2929 16th Avenue North
Escanaba, MI 49829
Office: 906-789-3123
Toll Free: 800-377-5567
Email: admissions@ncheschool.com


The Heavy Equipment Operator Program is four weeks long (160 hours, 40 hours a week). The class runs Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm eastern time zone.

The Heavy Equipment Operator certification is good in all States not just Michigan and training is approved in all 50 States.

The Heavy Equipment Operator Program for both level one and both included in the tution. We do have a variety of financing options available for those that qualify. 


Click here to see if you qualify.

Yes! This program will cover all level one and two heavy equipment operations training.

North Country Heavy Equipment School works with a few local hotels that have a set monthly rate for the duration of the class. 

Here is one of the the local hotels that our school works with on a monthly bases: Quality Inn 

Each student will be operating their own piece of equipment when it’s their turn. Each Student will have one partner that will act as a signal person and ground man when the other is operating. For over 20 years we find this very helpful to students as they can learn from each other helping if the other is struggling when doing our project-based exercises.

For those students that need transportation to and from school we do offer we do offer students cars that students can use at no cost. 

Lunch is provided on the first day of class. After that students can bring their own lunch. Our community has many local restaurants and national fast-food chains that students have access to.

Some students that are sponsored through their work get paid because their job is requiring it but other that that no, most students do not get paid to attend NCHES.


North Country Heavy Equipment School is proud to accept all VA Benefits to help new and old Veterans transition from one career to the next. The School also accepts vocational rehabilitation for veterans without any regular benefits left to use.

We don’t just did holes but rather find it best to have project-based exercises when learning. This gives students the opportunity to do real life projects while learning the various machines. Some of the exercises include: culvert installation, road grade and staking, septic system installation, leach fields, basement foundation, fork lift exercises, trenching, new construction, pole setting and many more!

The average pay for a heavy equipment operator can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, experience, the type of equipment operated, and the specific industry.

In the United States, the average annual salary for a heavy equipment operator was in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. However, this figure could be higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

It’s important to note that heavy equipment operators with more experience and specialized skills may command higher salaries. Additionally, geographical regions with high demand for heavy equipment operators, such as areas with significant construction or mining activities, may offer higher pay rates.

For the most up-to-date and accurate information on heavy equipment operator salaries, I recommend consulting job market resources, industry associations, or local job listings in your specific area. Salaries can vary widely from one location to another and from one employer to another.


Click here to see what the Heavy Equipment Operator job is in your area. 

The Benefits of Going to School to Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

In the realm of vocational careers, heavy equipment operation stands as a compelling choice. These skilled professionals play a pivotal role in various industries, from construction and mining to forestry and agriculture. While some individuals learn the ropes through on-the-job training, enrolling in a dedicated heavy equipment operator school offers a multitude of advantages. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the benefits of pursuing formal education in heavy equipment operation, shedding light on the valuable skills, career prospects, and personal growth opportunities it provides.

1. Specialized Training

One of the primary advantages of attending a heavy equipment operator school is the specialized training it offers. These institutions focus exclusively on equipping students with the knowledge and hands-on skills needed to operate heavy machinery safely and efficiently. In contrast, on-the-job training might be more limited in scope and could take longer to cover essential concepts.

2. Safety First

Safety is paramount in the heavy equipment industry. Schools prioritize safety training, ensuring that students understand the risks associated with heavy machinery and how to mitigate them. Learning in a controlled, supervised environment reduces the likelihood of accidents and instills a strong safety mindset from the beginning of one’s career.

3. Diverse Equipment Exposure

Heavy equipment operator schools provide access to a wide range of machinery, including bulldozers, excavators, loaders, and cranes. This exposure allows students to become proficient with various types of equipment, increasing their versatility and job opportunities.

4. Efficient Learning

Structured coursework in a school setting typically leads to more efficient learning. Instructors follow a curriculum that covers essential topics systematically, reducing the chances of knowledge gaps or missed skills. This organized approach accelerates the learning process.

