the start of classes to ensure students are physically fit and have a full range of body motions. 


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


If you are a mature student (Out of school for at least 3 consecutive years, or are at least 21 years of age by the first day of class):

In lieu of a High School Diploma or GED you may submit a resume outlining 10 years of relevant experience. 

English Language Proficiency 

All applicants to Keyano College must demonstrate English Language proficiency prior to admission by completing one of the following tests:

  • CAEL - minimum score of 60
  • CLBA - minimum score of 7
  • Duolingo - minimum overall score of 95
  • IELTS - minimum score of 5.5
  • MELAB - minimum score of 60
  • PTE (academic) - minimum overall score of 50
  • TOEFL iBT - minimum score of 71 with no score below 17

For other ways to meet the English Language Proficiency requirement, please refer to the College Credit Calendar. 


Application process

Once you have the relevant documents prepared, fill out the Heavy Equipment Operator Application.

Apply Now

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.

Tuition and fees

Tuition for the Heavy Equipment Operator program is $11,600.00 plus GST due at registration. 

Program structure

Within the program, you will take part in a mixture of practical simulations and instructor guided equipment operation to gain the necessary training. You will have the opportunity to focus your simulator skills on different pieces of equipment, including wheel loadersdozersgradersexcavatorsarticulating trucks. In addition there will be equal time operating equipment with 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

Offered at Suncor Energy Industrial Campus 160 MacKenzie Blvd and also mobile delivery in rural communities throughout northern Albertaplease contact Coordinator, Trades Programming for further details. 

Upcoming Training Dates

March 11, 2024

May 6, 2024