Heavy Equipment Operators (Tractor Loader Backhoe / Excavator / Dozer)

Certificate of Qualification 636A (Tractor Loader Backhoe), 636B (Excavator), 636C (Dozer)

“I am living my dream. My apprenticeship training gave me the skills and knowledge to work safely whether we are building roads, bridges, office towers or hospitals.”

Heavy equipment operators operate heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures, in surface mining and quarrying activities and in material handling work. They are employed by construction, pipeline and logging companies, and by heavy equipment contractors.


  • Operate heavy equipment to excavate, move, load and grade earth, rock, gravel or other materials

  • Operate computer-controlled equipment

  • Conduct pre-operational and post-operational checks

  • Operate two-way radios & other communication equipment

  • Operating heavy equipment such as back-hoes and bulldozers to lift, move or place equipment or materials

  • Inspecting, cleaning, lubricating and refilling equipment

Key Skills & Attributes

  • Communication, reading, numeracy & problem-solving skills

  • Ability to operate large machinery

  • Ability to read prints, plans & grade

  • Ability to calculate basic cuts & fills

  • Good judgment

  • Strong work ethic

  • Flexibility

Employment Sectors

  • Institutional and Commercial Construction

  • New Home Building and Renovation

  • Heavy Industrial Construction

  • Self employed

  • Engineering Construction

Apprenticeship Program

3000 hours of on-the-job training, supplemented by one 12-week block of in-class technical training.

Entrance Requirements

  • Attend info session

  • Grade 12 Diploma

  • Minimum 18 years of age

  • Valid Ontario driver’s licence

  • Pre-Interview

Journeyperson Wage Rate

$51.94/Hr (Based on the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area wages, 2024)
*Equipment specific rates vary

Did you know?

The ‘caterpillar’ style continuous track technology was invented in 1904 by American Benjamin Holt. His “caterpillar” tractor utilized continuous track technology first seen on a commercial vehicle in 1901 on a machine called the Lombard Steam Log Hauler. The continuous tractor would revolutionize not only agricultural equipment, but military vehicles as well. The metal track technology would be applied to tanks and other vehicles in World War I and beyond.

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