NCCER Heavy Equipment Certificate: How to get it and how long it takes (2023)

NCCER Heavy Equipment Certificate: How to get it and how long it takes (1)Whether you are an experienced person with years of experience or a beginner just starting out, you may want to obtain an NCCER certificate for Heavyfactory operator

Employers today require the NCCER certificate. You will not be hired without said pass.

An NCCER certificate is really a plus for you as you can move jobs from state to state as the certificate is nationally recognized.

If you have an NCCER certificate, you can find a job in construction projects no matter what state you settle in.

The certificate gives you good credibility with employers and gives you an immediate head start if you land an entry-level heavy equipment operator job.

The job you need most and the opportunity that will transform your career for decades to come.

If you want to get this certificate, we have prepared this article to help you on your way.

How to get NCCER certified

  1. Enroll in a heavy equipment training course. The first step you should take is to find a heavy equipment training school that offers an NCCER curriculum. There are many of them across the country. Here he isNCCER Training Center Locatorto help you find a school. You can also search for the state where you want to find a school (click on the menu in the sidebar or at the bottom of this page). Please note that not all heavy equipment schools offer NCCER certification.
  2. Take the training course. The course will help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed to operate heavy equipment. You will learn both classroom instruction and hands-on experience in the field. You will spend most of your time doing hands-on training. Course duration is usually 8 to 12 weeks.
  3. Take the comments. After completing the training course offered by the school, you will need to take the exams. There are two tests you must pass: the written test and the performance review. There is no specific order in which to submit reviews. You can take the written test first and then the performance test or vice versa if you wish.
  4. Get the certificate. If you pass one or both tests, you will receive your certificate of completion and a copy of your transcripts in the mail. It would take several days to arrive.

How long does NCCER certification take?

The NCCER Heavy Equipment Operator certificate is valid for five years.

(Video) How to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator | Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs

Certification is transferable and nationally recognized. As the NCCER standard and curriculumexceeds OSHA.

After passing the written assessment and performance review, your name will be entered into the NCCER register so that you or your prospective employer can confirm your qualifications.

You will receive a certificate and the NCCER card with a unique number. You can use the number as a reference for online verification of your entry into the registration system.

Some facts about NCCER certification

The highest NCCER certification you can earn is Certified Plus. Thus, both were approved in the written test and the performance test. If you pass the written exam only, you are Knowledge Verified, if you pass the performance exam, you are Performance Verified.

NCCER credentials are available for the Core Curriculum and you will receive training on up to seven (7) machines, including grader, scraper, excavator, front loader, backhoe, bulldozer and road roller.

Upon completing an NCCER certification program, you will receive a credential. This credential usually consists of an operator wallet card, a certificate of completion of training, and an online transcript.

You can access your file on the NCCER website. The good thing about the NCCER registration system is that companies and employers can validate your qualifications and credentials as the construction industry recognizes and seeks NCCER certification before you can be accepted for employment.

(Video) About NCCER Certification

The credential is important because it validates your skills, just like your driver's license or any type of certificate, it says you have experience and that's important in the heavy equipment industry.

Once you get an NCCER certificate, it serves as a passport that allows you to get a job and earn a better salary.

The NCCER Credential Levels You Can Accept

Heavy Equipment Operational Level 1

Training modules included in this course include an introduction to the heavy equipment operator profession, equipment safety, identifying equipment needed for the job, basic operating skills, introduction to utility tractors, earthmoving and grading equipment. The course consists of seven (7) modules that must be completed before you can be certified at this level.

The course consists of two parts: classroom instruction and practical training. You will complete qualification tests, both written and practical, to earn your certification.

It takes around 380 hours to complete this level.

Category II heavy machinery

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This is an extension of Level I and introduces you to the terminology and machines used in the construction field. The course offers more advanced skills in handling heavy equipment.

The course is primarily a hands-on operation and is usually conducted on-site. They demonstrate how to operate the heavy equipment in the simulated work environment. You will operate various heavy equipment and show your operating skills including dump trucks, draglines, forklifts, wheel loaders and many other types of equipment.

You will gain knowledge of soil stabilization and leveling, excavation, quantitative skills and equipment safety procedures. Upon completion of the course, you will learn how to become a good heavy equipment operator.

