Jun 14, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Academic Catalog Archived Catalog

Heavy Equipment Operator, CTS

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This program will prepare the student to enter the equipment operations career field as an entry-level operator. The program contains instruction and “hands-on” operation experience on bulldozers, backhoes, track excavators, wheel loaders, Skidsteers, motor graders, rollers, tractors, water tankers, dump trucks, and equipment transports. Students will also gain familiarity in interpreting construction grade stakes, safety procedures, and equipment maintenance as they apply to Heavy Equipment Operation. Class “A” Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training and testing are an integral part of this program. Upon completion of this program, students will:

  • Operate heavy equipment (dozer, grader, loader, excavator, backhoe, skidsteer, roller, tractor) and drive commercial trucks over 26,000 lbs. to National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER) and Department of Transportation (DOT) standards in a job site environment;

  • Maintain and service heavy equipment;

  • Read and interpret grade and survey markings and stakes; and

  • Apply critical thinking skills to evaluate and solve problems.

Required Courses

First Semester Total: 12

Second Semester Total: 15

Total Credits: 27

*Indicates prerequisite and/or corequisite needed. Check course description.

Admission Guidelines

  • Students must satisfactorily pass a physical and drug screening medical exam.

Program Information

  • An internship is optional for this program.
  • Students must apply for internship placements for this program the prior semester.
  • This program is sponsored by the Montana Contractors’ Association and is NCCER accredited.
  • The courses in this program are offered fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students may enter the program at the beginning of any semester.
  • Fees for this program are higher than average. Please see the program director for more details.


  • The National Center for Construction Education and Research Department of Transportation (DOT) Commercial Driver’s License, Class “A”
  • First Aid/CPR Certification

Opportunities after Graduation

  • Today’s construction industry offers various job opportunities. As the population grows, so does the demand for skilled construction, excavation workers and commercial truck drivers. From highway and road construction to residential housing, from industrial development to recreational facility and park maintenance, the chances of employment for someone skilled in heavy equipment operation are good.
  • The employer can be a national construction firm or a local company, a private utility company or a city, county or State Department of Transportation. Whatever the case, one can expect stable employment with respectable wages.

Advising Information:

For more information about this program, contact the FVCC Student Support Center. 

Student Support Center Advisor                      
Will Richards  
OT 204  
(406) 756-4862  


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