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Heavy Equipment Operator

Heavy Equipment Operator

Learn equipment maintenance, system operations and proper site management. Obtain safety skills and practical training in an industry workplace.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
15 Weeks
College Certificate
$9,834 (Domestic) • $11,350 (International)
Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.
+Locations & Availability

September 2020
Campus/Location DeliveryIn-class – Complete your program through courses that are held at a campus.

Online – All program courses are delivered online.

Blended – Complete your program through a combination of online and in-class courses (some courses are delivered 100% online). In-class courses are held at a campus.

Collaborative – program is delivered virtually on campus
Strait Area Campus • Port Hawkesbury Full time • In-class Seats available


This is an entry-level program for individuals who want to learn how to safely operate heavy equipment in a variety of industrial settings.

The program enables you to enter the workforce with all the safety training required in this field. The theory component is designed to deliver a comprehensive understanding of equipment maintenance, heavy equipment system operations and proper site management, emphasizing the importance of quality and safety in these areas.

The practical component is focused on operating techniques and practices and is conducted in an actual construction site atmosphere. It includes the operation of a minimum of four pieces of equipment, including excavators, backhoes, front-end loaders and bulldozers. The program concludes with a work term where you complete your training in an industry workplace.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Standard First Aid, CPR Level A
  • Forklift Awareness

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that tuition values on these pages are for 2019/20 and are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Career options

  • Heavy construction workers are in demand across the country and abroad. Their services are required for everything from road and bridge construction, back hoe operation, bulldozing, loading and grading, dredging and heavy paving, to excavating and much, much more.
  • This is a good career opportunity for a reliable and responsible individual with a strong work ethic.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Choose NSCC

  • You learn in an environment that is consistent with industry standards and builds the skills you need to meet the demands of employers.

Other info

  • This program is not offered at regular NSCC tuition.
  • Start dates and locations for this program are determined according to industry demand.
  • Additional skills and abilities, including math, reading and workplace skills, are essential for your success in Trades and Technology programs. See the Trades and Technology Preparation Checklist (PDF 23KB).
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

Courses may include

Course descriptions
Code Course
HEOP 7003   Industrial Safety and Job Readiness
HEOP 7006   Systems Theory
HEOP 7007   Operations Theory
HEOP 7008   Operations Practical
HEOP 7009   Work Experience
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act
SAFE 1021   Introduction to Hazard Identification
SAFE 1022   Introduction to Fall Arrest and Protection
SAFE 1023   Introduction to Lock Out/Tag Out
SAFE 1250   Trenching Hazard Awareness
SAFE 1270   Transportation of Dangerous Goods

Next Steps

  1. 1

    Visit NSCC

    Visit NSCC » Campus Tour
  2. 2

    Application Process

    Who Can ApplyHow to Apply
  3. 3

Have questions?

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