240 hours is the time it takes to complete this level.

Category III heavy machinery

This level ensures you have advanced heavy equipment handling skills. These skills are needed for real work such as finishing and grading, compaction. At this level, you will also become familiar with operating compactors, dump trucks, excavators and motor graders.

It takes 240 hours of intense training to complete Level III.

(Video) HEAVY EQUIPMENT | NCCER Credentials & Simlog Simulation Training

Why NCCER certification was introduced

First, let's see why theNCCER certificatefor what reason and purpose it is created.

The National Center for Construction and Research, or NCCER for short, is a nonprofit organization that helps the construction industry find qualified workers and develops certification standards for heavy equipment operators and tradespeople.

It was developed by contractors and professionals alike to provide industry-oriented standardized training and assessments with actionable references for the construction industry.

They set training and certification standards for construction and maintenance personnel. If you are qualified, your name will exist in their registration system so that managers and employers can verify your qualifications or potential hires.

The organization has one important goal: to create a safe, productive and sustainable workforce of skilled workers in the construction industry.

to complete this

Employers and companies have never been so strict when it comes to hiring employees. Obviously, they want those who have the NCCER Heavy Machine Operator Certificate ready.

The NCCER certificate is important proof that you can show a hiring manager to show you can do the job well.

(Video) What Is NCCER Certification?

If you don't already have it, invest time and money. Although it takes a lot of effort and time to complete the training, it will ensure your success in the profession.


How long does NCCER certification last? ›

How long is NCCER's rigger and/or signal person certification valid? Five years from the certification date of examination.

How long does it take to learn how do you operate heavy equipment? ›

There are apprenticeship programs for heavy equipment operators, often sponsored by unions like the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). Apprenticeships typically take 3-4 years to complete, The advantage of an apprenticeship is that you "earn while you learn" with field training and classroom time.

How long does it take to learn how do you operate an excavator? ›

How long does it take to learn to operate an excavator? You can learn to operate an excavator in three weeks at an excavator school like HEC. You'll get to practice on excavators and other equipment like backhoes, skid steers and wheel loaders.

How long does it take to be an operator? ›

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become an operator. That is the time it takes to learn specific operator skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

How long does it take to get your NCCER? ›

This training will take approximately 70-minutes to complete and can be completed at your own pace.

How much is the NCCER test? ›

How much are subscriptions? High school subscriptions are $20 per student and business and industry subscriptions (postsecondary education, corrections, associations, contractors, etc.) are $24 per student.

What heavy equipment operator gets paid the most? ›

High Paying Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs
  • Crane Operator. Salary range: $38,500-$63,500 per year. ...
  • Yard Manager. Salary range: $35,000-$60,000 per year. ...
  • Winch Truck Driver. Salary range: $50,000-$57,000 per year. ...
  • Backhoe Operator. ...
  • Rigger. ...
  • Construction Equipment Operator. ...
  • Motor Grader Operator. ...
  • Front Load Driver.

Is it worth becoming a heavy equipment operator? ›

Yes, being a heavy equipment operator is a good job.

Heavy equipment operators can make upwards of $65,000, with the best of the best earning nearly $100,000 or more a year. In the heavy equipment operation industry, experience goes a long way.

How much does an excavator driver get paid? ›

The salaries of Excavator Operators in the US range from $26,670 to $98,000 , with a median salary of $40,050 . The middle 60% of Excavator Operators makes between $40,050 and $55,739, with the top 80% making $98,000.

Does NCCER core expire? ›

NCCER Core Certification expires if a Form 200 has not been submitted to NCCER Registry within 3 years of Core Certification date.

Is NCCER certification worth? ›

An NCCER certification is one of the most prominent tools that the construction industry uses to verify the credentials of its workers. If you aspire to make a career in construction and gain industry-recognized credentials, an NCCER certification can be the perfect option for you.

What does it mean to be NCCER certified? ›

NCCER certification means that the holder is highly trained, knowledgeable, and qualified to do the job anywhere in the country. The mission of NCCER is to provide a safe, sustainable, and productive workforce to industry professionals.

How long does OSHA certification last? ›

Your Cal/OSHA certification and OSHA card will not expire. However, employers may require you to complete refresher training periodically, such as every three to five years, to ensure you're up to date on workplace safety and health protocols.


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