5. Industry-Recognized Certification

Many heavy equipment operator schools offer certification programs. Earning a recognized certification can significantly enhance a graduate’s employability. These certifications validate their competence and adherence to industry standards.

6. Better Job Prospects

With a formal education and industry-recognized certification, graduates often have a competitive edge when seeking employment. Employers prefer candidates with a solid foundation in heavy equipment operation, as it reduces the need for extensive on-the-job training.

7. Higher Earning Potential

Well-trained heavy equipment operators often command higher salaries than those with less formal education. Their proficiency and safety-conscious approach make them valuable assets to employers willing to compensate them accordingly.

8. Career Advancement

Heavy equipment operation is not limited to entry-level positions. Those with formal training can pursue career advancement opportunities, such as becoming equipment supervisors, safety managers, or equipment inspectors. A solid education provides the foundation for such career progression.

9. Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills

Operating heavy machinery requires quick thinking and the ability to solve problems on the spot. Heavy equipment operator schools emphasize critical thinking and troubleshooting skills, preparing students to handle unexpected situations confidently.

10. Increased Confidence

Knowing how to operate heavy equipment safely and effectively boosts an individual’s self-confidence. Graduates from heavy equipment operator schools feel more assured in their abilities, which positively impacts their job performance and overall job satisfaction.

11. Hands-On Experience

Heavy equipment operator programs emphasize practical, hands-on training. This experiential learning approach ensures that students gain real-world skills that are immediately applicable in the field. It also allows them to become familiar with the equipment’s controls, maintenance, and operation techniques.

12. Networking Opportunities

Enrolling in a heavy equipment operator school provides an opportunity to network with peers, instructors, and industry professionals. These connections can prove invaluable for job hunting, mentorship, and staying informed about industry trends.

13. Knowledge of Regulations

Understanding and adhering to industry regulations and safety standards is crucial for heavy equipment operators. Schools ensure that students are well-versed in these regulations, reducing the likelihood of violations that can lead to accidents, fines, or legal issues.

14. Personal Growth

In addition to the technical skills acquired, attending a heavy equipment operator school fosters personal growth. It instills discipline, responsibility, and a strong work ethic. Graduates often develop a sense of pride in their abilities and their contribution to essential industries.

15. Industry Diversity

Heavy equipment operators are in demand across a broad spectrum of industries. This diversity allows individuals to choose an industry that aligns with their interests and values. Whether it’s construction, agriculture, mining, or forestry, there is likely a sector that suits their preferences.

16. Job Stability

Heavy equipment operation is a profession that offers job stability. As long as construction, infrastructure development, and other related industries exist, the need for skilled operators remains constant.

17. Environmental Responsibility

Modern heavy equipment is designed with environmental considerations in mind. Schools teach students about eco-friendly practices, such as efficient fuel usage and minimizing environmental impact, aligning their skills with sustainable industry trends.

18. Union Opportunities

In some regions and industries, heavy equipment operators may have the option to join unions. Union membership often brings additional benefits such as collective bargaining power, job security, and access to healthcare and retirement plans.

19. Personal Satisfaction

Operating heavy equipment can be personally satisfying. The tangible results of your work, such as building structures, creating landscapes, or extracting resources, can be highly rewarding.

20. Pride in Contribution

Heavy equipment operators play an essential role in the development and maintenance of infrastructure. Knowing that your work contributes to the betterment of society can be a source of immense pride and job satisfaction.


Attending a heavy equipment operator school offers a multitude of benefits that extend beyond the acquisition of technical skills. It provides a solid foundation for a rewarding career, with advantages including specialized training, safety consciousness, career opportunities, and personal growth. Whether you are embarking on a new career path or seeking to enhance your existing skills, the decision to enroll in a heavy equipment operator school can prove to be a wise and fulfilling choice. It opens doors to a world of opportunities in industries that rely on the expertise of skilled operators.

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