Build A Career Working with Heavy Equipment

For a Job Description and the job outlook for an Operating Engineer – Check out the Department of Labor website. Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction. The purpose of our program is to recruit and train people who are interested in a career operating and maintaining heavy equipment in the jurisdiction of Wisconsin. On-the-job Training: Apprentices are paid while learning new skills on the job. We call this EARN AS YOU LEARN. Apprentices work on the job with journeypersons or skilled workers in our trade. Each apprentice must work 6000 hours (approximately four years), and is paid a percentage of journey level wages. Apprentice wages start at approximately $22/hour with regular raises to approximately $30/hour. Journey level operators make around $33/hour depending on the contract. Related Training: Apprentices are required to attend 400 hours of related training at the Wisconsin Operating Engineers Training Site located on 380 acres near Coloma, Wisconsin in Waushara County. All apprenticeship classes are accredited through Fox Valley Technical College.

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum age of 18.
  • Valid driver’s license. (Copy required)
  • High School diploma (Copy required – Transcripts O.K.) or GED (Copy required). Proof of Education must meet accreditation standards through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
  • Must pass the Job Skills test with a score of 70 or better.
  • $15.00 fee.
  • Must be able to meet the physical requirements of the job, which include working in a variety of weather conditions and confined areas.
Please read the following Operating Engineers Flyer (pdf) for more information on the apprenticeship program. Please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for other questions you may have. Special note on community-based organization job outreach programs: Many Wisconsin construction and transportation jobs now require graduates from such programs as TrANS, M-TrANS, etc. conducted by various community-based organizations (See list below). TrANS seeks men and women to participate in this Industry Awareness Program
What is TrANS?
TrANS (Transportation Alliance for New Solutions) is a comprehensive 120- hour industry awareness program providing orientation and introduction to the road construction business. Community-based organizations offer evening classes Monday through Friday; Check out their schedule. Individuals who successfully complete the TrANS industry awareness course may receive interview opportunities with local road construction contractors. During the 120-hour TrANS Industry Awareness Program you will receive exposure and instruction in the following areas:
  • Work Ethics
  • Map Reading
  • Physical Conditioning
  • Job Site Safety Issues
  • Blue Print Reading
  • Construction Math
  • Work Site Experience and Skills
  • Tool Identification and Usage
  • Success Skills
  • Commercial Driver’s License Instruction
  • Construction Terminology
  • Apprenticeship Opportunities